What is Matamata?
Social Enterprise. For-profit, social-driven company. Tech startup. A space of understanding and collaboration between the blind and visually impaired community and sighted people. A town in the Waikato region of New Zealand. A type of turtle from South America.
Matamata has been described as the above, and none of them is wrong. In the Malay language, mata means eye and mata-mata means spy. In this context, Matamata refers to a for-profit, social-driven enterprise that harnesses technology to help the blind and visually impaired community gain independence and inclusivity online.
Matamata focusses on developing tech solutions for accessibility-related challenges faced by blind and visually impaired persons on the web.
How did Matamata begin?
Matamata began as an Image Reader App that was developed during a Microsoft APAC AI for Accessibility Hackathon. During the hackathon, the team was exposed to the accessibility challenges faced by the blind and visually impaired community on the web. Driven by a need to right social injustice, Jasmine and Mee San from the team decided to pursue Matamata as a social-driven enterprise to address accessibility issues faced by the visually impaired community in Malaysia.
What is the freelancing website (Sightgigs)?
The freelancing website called Sightgigs is a platform we at Matamata created to connect visually impaired freelancers to remote job opportunities online. The jobs that we are focusing on are transcription and translation services. However, we will also incorporate opportunities for other freelancing positions. This would depend on the skill set of the freelancers and the market demand for such skills.
At the moment, Sightgigs is still in development. To find out when we launch, follow us on social media.
Is Matamata a charity or non-profit organization?
No. Matamata is a for-profit, social-driven enterprise. We are a for-profit business focusing on social goals, mainly helping the blind and visually impaired community gain independence and inclusivity online.
How is Matamata sustained?
At the moment, Matamata is 100% self-funded. All operational costs are funded by the founders of Matamata. We are in the process of applying for grants. We also welcome sponsorships and donations from individuals and companies. These will be channelled directly into developing the freelancing website (Sightgigs).
Are the founders of Matamata visually impaired?
No. Jasmine and Mee San are not visually impaired. However, we come from a place of empathy and a genuine desire to help. With each day of working and connecting with blind and visually impaired individuals, we understand better how the community view the world.
Is the Image Reader App available for download?
No, we have temporarily stopped working on the Image Reader App to focus our resources on the freelancing website (Sightgigs).
Does Matamata work with NGOs and governmental bodies?
Matamata is not affiliated with any NGOs or governmental bodies. However, we are reaching out to the NGOs in Malaysia to help connect us to the visually impaired community. We are also open for collaboration with the NGOs and governmental bodies to maximize social impact on the visually impaired community.
Does Matamata offer free training and scholarships?
No. As a self-funded tech startup, it is not within our capacity to provide any financial sponsorships or free products and services.
Are donations and gifts to Matamata tax-exempted?
No. As a for-profit social enterprise, donations and gifts that we receive are not eligible for tax-exemption. But 100% of monetary donations from the public are channelled into our projects for the visually impaired community.
I am passionate about Matamata’s work with the visually impaired. Can I work or volunteer with you?
Yes! Presently, we are not hiring permanent staff to work for us. But, we are recruiting passionate and like-minded individuals to join us on a freelancing and voluntary basis. This is to help with the growing load of duties as we expand our team to prepare for the launching of Sightgigs.
Reach out to us to find out more about our available positions. Or tell us how you would like to help!