App by four friends helps connect donors to aid recipients

Three of the four partners who created the Bantu platform. From left: Amos Lee Meng Wei, Low Chong Kei and James Lee Meng Guan. Not pictured is Kelvin Lee Boon Leong.

MALAYSIANS are a generous lot when it comes to helping those in need.

But, more often than not, it is difficult to connect donors with eligible recipients.

Four friends in Kuantan, Pahang, have come up with a mobile app to solve this problem.

James Lee Meng Guan, one of the founders of the Bantu app, said people who needed help with food, groceries and other household supplies could list out the items and note down their address in the app.

“We will screen the applicants to make sure their requests are genuine and then deliver the items bought using donated funds.

“It helps local businesses too as they can sell off stock that’s near expiry date,” he said.

Donors can also choose to have the supplies delivered to several charity organisations collaborating with Bantu.

James, 42, said the idea to create the platform came to him and his partners after seeing the White Flag movement.

“There are a lot of people in need during this Covid-19 pandemic period.

“We were wondering about the efficiency of the White Flag movement and whether the people who called out for help ultimately received assistance.

“With this app, we hope the goodwill and donations from donors can reach the intended recipients in a transparent manner.

‘This is our effort to help the community,” he said.

James said the response had been quite good since Bantu’s launch on July 31, with some 100 people benefitting from the project as of late August.

He said the app was not limited to the Kuantan area but available nationwide as well.

“We are pretty much covered in Kuantan, but there are also many requests coming in from across the country.

“For that, we will do our best to network with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or engage delivery services to have the items sent to the needy,” he said.

James said they were looking at continuing Bantu as a long-term project into the post-pandemic period.

He added that more businesses and NGOs were welcome to join the platform to help distribute provisions to those in need.

The Bantu app is available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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