KUALA LUMPUR: Kitajaga, a digital social mobile app aimed at supporting individuals and families most impacted by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, has launched a charity crowdfunding campaign on GlobalSadaqah, a Malaysian award-winning CSR, Zakat and Waqf management platform. The Kitajaga App is looking to fundraise RM200,000.

Kitajaga App was built by a team of local developers at Terato Tech, an award-winning Malaysian full-service mobile app development company, amidst the white flag movement or #KibarBenderaPutih. The web app was initially developed as a  Minimum  Viable Product (MVP) for the team to test out if the concept of putting up a  white flag on a  digital map,  with a  clear call to action, would enable people to more easily provide or seek help.

Since launching two months ago, the app has proven to increase the visibility and accessibility to individuals and families in desperate need of aid but were affected by the movement control order restrictions. The app brings donors and those in need together via geo-location to offer help through its Kita Jaga app.

Kitajaga launched the campaign to ensure that it can continue serving the nation, particularly the thousands of people using its platform for free. The app had evolved into Terato’s internal CSR project, but due to the high usage, operational costs have risen. A short donation drive on the platform saw strong support from the public, raising more than RM100,000 over two weeks. With the funds, it developed and launched new features to allow the direct purchase and delivery of essential goods and food to beneficiaries and multiple enhancements to improve user privacy and security.

The funds will also be used to increase its sustainability and financial viability and to scale its operations. As part of this growth, the platform is looking to roll out a new version of their local app, a localised version in the Philippines, followed by five other market countries in the coming months.

“These are trying times and we saw the need to create this platform as a way to allow people in this country to come together and give a helping hand to those who have been severely affected by this pandemic. Many are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we observe the most common request for help is for essential food items whilst those with little children are requesting for diapers and formula milk” said Kitajaga.co Founder Reza Razali.

Since its launch in July 2021, Kitajaga App has recorded impressive metrics, underlying its impact on the overall community. In July, its platform recorded 1.5 million unique visitors, saw 96,059 white flags raised on the platform and 20,000 people offering help. Aside from the Malaysia platform, Kitajaga App Founder Reza Razali said the team has also received numerous requests to help set up various platforms in other Southeast Asia countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

“We recognised that there was not only demand and need to scale and expand, but also a real path to sustainability, and that is the reason why we decided to partner with GlobalSadaqah to launch this campaign. Our decision to partner with GlobalSadaqah was due to it being one of the leading charity crowdfunding platforms in the region, and from there, we felt that there was a natural synergy,” said Kitajaga.co Founder Reza Razali.

GlobalSadaqah Chief Executive Officer Ifran Tarmizi said this campaign with Kitajaga App is significant as it ensures that the platform can continue to support those in need in Malaysia and replicate that impact into other potential markets.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people going through various hardships such as businesses being forced to shut down and people losing their jobs. During this chaotic period, the Kitajaga App platform has demonstrated real impact by ensuring that the most vulnerable are visible to the public, allowing donors to easily connect with them, especially at the height of the white flag movement,” he said.

“In addition, Kitajaga App’s value of making giving charity easy aligns with us. At GlobalSadaqah, we also strive to make the charity experience simple, straightforward and rewarding while ensuring that donations reach our beneficiaries accordingly.”

Founded in  2018, GlobalSadaqah is powered by Ethis,  a Malaysia-headquartered Islamic fintech company focused on sustainable and impactful crowd-investments, financing and donations. Ethis operates regulated platforms in Malaysia and Indonesia and has also secured regulatory approvals in Dubai and Qatar.

GlobalSadaqah works together with stakeholders including religious bodies, foundations, banks, corporates, and the public to increase the efficiency, sustainability and impact of social finance. Their main goal is to make giving charity easy, straightforward and rewarding while ensuring donations reach those who are most in need. Among their notable strategic partners include The Noor (Muslim lifestyle app), HelloGold, Alliance Islamic Bank, and iSaham. Key charity partners include the Malaysian Relief Agency (MRA), Waqaf An-Nur, Teach for Malaysia (TFM) and  Cinta Syria Malaysia (CSM).

Donors can participate in the campaign by donating for as low as RM10 at https://globalsadaqah.com/kitajaga-op1.