We love to answer questions at Gather. We have listed the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.
1. Why focus on sanitation?
We launched last year with a vision to become the world’s best provider of toilets. Why toilets? For the glamour of course! Really it’s because toilets change everything. Cities simply cannot thrive without sanitation: without it children get sick, girls drop out of school when they start their periods, households cannot work and communities become dangerously polluted. And by 2022, three billion people will be living in cities without access to proper sanitation. We wanted to become the world’s best toilet provider so that we could change as many lives - and as many cities - as possible.
2. Why start in Nairobi?
Nairobi has been called the “Silicon Valley of shit” for a good reason. It is a hub of innovation and is the home of several pioneering sanitation providers who are testing new ways to bring proper sanitation to people living in slums. Kenya’s sanitation institutions are also often looked to as thought leaders for the rest of East Africa. Nairobi is an incredibly exciting place for sanitation, and we think it is the perfect place to be launching our platform.
3. What is 'proper' or 'acceptable' sanitation?
When we talk about proper or acceptable sanitation we mean three key things:
1) The waste is stored, collected and processed safely so that it doesn't become a health hazard
2) The toilet meets the needs and aspirations of the people using it
3) The sanitation meets the guidelines set out by the Joint Monitoring Programme and Sustainable Development Goal 6.2.
To find our more about these definitions, read our upcoming blog post.
4. How is Gather funded?
Gather is funded by a growing group of generous philanthropists. Each donor has committed to supporting Gather for three years and their donations cover our core costs. Our donors give far more than just finance though. They are committed to Gather’s vision, and we benefit hugely from their expertise, advice and networks. If you are interested in joining this group, find out more here.
5. Who are Gather's other supporters?
In 2016, Gather received more than £9,000 of donations-in-kind. From desk space to legal advice to our beautiful branding, Gather has benefited from the generosity of organisations willing to support us in our early years! Desk space in London is always premium. This is why we are incredibly grateful to BCM who housed Gather for our first year. We have since moved into the Geovation Hub, a project of the Ordnance Survey. As members of the Hub we have free desk space and are surrounded by some of the most innovative, exciting new companies using location data.
6. Why do you have a Panel of Expert Advisors?
When we launched Gather we wanted our strategy to be shaped by expertise, experience and enthusiasm. Each advisor fulfills this criteria. Their support has been invaluable, and their industry-leading reputations adds weight to Gather's mission. You can find out more about our Panel here.
7. Who governs Gather?
As a Company Limited by Guarantee and registered Charity, Gather is governed by a Board of Trustees. Our Chair is Andrew Riley, and he is supported by Adam James and Iain Fletcher. Our Board bring their multidisciplinary experience, enthusiasm and networks to Gather.