The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Club invites developer to discuss technology and social change


On March 15, Developing Nations Initiative hosted a video call conference with Byron Zhang, University of California Berkeley graduate and full-stack developer at, a nonprofit crowdfunding organization that shares stories of people in need of healthcare. Vice president Alex Huang (‘18) says, “We reached out to him because we thought there was a hole to fill. TAS students have such amazing aptitude, but many of us are unwilling to take the plunge to use those talents for social good.”
Watsi’s current project is stationed in Uganda, where medical professionals offer patients the option of creating a Watsi profile. Once the profile is created, it is uploaded to the website where people all over the world can donate to help cover their medical bills, and this level of exposure is unattainable without the help of technology. Byron emphasized that Watsi uploads records of the patient’s medical bills and before and after photos to allow full transparency.
Watsi’s greatest strength is inevitably its technology, as the nonprofit is situated in Silicon Valley. “We, from the get-go, try to use technology to scale our impact. We think that’s where our skill sets lie, and that’s what we bring to the table,” Byron says. For example, Watsi’s website collects real-time data to establish financial accountability to their donors. The reassurance that money is going where it should be creates the much-needed push over the edge for donors to offer help.
While crowdfunding has been successful for Watsi so far, it is not a sustainable solution in the long term. In the future, Watsi hopes that their second project, partnership with governments, will make their impact more permanent.  

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