Freelancer Job Opportunity Center in Gaza

Freelancer Job Opportunity Center in Gaza: Freelancers Center

Gaza, Palestinian TerritoryGaza, Palestinian Territory
Year Founded:
2016
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

What if you could choose between two shirts: one laden with hundreds of toxins and requiring enormous energy OR one made with very few chemicals and required very little energy to come into existence. The first one keeps millions of people in poverty; the second could raise people out of poverty.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if a pre-industrial-era craft helps fashion reverse it's devastating effect on people as well as planet? What if going back in time is the future?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The recent 2008 global economic crisis caused an alarming increase in unemployment rate. Despite the huge worldwide recovery, it is still a significant issue in Gaza. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Report, "In the Gaza Strip, unemployment rate of total youth aging over 15 years old increased from 38.5% to 40.8% in the first quarter of 2014”. The issue of youth unemployment in Gaza is still increasing in size due to different factors, such as the Israeli Occupation and blockade, and the lack of government attention to social issues. There is also a lack of international recognition of Gaza as a country, which limits the freelancing work size and the sources of international humanitarian help. One of our members has been a coordinator for youth employment in Gaza, we realize how urgent to address this issue is. We know what the realities are on the ground. Unemployment should be firstly addressed because it is correlated with an increase in the poverty rate which can negatively impact the economy in the long term. Furthermore, it results in brain drain as many well educated youth will try to legally or illegally immigrate to another country in hopes of finding better jobs and a better life. Since the government does not have the power or the possibilities to fulfill youths' wants and needs, Gaza will lose potential leaders who cannot bear living in that miserable reality anymore. Also, unemployment has negative impact on the mental health of youths, leading to more crimes, more drugs, hostility, destruction of social fabric and unrest. There are many challenges facing Palestinian freelancers. First challenge is that paypal is unavailable in Palestine because it is not internationally recognized as a country. Palestinian freelancers cannot use normal debit cards to receive their money. This means that international clients will not able to transfer payments to freelancers in Gaza. Our solution to this problem is to use a Payoneer Card and businesses can deposit funds on it. The Payoneer Card is connected to US bank account therefore online freelancers are able to receive their money from any international clients with ease. The only downside of utilizing the Payoneer Card is that it charges high services fees. In addition, Palestinian freelancers encounter challenges dealing with international clients as some of them may be biased against Palestinians. We hope that we can challenge perceptions through our work. However, there are many of international clients who trusted the work quality of Palestinians and find it cheaper as well.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We believe that online freelancing will provide good solutions to youth unemployment in Gaza. This is where Freelancing Job Opportunities in Gaza (FJOC) steps in. Online freelancing opens regional and international markets to unemployed youth in Gaza rather than being confined to the local market or depending on modest grants from relief projects which is not sustainable. Therefore, it is beneficial to spread freelancing culture amongst a wide range of youth to provide more opportunities of self-employment especially youth who are proficient at graphic design, architecture, translation, video editing, data entry, web development and others. However, our main sectors will be concentrated on: Translation, Information Technology, and journalism to help youth develop their skills of freelancing and be able to cover their livelihood costs. The Freelancing Job Opportunities Center in Gaza (FJOC) will provide the following services: 1. Providing places equipped with computers and internet for people who suffer from power outage. 2. Providing mentors in each skill areas to train freelancers on tendering and winning bids. 3. Training workshops to facilitate freelancers on how to apply for tests and join committees on freelancer websites. Inputs ● What we invest: Staff, volunteers, mentorship, training, time, money, research base, equipment, materials, technology, and partners. Outputs for pilot project ● 33 freelancers benefit from facilities in our center (e.g. internet access, reliable electricity). ● 33 participants receive one training course in English language and another freelancing one. ● 2 companies benefit from lease options for our center. ● Who we reach: Participants (trainees/freelancers), clients, agencies, decision makers, customers, satisfaction.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

