Crowdfunding offers lifeboat to Georgians

May 7, 2012
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The crowdfunding fad has now made its way to Georgia and seems to have some potential. Launched just a few weeks ago, borani.org already has almost 300 contributors funding 21 projects; together, they’ve pledged 9,193 GEL ($5,650).

According to the founders of the site, an NGO called the Society for Literacy Development, the aim of borani.org is to connect those who live beneath the poverty line and those who are able to support them, as well as promote charitable activities in Georgia. The word “borani” means “ferry”, as in to ferry a group of people from poverty to decent life.

As with similar platforms, site visitors can also submit their own projects for funding. The project was launched by Simon Janashia, a professor of Ilia State University (Iliauni), and Levan Gambashidze, a lecturer of Iliauni. The number of supporters, the amount of money, the people need and the project explaining photos are available on the website.

As a result of donations, 17 families were able to buy the necessary equipment for their houses. Here are some examples of how Georgians have used the platform:

Aksana Saparova is a young, unemployed, and divorced mother who lives with her mother.  Due to a pregnancy, she lost a job as seller in a market. And now the family’s only income is her mother’s pension. On average, a pension in Georgia is about 100 GEL (60$). With the help of the site and more than 20 individual donors, she was able to purchase the refrigerator for her family.

An injured hand has left Maia Tsiknadze, a single mother of two children, unable to wash the clothes, and because the income of the family is little, they could not allow themselves to buy a washing machine. Borani.org users contributed about 600 GEL (360$) for the family to buy it.

Following is the video of Borani.org’s first ad. In it, men are asked: what do women like in men. The men’s answers are: appearance, car, and successful career.  Later women are asked the same question and all answers are the same: charity.

 


About the Author

Elza Ketsbaia

Elza Ketsbaia has served as Transition’s country manager for Georgia for three years. She is an experienced journalist with stints in broadcast journalism at Radio Ucnobi and the Georgian Public Broadcaster. She holds a master’s degree from the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management.
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