The Covid-19 pandemic has cost millions of people their jobs. Hunger and poverty has skyrocketed, mental health issues are exploding and people get less help due to scarcity of resources and limited movements. During this nerve wrecking crisis, I have been forced to work remotely with my team, unfortunately we couldn't afford the steep price and 40 minutes time limitations of using zoom free. So we decided to build our own video collaborating app to help us save cost. After searching for weeks for hosting providers that won't hurt our meager pockets, we decided to go with AWS. Fortunately, AWS has this 1 year free tier that allows us to host and develop our solutions freely for up to 12 months. It's crazy I know. How did they know we need them badly? Well thanks to Mr. Jeff Bezos, Its our best gift yet during this catastrophic pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 people globally and evaporated many economies especially in Nigeria.
Nonprofits are usually the first responders in crisis like these and come to aid under-served or poor people. Now they too are heartbreakingly haemorrhaging funds, caused by cancelled annual events, disappearing earned revenue, or dwindling donations due to limited movements and communications as the COVID-19 pandemics obliterates global economies and keeps people and money isolated. The rate of Mental Health issues has surged to an outrageous rate leading to many social vices like domestic violence, rape, robberies and other human rights violations. For example, In Nigeria, the word "mental" is synonymous to "Madness" so the stigma around mental health issues prevent people from talking about them or seeking help thereby escalating the issues to an alarming rate due to the pandemic.
Nonprofits can leverage Anonifi to securely and safely tackle these issues while providing tremendous privacy for beneficiaries to avoid stigma associated with mental health issues. They can also use Anonifi to carry out virtual events and meetings simultaneously without limitation to talk time or hurting their wallets further by paying for expensive services that charge $199.9/month for 10 directors/persons to host meetings.
What it does
Basically, Anonifi is a free app the helps people and organizations make secure and unlimited video and audio conference calls and collaborate with a group of people via an end-to-end encryption and no-meeting-recording to ensure 100% privacy, safety and security.
How I built it
My team and I built Anonifi on Android Studio with Kotlin for the client application, Firebase for analytics and deployed Jitsi as backend on AWS EC2 (Encrypted EBS) to ensure that all communications are end-to-end encrypted via DTLS-SRTP with Jitsi.
Challenges I ran into
Collaborating remotely was very hard until we had Anonifi. Finding a host that was flexible, reliable and inexpensive was a nightmare until we found AWS.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Since finding AWS, we have deployed many solutions that have kept us and our clients above water during this devastating pandemic.
What I learned
Collaboration and trust is crucial for survival. Innovation and access is paramount for growth. Knowledge and intelligent decisions are the difference between living and dying. Capital and people is a crucial facilitator. We need them all to succeed.
What's next for Anonifi
We intend to add more productive features like payment gateways for fundraising, whiteboard for live presentations, marketplace to allow nonprofits monetize their contents, language translation, speech recognition and text-to-speech for the physically challenged to communicate virtually etc.