Project Up Network
The world is more connected today than ever before. It has never been easier to build and access networks and secure partnerships across boundaries. But people are struggling to connect to the job market due to the skill gap in the market demand and supply. There are more than 200 million unemployed people across the world as we speak. Isn’t that a terrible waste of potential, talent and a personal tragedy for so many people?
The Up Network is a multi-sectoral initiative that tackles the problems of under and unemployment by leveraging the power of connectivity and networks to empower local actors. We tackle the problem globally and locally, at the same time. We match people with high-quality vocational training, global solutions with local problems, employers with young talent, solutions to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to market . Our approach is both market and community driven. The network empowers people to be economically independent, while addressing the needs of the community.
Orlando, a young, dynamic, farsighted, inquisitive individual, in a nutshell, possessing all the qualities expected of an Up Network fellow, joined our network when we started. He was amongst the first few to sign up for the testing phase of our initiative. Orlando used to cut and sell bamboo from the rainforests of Mata Atlantica in Brazil. Like 10,000 other residents of the small town of Santo Antonio, he was also earning enough for a few loaves of bread and meat. Not shunning the physical labor Orlando used to put into his work, it was still a lot that he could have done with his life, in fact, he so wanted to. A channel, a platform, a guiding light, and a place to dig were the only elements missing in his milieu. He already had the hoe, shovel and spade, and like him millions around the world have them ready, sharpening them everyday, just not knowing the right place to hit them to use. One of our Up Sites, Sinal do Vale, saw this plight, not out of sympathy or empathy but sheer motivation to set example for hundreds like him in that small town.
Well, then Up Network gave Sinal the premise to back on while Orlando gave his confidence in, both of which anabolically created a partnership which could only go further. The frog was already out of the well and needed exploring, which is when he met another frog in one of Up Network’s matching meetings. The other inquisitive being was Amon, a man from a small manufacturing company called ‘Zebu’. Zebu specialises in manufacturing eco-friendly communication materials like business cards, flyers, pamphlets etc using just bamboo and organic ink. It has been 6 months now, a lot has changed, and unsurprisingly, everything has been favourable and promising. Up until the partnership, Zebu lacked raw materials, supply and labour while the young individual turned ambitious entrepreneur Orlando lacked access to bigger market and newer technologies. Thanks to Up Network and Sinal do Vale, Orlando now employs a whopping 10 young individuals in his new company which ensures constant bamboo supply for Zebu at profitable rates, while Zebu can be sure of quality raw materials and timely delivery through Orlando. Their partnership has also been benefited from the Australian Embassy in Brazil’s direct aid program to set up new machinery and workplace for the two. Now, this is what we call a successful matching.
We are all in this together. Help us to change the world.