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Book with Carebnb and donate to fight Ebola

Howard Lake | 25 October 2014 | News

Carebnb is a new online campaign designed to raise funds for the fight against Ebola in West Africa. With a nod to online accommodation service Airbnb, the site invites you to ‘book a night’ in one of Carebnb’s hosted ‘secluded retreat’ accommodations in one of five countries which, although not immediately evident, have witnessed Ebola outbreaks or treatment.
Visitors to Carebnb are enticed by beautiful imagery and the sense of luxury in places such as ‘Beautiful Liberia’, ‘Maria’s place in Madrid, Spain,’ to ‘Texas’ and ‘Sierra Leone’.

Accommodation, but not what you expect

When they visit their selected destination they will find that all is not as it seems. Their host will be wearing protective clothing. If they visit one of the West African locations they will find themselves in tented accommodation, with full details on the conditions that victims of Ebola have to face.
Amenities, for example, stretch only as far as a bucket, toilet paper, mattress and water. There are three bathrooms, 150 beds, space for 300, and just one room – the medical tent.
The information is presented just like an accommodation listing. For example, Kenema, Sierra Leone, has “No public transport, limited transit”. The venue is described thus:

“Located on the outskirts of Kenema, this treatment centre is difficult to reach and behind extensive fencing designed to keep increasing numbers of Ebola victims and angry mobs at bay”.


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The accommodation has seven reviews. Onyekachi writes:

“The centre is almost impossible to check in to. The first time I came, I was sent home. Now my whole family is ill and our community have forced us to leave. We haven’t been admitted to the isolation tent and the holding tent is full of other people who are ill.”

Carebnb's Guinea listing
By contrast, if you choose to ‘visit’ Texas or Madrid you will find far better conditions. The Dallas hospital has 898 beds and 898 bedrooms. Amenities stretch to air conditioning, pets allowed, gym, hair-dryer, parking on site, swimming pool and free wifi.
Carebnb's Texas listing
The point is well made.
Each ‘accommodation’ page includes a donation function, where you can donate to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), a leading charity combating the virus. In effect, you are booking a night of care and treatment on behalf of someone affected by the virus in West Africa. 100% of donations are passed by Carebnb to MSF.

The team behind Carebnb

Carebnb has been created by social entrepreneurs Matthias Metternich and William Cookson, who also run the online giving platform Believe.in.
Site creator, Matthias Metternich, explained:

“We’ve used our skills to build several for-profit products and services that disrupt or innovate things, but it’s not everyday that you can apply these skills to make a difference and even help save the world. Rather than donate $100, we challenged ourselves to apply the tools we have to create something with the potential to capture imaginations and rally people toward a common goal globally. We’re thrilled to see Carebnb take off the way it has and proud to prove that small ideas born from behind a desk can change lives in places far from home.”

The information presented is based on quotes from genuine interview material.