For instance, one of our team members have met a web designer who works as a freelancer; he passed many tests and an interview with one international online company. After one month, he finally signed a contract with them in $1,000 per week, this amount exceeds the monthly salary of a normal governmental job. This story supports the idea of spreading the culture of online freelancing among youth in order to be able to depend on themselves rather than asking for their pocket money from their parents.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Outcomes Impact ● Short Term: Freelancers gaining knowledge and skills. ● Intermediate Term: Freelancers becoming competitive for bids. ● Long Term: Significantly making freelancers in Gaza self-sufficient, reduce youth unemployment, economic revitalization of community in Gaza.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We have divided the first two years of operations in 4 phases: Start up, first six months, second six months, and the second year of operations. This is a fully funded program. As principal sources of financial aid we have The United States Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) with a grant for US $ 55,305.00; and EuropeAid with a total grant of US$152,000.00. We also are counting on local fundraising events and participant fees for an amount US$ 6,960.00 of . The startup will cost US $ 37,375.00. The first six months of operations will demand resources for a total of US $ 31,850.00. Since we are willing to increase the participation, the second group of new freelancers that will be incorporated on the second half of the year will demand an investment of 51,700.00. The second year will cost US $ 100,300.00.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our program is aimed at unemployed youths in Gaza, who the skills and to be to generate income through online employment as a freelancer. During the first 6 months of implementing the Freelancing Job Opportunities Program (FJOP), we will focus on three main areas: Information Technology, English Language, and Journalism in Gaza Strip. There is a market of 40,000 graduating students from different majors in Gaza. We will only target 33 unemployed skilled youths in the aforementioned three areas during the pilot phase. The number of participants will be doubled and tripled after couple of phases of implementing the program
Team

Founding Story

Our long term goal is to become renowned international organization that will spread the culture of freelancing to promote youth empowerment at undeveloped countries. We aim to fulfill the maxim, “a minimum of structure for a maximum of efficacy”. Since we want to scale our model, we will accomplish a short and a medium term goals: Our short term goal is to conduct the pilot program in Gaza. Our medium term goal is to replicate that program during two more years, and then leave the program running while we move to do the same thing in a different country.

Team

Our long term goal is to become renowned international organization that will spread the culture of freelancing to promote youth empowerment at undeveloped countries. We aim to fulfill the maxim, “a minimum of structure for a maximum of efficacy”. Since we want to scale our model, we will accomplish a short and a medium term goals: Our short term goal is to conduct the pilot program in Gaza. Our medium term goal is to replicate that program during two more years, and then leave the program running while we move to do the same thing in a different country. The program will be operated by the founders, and will rely on experts and volunteers as follows: Executive Director: Is the leader of the organization. Will oversee the organization and provide hands-on management for the program. Will also lead the organization through the short, medium and long term goals. The executive director is in charge of fundraising activities and provide reports to donors. Will also coordinate all the legal aspects of the organization. Iman will be the Executive Director. For the short and medium term goals, she is also the “on site leader expert”, and will lead the first steps of the organization dealing with government, permissions, etc. Iman continues her masters in “Youth Development Leadership”; she also worked as youth employment officer at Mercy Corps and well aware of implementing such activities related to freelancers and internships. Iman possess more than 4 years of professional experience with non-government organizations and with sufficient knowledge of Gaza context and people culture. Director of operations: The director of operations is in charge of the coordination of the staff. Will push the different areas to warranty the fulfilment of the program goals. Is also in charge of the recruit, train and maintain the volunteers’ network. Will also be in charge of promoting the program in the news and media creating a culture of freelancing. Barni will be the Director of Operations. Barni studies global studies; she has a good background about Gaza and professional experience in nonprofit-organizations in the US. She has various relationships with people from developing countries especially Somali ones. Barni will have a significant role in demonstrating the expansion plan of the program due to her strong international relationships. Field coordinator: Is in charge of the daily activities of the program. Will ensure that all the requirements needed for the normal functioning of the center are fulfilled. Will conduct field visits to potential partners and service providers. Lucas Aguirre will be the field coordinator. Lucas studies psychology in the US, yet he has significant technical experience in how to manage the center to keep equipment safe and secure. Lucas has good experience in Colombia, South America which has the same issue and same level of livelihood, which will make the implementation the program easier. He will help in adding more creative ideas especially related to the expansion plan of IT expert: Is in charge of the development, maintenance and normal functioning of the computers and internet platforms. Advisors Committee: consists of three professionals in each of the three areas that we are promoting in the freelancers: Journalism, IT, Translation. Pro Bono Consultants: consist by 3 experts on the social and cultural issues for each country. Will vary depending on the country.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Supplier - contractor, Other [please specify].

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Technologists, Women, Youth, Other [please specify].

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Finance, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Recycling or Circular Economy, Other, [please specify].

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Training, Technology.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?

no

If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

Economic development, Energy, Poverty alleviation, Sustainable development, Youth development, Youth leadership.

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Yes, by making a change to the lives of Gaza youth through using renewable resources, other change makers will be inspired.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

We also hope to collaborate or partner with organizations such as Mercy Corps to utilize their expertise & strong human capital