Every year, an estimated 17 million lives are lost that could have been saved with access to safe surgery—a burden 5x greater than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB combined. Women and children are especially vulnerable and at risk, with an estimated 1 in 3 women requiring medical or surgical intervention while giving birth - yet access to this care is often financially out of reach.
While the cost to provide high-impact surgical care is relatively low in the Global South, experts estimate failing to invest in this care as part of Universal Health Coverage could cost low and middle income countries as much as $12.3 trillion in lost GDP by 2030.
The statistics are alarming, but solutions are within our reach.
At Watsi, we’re building an innovative health financing mechanism that brings people together from around the world to directly fund life-changing surgery for people who otherwise would be without access to care.
We want to make it easy, direct, and simple for anyone, anywhere to help another person in their moment of greatest need. While we know we will not be able to bring healthcare to every person on this planet alone, unlocking more capital and making the overall philanthropic "pie" bigger through crowdfunding can be a critical part of the solution in bringing health to all.
"Watsi is the best monthly investment for a better future. Funding a child's healthcare has a massive positive impact and a high ROI for everyone involved." ~ Scott in Australia, a Watsi Universal Fund member since 2015
Our approach is built on being radically transparent, efficient, and direct. We're proud to share that again this year, Watsi earned top ratings of a Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid and the highest honor of Four Stars from Charity Navigator.
So how do we do it?
We are a small, passionate, 100% remote team focused on building and leveraging technology and the power of human connection to create a world with health for all. Our platform helps the world’s most vulnerable patients share their stories and access care through people-powered philanthropy to fund the life-changing surgery they need. 100% of crowdfunding support made through our innovative platform — the first of its kind for healthcare — directly funds surgical care.
"Providing healthcare through a crowdfunding business model is one that I have not seen before. It is an innovative approach." ~ Watsi Donor since 2021
Investing in culturally competent, locally-led, and value-based care
From Port-au-Prince Haiti to Phnom Penh Cambodia and last mile communities around the world, we have championed a community and patient-first model working with local medical partners to create sustainable, locally-led programs that are meeting the urgent healthcare needs of the people in their communities - bottom up, not top down.
"Watsi tries to help needy people obtain healthcare while simultaneously treating everyone with dignity and without judgment." ~ the newest member of our Watsi community!
Through listening to community and patient needs, sharing these stories authentically and with dignity, and then getting resources out as directly, efficiently, and transparently as possible, we have built a remarkably simple solution to a pressing global need.
In Uganda, for example, where we have worked with communities for ten years, the impact has been tremendous: 4,000+ lives changed, including unlocking more equitable access to life-changing healthcare for nearly 2,500 women and girls.
Radical trust and transparency
Every step of the way, we have built a system that rests on a foundation of trust and radical transparency in which we support local communities and medical teams in setting their own priorities on what will have the most impact on patients’ lives. This has led to an open and effective relationship between Watsi and our long-standing medical partners in communities around the world.
"I am always open to helping people, but I don’t always trust that my money is going where I believe it is going. I trust Watsi. You ask for money, you tell me who it’s going to and why. Then you inform me of the outcome. Money well spent."~ Watsi Donor since 2016
Focusing on the economic piece of the puzzle
When taking into account the full costs of accessing healthcare including common socioeconomic barriers such as transportation or food during hospitalization, 81 million people face catastrophic expenditure each year trying to pay for the surgical care they need. (Source: The Lancet)
While countless social, environmental, and economic determinants of health play a role in the health-poverty cycle, at Watsi, we are focused on the economic piece of the puzzle: unlocking private capital to remove the financial barrier for patients at the point of care in hopes of shielding people from generational medical debt, delaying needed healthcare, or not having treatment at all.
"Great organization, small donations make a big impact, and the organization’s costs are reasonable and ethical." ~Watsi Donor since 2013
While the challenge we are addressing impacts millions of people, access to safe surgery that saves lives and unlocks livelihoods is vastly under-supported and overlooked. The impact of investing in access to critical surgical care is immediate, tangible, and transformational.
"Unmatched charity……..100% of contribution directed to patient surgical procedure, not infrastructure projects or administrative overhead. Your gifts are spread over a much larger patient group due to medical cost efficiencies in low-cost environments. Follow-up reports on patient progress are unique to this charity and much appreciated." ~ Watsi Donor, joined in 2023
Our commitment to radical transparency is more than a promise; it's our practice.
Our global community
Our story isn't complete without the voices of our community—the heartbeat of Watsi.
"To me, Watsi is a super non-profit. You get to pick who you fund and know that your money is supporting exactly what you are passionate about." ~ Watsi Donor since 2016
We find it incredibly inspiring to witness the diverse group of individuals and companies that come together on watsi.org every day and not just commit to doing better in the world but take action.
"Watsi makes it so easy to meaningfully change someone's life with even a small contribution." ~ Watsi Donor since 2022
With hope, determination, and this outpouring of support and solidarity from our community, we see the potential for real, lasting change. Come, be a part of this journey with us.
The Watsi Team
Everyone deserves healthcare.