Since launching at the backend of 2013, unique online platform BECAUSE.bz has, against many odds, been working to bridge NGOs and the corporate world in Egypt, with the hopes of the former receiving support and, more importantly, a path to a clearer legitimisation of non-profits in Egypt – which is no easy task.
We won't go into the many preposterous problems that have faced NGO's in post-revolution Egypt – that's a story for another day. BECAUSE is more than just a middle man, though, as their latest social media initiative shows.
Having kicked off this week, the #MYSOCIALHERO campaign invites social media users from Egypt and the Middle East to nominate an individual to the BECAUSE Facebook page that they feel deserves recognition for their contributions – unsung heroes, if you will – to their communities, the environment, human rights, the disenfranchised and all other fields that the Middle East seems to systematically overlook.
It's an admirable initiative that became all the more so when we spoke to BECAUSE founder and managing director, Karine Kamel.
"We're not necessarily looking for the next suffragette or a mega philanthropist. Those kinds of people do exist and they're important. But we're also hoping that people will nominate the bawab who feeds stray cats every day, or the cafe-owner down the road who gives out free food to the homeless."
This idea feeds into the increasingly popular theory that if there is to be a persistent push towards social change in the Middle East, it needs to come from the ground-up as much as it needs the trickle of money and labour from the top-down.
This is more than just a flash-in-the-pan social media stunt; the ultimate goal is to encourage others to take on and ignite social change, regardless of how small the trigger is – to maybe even inspire.
So how does this all work? Well, for one whole month, you will get the opportunity to nominate your hero by posting a photo, video or any other form of media either on the BECAUSE Facebook page or on your own profile using the hashtag #MYSOCIALHERO with a description of your nomination. At the end of the month, the post with the most engagement will be announced as a winner – although we feel the need to say that everyone's a winner in something like this – and a very unique opportunity awaits them.
Said winner will be profiled on BECAUSE.bz and recieve support from the platform, including a month-long run of free ads for his/her cause or organisation to which BECAUSE themselves will also volunteer time.
Essentially, what the winner receives is an excellent form of promotion on a rare and brilliant platform that not only tries to act as a bridge as mentioned before, but one that has also played a big part in bringing everything from child obesity, to the environmental impact on the recently announced Egypt-Saudi bridge to the forefront.