Humans of leap — Alysha Lobo
Alysha Lobo is the co-founder of CovidAsha. Her team’s work was presented at the 2021 UN General Assembly by Will Cathcart (WhatsApp CEO).
Alysha Lobo grew up in Saudi-Arabia, speaks 6 languages, holds a Master’s degree in English literature, and works in robotics. (She once got a robot to serve wine to the princess of Denmark!) Alysha is the co-founder of CovidAsha — a WhatsApp chatbot that provides real-time information about critical supplies like oxygen and ambulances. CovidAsha was launched on 4 May 2021 and played a critical role during India’s devastating second wave. On 21 September, her team’s work was presented at the UN General Assembly by Will Cathcart (WhatsApp CEO). Alysha is a member of leap.club, and this is her story.
“The more you’re given, the more is expected of you. That’s what I believe. People often ask me why I built CovidAsha, but it really wasn’t me. We were a group of concerned citizens, driven by our passion to help others, who came together as a powerful team. My own passion to do something came from the difficult experiences I’ve had to face myself.
The person you see here today, talking to you about all the wonderful and cool things she does… that’s very different from who I was 10 years ago. At that point, my life had taken a turn for the worse. I didn’t have a job. I had no money in my bank account. My relationship with my family had deteriorated. I’d spent a night at a train station because I had nowhere else to go.
It was so difficult. At some point, I thought it was the end of the road for me and sought to put an end to my misery. But the Universe had a different plan for me, and I made a promise to do good as long as I’m alive. It was a long journey of babysteps from there, but I kept going all the way to where I am today.
In May 2021, exactly 10 years after that day, I was on national television speaking about CovidAsha.
I’m a woman who understands suffering. I trust that one day I’ll be ready to share more about my own journey. It’s taught me what one person’s help can mean in a life. I try to be that person for others wherever I can. CovidAsha gave me the opportunity to help thousands of people and to be a steward leader. That’s who I want to be, and I have my courageous team to thank for helping me become one. I love tech and robotics, and I’m so excited about all the good we can do through it!”