The Middle East has, undoubtedly, seen some changes in the past few months. One of the most noticeable changes is engagement with local civil societies to help the underprivileged, the needy, and to synergize contributors’ efforts. Combine that with growing internet penetration rates, and what technology has to offer, and the opportunities are unlimited. Wasm Media is one company that’s taking action in this climate, with a brand new mobile application named "Nasy" - My People.
Nasy is a free iOS application, available in both English and Arabic, that matches volunteers with projects in their vicinity where they can donate free time and collaborate with socially-engaged initiatives.
When you first launch Nasy, there are three things to be done: check the projects marked as needing resources and learn more about them, browse through currently available volunteers, or mark yourself as an available asset to work on a project.
Launching the "Projects" tab auto-detects your location and marks on a map all the currently running projects in your vicinity. Alternatively, you can add your own project on this screen, by filling in basic information such as its name, description, website, and contact information.
The "Volunteers" tab marks all of the available assets around your current location. Clicking on a volunteer's map pin shows more information about them, revealing their name, contact details, and areas of expertise.
Nasy is not just a long-term commitment application. Have a few hours / days to kill? Go to "I am here" tab, mark your location, and the time you're available for. When you first sign up to Nasy, you'll be asked to fill in your contact details as well as your areas of expertise or what you would like to be involved with best. Areas of expertise range from financial services, to creative service, to event planning. Whatever talent or expertise you have, someone out there will be looking for it.
Nasy's interface is a little bit rough around the edges and it could definitely use more speed. In future updates of the application, alerts should be integrated, so that I am notified if any of my marked areas of expertise are needed or a new project is added nearby.
While Nasy is the first location-based civic engagement application to come out of the Middle East, it's not the first internet-oriented platform in this domain; the Jordan-based Nakhweh launched in 2009 to provide the missing link between socially-engaged entrepreneurs, volunteers and non-profit organizations.
It's always very refreshing to see technology being used to capitalize on talents and help our community be a better one, and for that I give Wasm Media two thumbs-up.
Download Nasy on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad here; see screenshots below.