‘Hope Phones’ Saving Lives in Malawi

Photo: Malawians pose for a quick photo. (Getty Images)

If you’re one of the bazillion Americans (confirmed statistic…) already lining up for the next generation iPhones or Androids, recent college grad Josh Nesbit wants you to consider this: The old phone you may be tempted to ditch is a lifeline waiting to launch.

Four years ago, while enrolled at Stanford University, Nesbit spent a summer volunteering at an AIDS clinic in Malawi, where hospitals are not easily accessible for many residents in rural communities. He witnessed sick and injured locals traveling up to 100 miles for treatment, consuming valuable time, resources and energy just getting to facilities.

Nesbit recognized an opportunity for innovation, so he created Hope Phones, an organization that leverages technology to create efficient health care opportunities in Malawi. From broken bones to tuberculosis, patients can now immediately notify doctors via text messages; in turn, medical professionals can access records and initiate treatment right away through mobile devices. (Read the Be The Change feature on Hope Phones.)

You can help by dusting off long-forgotten mobile phones and donating them to Hope Phones. ABC News notes: “Ninety percent of old phones are put in the trash or stored in drawers. Each phone is worth between $15 and $50. Nesbit realized that by recycling just 1 percent of those phones, he could raise money to buy new phones for a million health workers.”

Need another nudge? Think of it this way: It’s added incentive to take the plunge on that upgrade you’ve been dreaming of. Done and done.

take action

Donate Phone

Donate Phone

Donate your old cell phone to Hope Phones and help create improved health care access in Malawi.

take action

Start a Campaign

Start a Campaign

Rally your school or community to launch a cell phone drive to help support Hope Phones.