Lending a hand, and giving a heart
"So what if I am a woman? Can’t women take the initiative to build an organisation for the betterment of the community"
Rameeza Moin is a healer of people, but not in the conventional way. After being confronted with the devastating realities of healthcare across Pakistan, she worked against the odds to create a community that heals through crowdfunding.
A boy named Raheel
Transparent Hands might not have been launched if Rameeza had not had a chance encounter with a sick five-year-old boy on the road one day. Wearing tattered clothes and breathing heavily, Raheel was selling boiled eggs to help make ends meet. After some questioning, Rameeza learned he had a hole in his heart.
After asking his father, who was accompanying Raheel, why the boy was working when he was so sick, he responded: “What else should I do? I have to save enough money so I can buy his medicine and pay for his operation”.
“I couldn’t get that boy’s face out of my mind and it left me sleepless for many nights. I wanted to help but didn’t know how. I kept worrying about where they would go for the heart surgery and who will bear the expense for them.”
Many hands make light work
After discussing the issue with her family, Rameeza came up with the idea for Transparent Hands, a crowdfunding platform that connects patients around the world with donors, thanks to kind strangers who donate money to each operation and cause.
But the startup wasn’t created without some doubts and pushback.
“At first, everyone was against it. I heard them saying, ‘how can a woman build an organisation by herself? She won’t succeed’. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I wanted to make a real difference to the lives of those less fortunate.”
With the support of her family, Rameeza set off on her entrepreneurial journey and was selected by Pakistan’s largest technology incubator, Plan9, allowing Transparent Hands to become the country’s first crowdfunding portal in the healthcare industry.
“That was the happiest day of my life.”
From what began as a one-woman-band, Transparent Hands is today a growing family of marketers, IT professionals, accountants and product developers who all believe in the same vision as Rameeza. The company has been running for almost 2 years and has already successfully funded more than 200 surgeries in collaboration with 12 hospitals.
Social media channels have been a huge influence in the growth of Transparent Hands, allowing the unique story to be told and shared across Facebook and Instagram. With effective videos, graphics and a gripping narrative, Rameeza has been able to engage various communities, groups and individuals via social media on a national and global level.
The company was also the first in Pakistan to introduce a new technological feature, which allows people to donate through Facebook simply by typing “#donate $5” under any post.
Now, Rameeza is focusing on the expansion of the company’s services across different regions.
“Transparent Hands has a great vision. We want to become a crowdfunding platform for all social welfare projects in Pakistan. We also plan to venture beyond Pakistan and to all developing countries one by one, to make a huge impact in those societies.”
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