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COVID-19 AppDate Pt 5: Helping charities

In the fifth instalment of his COVID-19 special AppDate series, SEAN BACHER rounds up InstaEats shifting its focus to charities, M4Jam helping spaza shops feed the community, the COVID19 4Health cloud-based app, D6 School Communicator, and Cartoon Network GameBox.

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InstaEats shifts focus to charities

Before COVID-19, InstaEats positioned itself as a food guide, focused entirely on restaurants, and had built an advertising platform. But now InstaEats has shifted its business to include any type of food being produced and delivered during lockdown. It has created a directory for these businesses at www.instaeats.co.za/covid19 to feature and advertise their services and offerings. With Level 4 controls in place until the end of May, it has extended the InstaEats service to include restaurants that are offering takeaways.

In addition, due to job losses in the hospitality industry, InstaEats has used its audience and platforms to create awareness of relevant charities.

The company now has a dedicated slot at 7pm every night when it talks to someone currently doing remarkable work in the community. Any charity is able to become part of the conversation, essentially making InstaEats an intermediary for those looking for assistance and those willing to assist.

InstaEats has also made its platform open to charities wanting to showcase their work.

So far, InstaEats has been involved with assisting the following projects:

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Stockists: Visit InstaEats here for instructions on how to sign up

Expect to pay: A free service

M4Jam helps spaza shops feed the community 

M4Jam is using informal spaza shops to facilitate distribution of food parcels to  those in need during the lockdown period.

M4Jam has announced that any registered jobbers – those who have signed onto the platform to find temporary micro-jobs in return for cash and airtime products – can be signed up to receive hampers of essential items.

Having direct access to spaza shops throughout South Africa, M4Jam engages with the spaza owners via their app and uses them as assembly and distribution points. Not only does this aid in feeding the people in need, but the spaza owners, who facilitate this from end to end, can make money and continue business operations in the communities.

According to M4Jam, each hamper includes sanitary and hygiene products like toilet paper and soap, as well as a variety of edible products such as maize meal, cooking oil, rice, instant noodles, canned foods, salt and sugar. The total hamper value through the average spaza shop amounts to around R300.

How it works 

The process for the applicants is straightforward and conducted entirely via the M4Jam platform. Members of the community complete a survey via the app to apply for the food parcel. The survey also doubles up as training in order to upskill the applicant at the same time. At the end of each day the spaza owners enter the number of hampers they need for the following day.

M4Jam then notifies and directs the successful applicants to their nearest spaza store for collection. This system supports government’s lockdown safety regulations.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Stockists: Visit the M4Jam website here for more information and details on how to download and complete the survey. Organisations wanting to make a contribution towards M4Jam’s food hamper project can send their details to the following e-mail: angelam@m4jam.com.

Expect to pay: A free service

COVID19 4Health

4Sight AccTech has launched COVID19 4Health, a cloud-based app to enable organisations of all sizes to monitor employees, contractors and visitors in relation to COVID-19, both at their work premises and remote workplaces, in order to help them comply with government regulations.

The app is fully automated and provides a comprehensive screening and attendance system that can be implemented within 24 hours. It allows for capturing health information from all visitors and remote workers, with a full reporting system.

According to the company, the app was developed in just 10 days, using its in-house workflow automation software, ModernFlow, to provide organisations with an easy-to-use yet robust compliance tool. The app’s workflow is based on two scenarios, one to monitor the health of employees, contractors or visitors seeking to enter company premises, and one for remote workers to log their health details. Organisations have the option to integrate it into their HR system so that the health information is automatically updated on employee records. 

Because the app is cloud-based and hosted on Microsoft Azure, it requires no physical hosting infrastructure, can be deployed rapidly and is highly secure. It can also be updated easily.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Stockists: Those interested need to watch one of the Covid19 4Health App Webinars available here.

Expect to pay: The COVID19 4Health App is available on a subscription basis, with pricing starting at R2,850 per month for an organisation with up to 50 employees. The pricing reduces as the number of employees increases. For a large company, the price works out at around R7 per employee per month.

D6 School Communicator

The Department of Basic Education may extend the break from schooling and adopt a phased-in approach until July, which means that many children will not have access for a while to the formal education they’re used to. This makes it even more critical for parents and students to be aware of developments at their schools while the education system navigates a way around the rest of the schooling calendar.  

The D6 School Communicator app promises to enable better school-parent communication. As a parent, one can easily stay in touch with the school with just a few app swipes. The D6 School Communicator, now in the Huawei AppGallery, provides a channel for homework, news, events, as well as other resources.

In addition, staying at home does not have to be a boredom sentence for children, nor does it mean they have to sacrifice learning entirely. It’s  important to keep the younger ones’ minds engaged and so the Huawei AppGallery has a variety of children’s apps that will keep them entertained, while also learning. 

Platform: Huawei smartphones and tablets

Stockists:  Can be downloaded from the Huawei AppGallery

Expect to pay: A free download

Cartoon Network GameBox

To keep children entertained at home, Cartoon Network has introduced GameBox – a virtual toy box that includes a variety of web games. 

Cartoon Network GameBox provides fans with all their favourite web games in one free app. From Ben 10 to The Amazing World of Gumball, Apple and Onion and Teen Titans Go!, the catalogue of games available to play ranges from action and adventure to puzzles and racing.

Games will be interspersed with animation and tappable on-screen ‘toys’, encouraging kids to explore the rich environment within the app. In addition to many fan-favourite Cartoon Network games, new games are added regularly.

Once installed, Cartoon Network GameBox allows users to ‘like’ and download their favourite games onto their device, so they can play offline when there’s no Wi-Fi, or limited bandwidth. 

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: The app can be downloaded from the following links. For Apple devices visit the App Store and for Android devices visit Google Play.

Expect to pay: A free download with no in-app purchases.

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