Two San Francisco-based startups — Samasource and CrowdFlower — today released a free iPhone application in the iTunes App Store called Give Work that lets you spend a few seconds of your time helping Kenyan refugees earn money, and in turn, improve their quality of life. An fbFund startup, Samasource is a non-profit that provides tech work for women, youth and refugees in countries such as Kenya and Pakistan. CrowdFlower, meanwhile, pairs businesses with pools of workers from such regions who can complete simple tasks that a computer can’t, such as removing spam from a company blog.
Since CrowdFlower requires such tasks to be validated by a third party before the worker in question is paid, the two upstarts created an app that enables iPhone users to quickly and easily fill that third-party role. For example, one of the tasks prompts you to read a tweet and decide whether it’s a positive or negative statement.
Once you mark your answer, it will be used to verify the judgment made by a Kenyan refugee. Sometimes tweets are misunderstood because of American slang, according to CrowdFlower CEO Lukas Biewald, so your contribution helps the refugees produce high-quality results despite cultural differences.
And for each task you complete, you earn a point that translates into cash for the refugees. According to the app, just five points can help them earn enough money to buy vegetables, while 500 points will let them pay for a cell phone data plan for a week, giving them Internet access.