Over the past 21 years, Dr George Bwelle, a Cameroonian surgeon and his non-profit organisation, ASCOVIME, has provided free medical care to more than 125,000 patients in Cameroon.
Bwelle and 220,000 other people with good deeds belong to a non-profit social network for social good called, Horyou.
That number might sound so small compared to the billions of people on Facebook but not all social networking sites are hungry for numbers.
"Horyou is an action oriented social network for the social good. We bring organizations, personalities, and supporters together to connect within an internet-based global community.We get people to talk to each other and also connect them to the funders.Our role is to make the people who do good be heard. We are not political, religious or partisan.” explained Yonathan Pareinti, the CEO and founding member of Horyou.
I met Yonathan Pareinti when I was in Geneva for an exchange programme for journalists between Switzerland and developing countries.
Yonathan comes to the social impact sector by way of banking and international finance– having graduated from one of the top business schools in France before working at major banking groups including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of China, Julius Baer.
Horyou is a realization of his dream of making technology accessible to all by creating a social networking platform devoted to solidarity and social good.
Many of the organisations on the Horyou network are into fields such as education, health and environment. Others devote their efforts to development and cooperation, human rights and arts.
In the next few years, Horyou plans to open two new offices in Africa. Cameroun and Morroco will be hosts to these Horyou outlets.
Dubai and China will also have their own offices soon as Horyou continues to grow in different parts of the world.
“We are here for positive change. We want to support the organisations that are doing good for their communities. When everything works out well, we plan to begin direct financial assistance" Pareinti added.
Eric Schmidt a famous American software engineer, businessman and the Executive Chairman of Alphabet describes Horyou as “ one good aspect of human beings today"
Currently, the 1000 organisations on the social good network receive money from 220,000 personalities who are on the Horyou platform through a system called 'Spotlight”
“When the world was hit by the financial crisis, i realised that we had a problem in the system. We are not safe and we had to re-think the way we do things. Most people are very materialstic. They do not realise that economies are inter-connected. When one does something bad, the others can be affected. So, i decided to find an answer to these financial problems and that is how Horyou came about“
In simple terms, Horyou is (H-Humanity Or-Choice (in greek) and You-All of us.
Present in more than 180 countries world-wide, Horyou raises its funds through investors who have shares in the company.
Last year, Horyou made 60 visits to the numerous organisations it supports around the world.
“ We make the visits to see whether indeed the organisations on our platform are good. Are they providing social good services to the communities they are in? We have to be sure about the people on our platform“ Parienti said
"We need to know whether these organisations on our platform are indeed giving the people and communities the tools that will help them change their lives"
To young and budding innovators, Parienti advises them to trust and believe in their intuition.
“If you are attracted to something, go for it. Intuition does not lie. Also, always try to change whatever you see that is not right especially in your society. Do not think someone from any other country or community will come and change it for you”
“Lastly, young people need to continue learning. We are stronger in numbers. The value of challenges is too big and that calls for all of us to work together. We have to change the paradigm of collaboration vs Competition”
Horyou also organises the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum –SIGEF an annual international event that gathers non-profit organizations, renowned speakers, social entrepreneurs and the general public for three days of dialogue and interaction.
The 2016 SIGEF takes place in Morocco this November.