December 2, 2022
John Oliver Coffey

Giving thanks, and giving back to Cali

Today is Thanksgiving in the US.

We are extremely grateful to our clients and our team, and especially for the team’s support for our work in the community of Cali since 2007.

Here’s a brief summary of what we have contributed to and accomplished:

Casita de Belen

‘Casita’ is a well-known non-profit institution in Cali that protects and educates children ages 3 to 12 years of age. Attention and professional care are given to infants and children who have either been abandoned by their parents or are considered at risk in the community. NetMidas supported ‘Casita’ for several years with technical support as well as gifts and resources for the kids around Christmas.

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Calidev - the tech scene in Cali is fragmented with little collaborative activity in the community. As one of the founding members of Calidev about 10 years ago, we ran several events to present and discuss technology topics (eg. Big Data, Ecommerce, Cyber Security) and offer a space for people to network and learn. Community grew to over 600 of people and was actively supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Cali.

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Pandemic Food Kitchens

The pandemic caused real hunger as well as other social problems in Cali, that continue to reverberate. We focused our support on two communities in Bellavista and El Mortiñal, and raised money and material donations from friends, family and neighbors that help feed over 150 people per day. We bought industrial stoves and cooking materials, financed improvements and sanitation, and we connected women entrepreneurs to training programs at la Fundación WWB de Colombia.

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I launched this fundación with two friends 4 years ago to improve quality of life in Cali. Initiatives focus around the use of civic data, initially to understand crime rates (homicides decreased every single year from 2013 to 2019 yet nobody believes it). For the current initiative Tángara we are installing 100 low cost air quality sensors, report on contamination levels in real time and make the data publicly available to researchers, media, students and community leaders. This is environmental activism; we want to understand the social and economic costs of bad air In Cali; we already know that mortality rates associated with bad air in Cali are twice as high as the homicide rate! We now have 25 sensors, over 60 volunteers and the collaboration of the city administration. Our challenge is to make this project financially sustainable, and our plan is to spin up a small consulting company that will offer this service to other cities.

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Giving back is something that we do actively as a company and we feel strongly about this. I’m grateful to the Netmidas team (past and present) for their time and efforts to help those in most need in our home city. Let’s raise the boat for everyone.

If this resonates with you and you want to support what we do for Cali, then please get in touch.


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