Together with his team members, Bilesh will continue to run and grow Charity Map – a crowd-funding platform that facilitates donations to orphanages and other social organizations across Vietnam in order to help address the funding challenges that many of them face. As the recipient of the 2013-2014 Carriebright, Bilesh will grow the company based on the principles of rigorous orphanage assessment and reliable information for donors. He will continue to recruit and train more volunteers to conduct these assessments and garner donations from countries including, but not limited to, Vietnam, US and Singapore.
From Charity Map's launch to April 2014, the team completed three fundraising campaigns for social organizations that: sent food and gifts to 250 orphans in Binh Thuan province for Lunar New Year; taught dental hygiene and distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste to 300 children in Ho Chi Minh City; and distributed 40 pairs of shoes to orphans in HCMC.
Beyond this, nine other organizations are working with the team to draft campaign pages. Earlier stages of the pipeline are also healthy with over fifteen additional organizations expressing an interest in Charity Map’s activities. The momentum continues as Bilesh and his team aim to reach 20 local organizations to help them raise money for campaigns that support orphans and orphanages in Vietnam.
Bilesh first went to Vietnam in 2010, when he took a Princeton Global Seminar in Hanoi. He subsequently wrote his thesis on the Vietnamese economy. After graduation, he spent a year teaching English at Can Tho University in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. While there, he managed an orphan education program set up by Dan White (Carrie Fellow ’05). He also ran a crowd-funding campaign to raise funds for Wes Hedden’s (Carrie Fellow ’10) Sarus program. Both these experiences played a vital role in helping him found Charity Map.