Inspired by Dr. Maggi's work, I had an idea: what if we could start a crowdfunding website for surgeries, like fistula repair, for people who cannot afford them? Crowdfunding is an established model for collecting donations, and several websites have used the model to grow to over $100 million in contributions. Kiva has shown that it can work to fund small loans to entrepreneurs around the world. Using the same model, DonorsChoose allows anyone to fund a classroom project. GlobalGiving's crowdfunding model lets donors contribute to international development projects around the world.
Sama means "equal" in Sanskrit and reflects our desire to provide equal access to basic medical care to low-income people. Focused initially in rural Sierra Leone, we are helping to fund fistula repair surgeries with our initial partner, the West Africa Fistula Foundation. Over time, if our experiment works, we will expand Samahope's coverage to surgeries and conditions affecting those in the poorest areas of the world.