Oct 20, 2023
It was a quiet weeknight in late May when Brooklyn, New York-based web3 professional Tiffany Stewart found herself lured by an Instagram feed headline that she couldn’t scroll past. She retreated to the comments section discourse where a reply to a popular comment caught her eye — an account for an orphanage in Uganda, striving to be widely seen, was asking for help.
Clicking through to their profile, Tiffany dropped Dasom Ministries Orphanage $100 via their PayPal link and expected that to be the end of it. Instead, it wasn’t long before the account owner Joel Muwonge appeared in Tiffany’s inbox to say “thank you,” and the two cross-continental entrepreneurs began chatting and developing a friendship.
It could be universally noted how the most significant moments — the ones we attribute to fate, when paths cross and worlds collide — tend to spring up in the most unassuming of ways. The meeting of Tiffany and Joel was no different.
Joel, in serious need of financial support to sustain the 17 registered orphans at Dasom and his surrounding needy community, was happy to share photos to confirm his legitimacy, and Tiffany, looking to expand her philanthropic contributions, was keen to continue supporting her new friend and his virtuous mission. She went on to begin funding Dasom’s basic living expenses, like food, medicine, and clothing, as well as the land (and its associated debts) that the orphanage sits on.
Never one to rest on her laurels, it was only a month after their initial exchange when expansion-minded Tiffany intuited the answer to the looming question on her mind: “What can we do next?”
As fate would have it, the various pieces of this emerging puzzle effortlessly fit together:
Tiffany, a seasoned web3 design lead with an affinity for entrepreneurship was ready to branch out beyond her current workplace, utility-based blockchain network Stellar;
The necessary tools to bring her ideas to life, like MidJourney and Manifold, appeared on the scene;
An established career and pool of resources provided the means to bootstrap a project without investors;
And a looming feeling of responsibility and drive to help those in less fortunate circumstances all collaborated to create the perfect conditions for Umoja to spring to life.
Officially founded as an LLC on August 4, 2023, the Umoja Foundation leverages web3 technologies for real-world, do-good output. With our debut charity NFT collection minting at the ETH equivalent of an accessible yet impactful $50 USD, Umoja is reimagining NFTs for the real world and redefining philanthropy. Proceeds from the natural lifecycle of each NFT (initial sale and royalties from all subsequent resales) create a continuous funnel of humanitarian aid for critical resources, education, and expansion efforts.
With the boundless possibilities of web3 and the visions to concretize its potential, Umoja’s future is optimistic. Tiffany has her sights set on expansion throughout Africa and beyond, noting that Dasom Ministries Orphanage is a place to start but by no means our end game. Umoja’s origin was a matter of kismet. “We didn’t choose Uganda,” Tiffany observes. “Uganda found us.”
Build your social credit: Umoja’s charity NFT collection drops November 28 in celebration of Giving Tuesday, exclusively on Rarible.