Prominent African bitcoin campaigner Alakanani Itireleng is turning her attention to charity, appealing for bitcoin donations to Botswana's SOS Children's Villages.
Founded in 1980, SOS Children's Villages care for orphaned, destitute and abandoned children. According to the website, these villages "aim to develop children into responsible and independent adults who will have the inner strength to cope with the challenges of the future."
It is affiliated with the United States Department of Labor, with which it works to care for children who have been exploited as child labor. Among its programs are kindergartens and schooling for younger children, activities during school holidays, and placement in higher schools and universities.
SOS will use any amount raised in its bitcoin appeal to fund the refurbishment of the Serowe Youth Facility, which has been vacant for over two years. The facility is used to help older children transition to an independent life once they have left the villages.
"I want to help make this project a reality mot only or those children in SOS but to show that bitcoin is the right and only authentic way of building the community, the funds raised go straight to where they are needed."
Botswana actually ranks quite high on several human development indexes compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and has the region's second highest GDP per capita.
However, it also ranks third in the world for adult HIV/AIDS prevalence, leaving countless young children orphaned and with no place to live. Alakanani explained:
“It means being part of the country's vision of being a compassionate and caring nations. I care and bitcoin for me offers me the opportunity to do that and raise funds for them without borders.”
"This is also to show that we the bitcoin community are not greedy or thieves as people tend to think. Let the good outshine the bad and am showing how to do just that," Alakanani continued.
Promoting bitcoin in Africa
Alakanani made a presentation of her work at the Bitcoin2014 conference in Amsterdam thanks to a campaign initiated by Elizabeth Ploshay of the Bitcoin Foundation, which raised the funds for her travel costs.
Alakanani has worked hard for bitcoin in southern Africa, launching the Bitcoin Botswana meetup group in January this year and organizing a series of events to promote both bitcoin and the importance of economic freedom in building local businesses. The group also raises funds by selling bitcoin-related merchandise.
Bitcoin Botswana's Facebook group has nearly 400 members and is updated regularly with the latest bitcoin news.
As well as helping to build local economies by making transactions easier for businesses, bitcoin has a strong role to play in charity. Few, if any, other payment mechanisms allow donations of any size to be sent instantly from anywhere in the world to locations where they're needed.
It also promotes the use of bitcoin in Africa for economic activities other than charity by highlighting its advantages.
The SOS Children's Villages appeal is part of South African bitcoin exchange ice3x's campaign to assist local charities. You can find more details and the donation address on their site. The campaign also accepts litecoin donations.