ALL WOMEN’S TEAM CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL GIRLS IN ICT DAY WITH DEVELOPMENT OF GUYANA’S FIRST CRISIS MANAGEMENT MOBILE AND WEB PLATFORMS

HELPGuyana is Guyana’s first ever crisis management web and mobile app conceptualised, created and promoted by a stakeholder group of women who were determined to create a social good app which could benefit vulnerable groups in Guyana for International Day Of Girls in ICT.

Out of several conversations between STEMGuyana Director, Karen Abrams and UG lecturer, Dr Mellissa Ifill, the idea was conceptualised.  Members of the STEMGuyana, GTT & IDPADA-G teams helped to strengthen the concept, while the application was coded by Coily.us creator and STEMGuyana co-founder, Asha Christian.  Karen Abrams, it should be noted, brings to the project her multiple years of experience in the Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery space during her time in Corporate America where she served as Director of Risk Management for Earthlink Networks in Atlanta, Georgia.

“What we determined is that during every major crisis in Guyana, it is our vulnerable citizens who suffer most, and we wanted to use technology to identify these persons and to create a way to get them help in an organised and reoccurring manner”, stated Abrams.

The group noted that there are more than 30,000 vulnerable households in Guyana who will need help over and over again during a crisis.  It is also true that many Guyanese citizens, and organisations, both home and in the diaspora are willing to help and the HELPGuyana tool can be used to bridge that gap.

‘It is important that we understand the scale and forms of vulnerabilities that exist in various communities – whether urban, rural or interior – and use technology to address same. Ultimately this app will place the needs of people, as they define them, at the centre of our planning and giving’, says Ifill…[continued below]

…The current version of the HELPGuyana app is customised for the COVID-19 crisis; allowing those with masks to sell and donate and a portal to share that information.  It also allows small businesses to advertise their goods and services to what is anticipated to be thousands of users of the app.  It allows delivery services all over the country to register and one of the modules recruits volunteers for registered agencies.  Finally, the security module allows for the anonymous reporting of domestic violence, fraud and abuse which often becomes prevalent during times of crisis.

“The International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G) sees this application as an excllent opportunity to make our community work more sustainable under the current circumstances and even post the COVID19 pandemic, therefore we are pleased to be a sponsor. It could not have come at a better time, since vulnerable communities are desperately seeking assistance for everyday needs. As farmers, food producers, the business community and government try to coordinate available resources and deliver them to those in need, the application will make this more efficient. IDPADA-G is committed to doing its part to identify vulnerable communities and to promote the application in all communities in which we have a presence and beyond.”

The HELPGuyana project is sponsored by GTT, the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly–Guyana (IDPADA-G), and the Anira Foundation.  STEMGuyana has also reached out to many public and private agencies for support, and these agreements will be announced later.  The HELPGuyana app is technology used for social good and it will help to enhance the lives of citizens all across Guyana.

The app will remain in web form for those citizens who do not have the space on their digital devices for more applications.  However, next week the app will also be available in the Android store and the following week, the Apple store.  The HELPGuyana app is best viewed online using phones or tablets at http://helpguyana.com.