Our goal at Esperanca has always been to provide food, clothing and a bit of love to the homeless on the streets of Barcelona. In order to further that goal we have gotten some much-needed technical and marketing help from an outfit called “Charity Makeover” to advance our cause.

Our story began back in November of 2013 when Julia and a few friends came together to make soup and sandwiches for some of Barcelona’s homeless population. Since then our numbers have expanded hugely and we are proud to say that we now have a network of hundreds of volunteers in the city and those volunteers cover two routes, twice a week – Saturday and Sunday nights. On the routes they take out food, including bocadillos, magdalenas, juices, hard boiled eggs, and hot soup and deliver them – along with a friendly word and a little company – to our homeless friends in various parts of Barcelona. 

We are very excited to take Esperanca into the digital sphere by launching our brand new web app that will make it even easier for more people to get involved. 

The first version of the app was created back in November of 2019 at a Charity Makeover hackathon event organized by Sean Tierney and Ben Lakoff. This event is a grassroots movement convergence of doers around the world who come together to build useful digital assets for worthy causes that lack in-house expertise to help themselves. You can read more about that event and the Charity Makeover movement here

Kat led the team for Esperança and worked with her team to sketch out the concept for a responsive mobile app for us. Her Charity Makeover team volunteers came up with the visual identity and structure of the website you see today and subsequent groups fleshed it out with copy, images and videos. Prior to this Esperança had been using a Google Sheet as the means for coordinating our weekly runs. While this process worked it was hugely cumbersome and required a lot of manual intervention from organizers to administrate it. 

Kat and the Esperanca team set out to streamline things and push the weekly run coordination organization efforts into the hands of the volunteers themselves. By the end of that day back in the autumn of 2019 they’d completed a rough prototype of what would later evolve into the app we’re now launching. 

This amazing new interactive tool helps us win back hours of our time each week while making it easier than ever for our volunteers to get involved in whatever capacity they can – from signing up to go on the delivery route on a Saturday night, to making a few dozen hard boiled eggs for a walk, to donating warm winter coats that will go far to making life on the streets a little more comfortable for someone.

Members of Charity Makeover at subsequent hackathons in Bali, Indonesia and via remote virtual participation completely re-wrote the prototyped app from scratch using a nocode tool called Adalo in order to gain more flexibility and agility of being able to quickly respond to changing needs. With development contributions from members of the Bali event and a virtual global Charity Makeover plus various volunteers contributing nights squashing bugs we at long last have a working progressive web app!  What’s truly amazing is Charity Makeover is now modifying the Barcelona application to be able to support not just Barcelona but any city.  Soon it will be possible for anyone to bring Esperanca to his/her town using the app to manage all aspects of recruiting volunteers, coordinating routes, runs, pledges and ensuring the volunteer effort happens smoothly.

The app will enable us to migrate all organisation from the Facebook group into the app, so please join as soon as possible! For now it is a web-based app (which means you won’t find it in the Android or Apple app stores). But you can just access app.esperancabarcelona.com and bookmark the icon on your home screen for easy access, just like you would bookmark a webpage to your homescreen. 

WIth all that being said, we are always looking for new volunteers, so please come join us! We have active groups on. 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/esperancabcn and Instagram https://instagram.com/esperancabcn 

 

About Esperanca

Esperanca is a Barcelona-based charity – a group of volunteers who go out twice a week to give food, clothing and a bit of love to the homeless on the streets of Barcelona. To learn more, get involved, or to speak to the Esperanca team please contact Julia at or visit http://esperancabarcelona.com/.

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