What were your biggest accomplishments at the age of 17? Mine were having successfully convinced my parents to let me both dye my hair hot pink and get my bellybutton pierced. No, that isn’t a joke. Which is why Tadeo Donegana is such an inspiration, no matter how old you are: at the tender age of 17, the Olavarría native created Ayumapp, which is basically a crowdsourced map where users contribute information about people living on the street, with the ultimate goal of getting them the help they need and deserve.
Curious to know more about how it works? Check out the video that Tadeo shared on Instagram earlier this week:
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Hace un tiempo vi en televisión que un hombre en situación de calle había muerto de frió en Buenos Aires, no se por que pero me dije que tenia que hacer algo. Así surgió Ayumapp, una aplicación que consta de un mapa solidario para generar puentes entre los usuarios y los que mas lo necesitan, facilitando la llegada de todo tipo de donaciones a la gente sin hogar. Acá te dejo un vídeo explicando un poco mas de la idea para que veas como funciona, y ademas si podes compartir esta publicación en tus stories o por otro medio me ayudas un montón! Ayumapp ya esta disponible de manera gratuita para todos los dispositivos Android, podes descargarla buscando su nombre en Play Store o haciendo click en el enlace que te dejo en mi biografía. ¡Muchas gracias!
Tadeo also shares more insight into his inspiration: “A while back, I saw on TV that a homeless man had frozen to death on the streets of Buenos Aires. I don’t know why, but I told myself that I had to do something. That’s how Ayumapp came to be; the app is a ‘map of solidarity’ to build bridges between users and those who need help the most, facilitating the arrival of any kind of donations that the homeless may need.”
While people in the city of Buenos Aires can call the #108 hotline to share information about people living on the streets, the system is clumsy and difficult to use. When you speak to an operator, you have to provide details that you might not have, such as the exact address of their location. If you don’t have that info, it’s nearly impossible for the operator to continue with the report, since they’re filling out an online form that doesn’t leave much margin for subtleties.
Tadeo was motivated to act when he realized there wasn’t anything like it in existence already. His app is “simple and easy to use,” and allows users to explain if there are “children, the elderly, pets, or someone with a disability.” Contributors can even add a comment alongside the marker, allowing them to share any other relevant details or characteristics to make it easier to help. Every person that uses Ayumapp can access these markers quickly, easily, and in one place.
Wondering how you can incorporate the use of Ayumapp into your daily routine? Tadeo suggests a perfect example. Let’s say you are out to dinner and end up with a bag of leftovers that you probably won’t eat (and let’s be honest, when do you ever re-heat that bife de chorizo and french fries?). You can open Ayumapp and see who is nearby, head over and see if they’re hungry and in need of a meal. Of course, it’s not just about food: users can donate warm clothing, toys for kids, or anything else that might make a homeless person or family’s time on the street a little less difficult.
To the critics that have said an app isn’t enough to save lives, Tadeo has this to say: “Ayumapp might not be much, but I hope that it generates enough awareness and a little – or big – change.”
Ayumapp is free and relies on a broad community of users to grow and be effective. You can download it to your Android device (not yet available for iOS) right from the Google Play Store. You can follow Tadeo on Twitter and Ayumapp on Twitter or Instagram.