Thousands of children in Rwanda will soon receive help from Save the Children but from an unusual source – cryptocurrency. Traditionally the reserve of the tech elite, Save the Children in Rwanda, has embarked on a new project that aims to ensure the gains associated with blockchain reach the world’s most vulnerable children.
The project, established in partnership with the Cardano Foundation, is the latest venture for the aid agency as it looks to new cryptocurrencies to help boost donations.
Save the Children in Rwanda can now fundraise in Cardano’s cryptocurrency, ADA, having installed a payment gateway that allows ADA donations to come directly to the project without intermediaries.
These funds are being invested in African-based social enterprises with a proven impact on children, families, or youth. Over 22,000 ADA, worth nearly US$30,000, was donated through the system within hours of its launch.
Save the Children in Rwanda recently launched Kumwe Hub to bring together innovation and impact investment across Africa, with blockchain central to both. Projects such as academic records for children crossing borders, digital IDs for refugees, and lending mechanisms for the financially excluded, are all in the pipeline to pilot through the project.
One of their first initiatives, ‘MicroWorks,’ has engaged unemployed refugee youth to earn a living through collecting AI data with their mobile phones for payment. It’s the first of many planned pilots that use both tech and innovation to solve some of the biggest challenges facing children and youth today.
The project is the latest digital currency initiative by Save the Children, which was the first global NGO to accept cryptocurrency. The organization has accepted Bitcoin donations since 2013 in response to Typhoon Haiyan that struck Southeast Asia, devastating the Philippines, and can now accept multiple cryptocurrencies as donations from its cryptocurrency wallet widget.
Maggie Korde, Save the Children’s Country Director in Rwanda, said this was breaking new ground for children in Rwanda:
“Through Cardano, Save the Children in Rwanda now has a starter pot of the cryptocurrency ADA which we can deploy to projects for children. But there are also countless possibilities through blockchain to firstly directly impact children’s lives through initiatives such as digital school records and secondly to increase our efficiency and transparency as an organization.”
Ettore Rossetti, Senior Advisor at Save the Children, said this was an exciting new path for the organization:
“Beyond cryptocurrency contributions, what if blockchain technology could be used to make supply chains more efficient, transactions more transparent, and end world poverty through decentralized universal basic income as a form of unconditional cash vouchers? That would be a dream worth holding onto. Since its founding more than 100 years ago, Save the Children has reached more than 1 billion children. Perhaps the next Bitcoin billionaire can help us reach the next billion children.”
Eva Oberholzer, Chief Growth Officer at the Cardano Foundation, said this was just the start of an exciting new partnership:
“People are often confused by cryptocurrency and baffled by blockchain. Through this pilot with the Kumwe Hub, we aim to demonstrate the power of decentralized finance (Defi) and the global community when applied to supporting projects outside of the world of financial services and token trading.”