Egypt’s first mobile-based charity auction raised EGP 26,000 for renowned heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub’s tie, which he donated to raise funds for the Aswan Heart Hospital that he founded to treat thousands of cardiac patients for free in the country.
The tie was auctioned by Mazady FelKheir (Auction for Good) – a joint initiative between MegaKheir, TA Telecom’s CSR arm and mobile donations platform, and Mazady, the company’s SMS-based auction service that sells consumer products at 70 percent off their market price.
“Bidders brought the price up to EGP 12,400 in the first 24 hours,” said Mohamed Ezz El-Din, Mazady product manager at TA Telecom.
The famous smiling-hearts patterned tie, which Dr. Yacoub himself bought in a fundraiser for the European Heart for Children, was initially auctioned at EGP 900 in the four-day auction that started last Thursday.
With the second charitable auction underway, Mazady FelKheir is offering the complete sports outfit donated by celebrity soccer player Mohamed Zidan for Ahl Masr Burns Hospital, the first non-profit hospital for the treatment of burn injuries in the Middle East and North Africa.
To join the charitable auction, mobile users need to first make a bid in a text message to 6066, explained Ezz El-Din. The minimum bid per text message is EGP 100 and the maximum is EGP 500. Mazady FelKheir bidders can get the latest auction updates by texting “status” to the same number.
MegaKheir succeeded in raising more than EGP 55 million in donations since its launch in 2010, helping many Egyptian charitable organizations in their battle against heart disease, cancer, poverty, and other critical causes.
The not-for-profit platform raises funds for charities through SMS donations and the MegaKheir App, which users can download from the Apple and Google stores.
“We are constantly striving to create new and innovative ways to harness mobile technology and optimize it for the benefit of charitable and developmental work in Egypt,” said Maissera Ellaithy, MegaKheir product manager at TA Telecom.
Social Media Feedback
Charitable auctions on celebrity items are very common across the world. The idea however is still new to Egypt. Mazady FelKheir generated mixed feedback on social media. Some users hailed the idea as innovative, expressing their support and even bidding in the comments they’ve posted. Others ridiculed the idea, claiming Egypt doesn’t need charity auctions.