Help Delhi's Poorest Earn a Dignified Living
Through its LiftUP Project , Upaya Social Ventures is working with a Delhi-based company that helps area slum dwellers build skills and find dignified work as cleaners, cooks, doormen, and caretakers for local families and businesses. Living in makeshift homes and struggling to meet their basic needs, these prospective employees undergo a 15-day skill-building workshop for a specific role after which they are placed with an employer based on a match of their individual preferences and available openings. Once placed, the company is able to guarantee the employee receives stable wages that will be paid on time, has help setting up a savings account, and will be enrolled in a health insurance program as part of their employment.
$250 is all it costs to create a job, and that job can create as much as $10,000 in additional income in the coming years. Better yet, the first $10,000 contributed to any Upaya project listed on jolkona.org before Dec. 31, 2012 will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to a generous contribution from the Skees Family Foundation.
Life in Ultra Poverty
As the 1.4 billion people globally living on less than $1.25 a day, the ultra poor lead lives that are marked by highly variable and volatile circumstances in which they struggle daily to find stable shelter, basic amenities, treatment for poor health, and adequate food and water. For the ultra poor, irregular income is the single largest hurdle to creating positive change in their lives.
For families already struggling to meet their basic needs, a stable job represents a pathway out of a harrowing existence and allows them to make investments in their futures. Knowing where tomorrow's meals will come from, ultra poor households can make investments in shelter, treatment for long-term health problems, education, and emergency savings to protect against future shocks.
The Challenge of Finding Service Work in Delhi
With weak enforcement of domestic labor laws in India, service workers like housekeepers and cooks are often paid inconsistently and well below the established minimum wage, receive no additional benefits for their work, and are commonly subject to abuse.
At the same time, potential domestic employers struggle to find reliable help with adequate skills in the massive – and massively unorganized – labor market for this type of work. And for companies, the challenge of sourcing and managing large janitorial and security staff can be a distraction and, as a result, is usually done haphazardly. However, with a trusted and self-sustaining intermediary in place, the service labor industry can realize its potential of providing long-term, dignified employment.
About Upaya Social Ventures
Partner since June, 2011
Upaya Social Ventures builds businesses that will create jobs and improve the quality of life for households living on less than $1.25 a day. Upaya’s flagship program, the Life-changing Interventions for the Ultra Poor (LiftUP) Project, is a 24-36 month accelerator program that provides early-stage entrepreneurs with technical assistance and financial resources to launch and scale their businesses in a way that creates dignified employment opportunities for the “ultra poor.” With a presence in both India and the U.S., the Upaya team has over 20 years of experience in developing effective interventions for the world’s poorest populations. Upaya Social Ventures is a fiscally sponsored project of the Jolkona Foundation. Upaya does not have its own 501(c)(3) status and Jolkona Foundation retains full discretion and control over donated funds. For more information, please visit the Fiscal Sponsorship page listed below.
For more information, please visit www.upayasv.com.