Samasource’s 4th Annual Gala Raises Funds to Scale Microwork in Underemployed Regions
By: Julie Vennewitz-Pierce
Today four billion people worldwide live on less than $3 a day and have no access to formal work. Our partners at Samasource believe that access to dignified work is a fundamental human right and a necessity in order to fight poverty at its roots. With the goal of providing life-changing work to more than 4,000 women and youth globally in 2012, Samasource utilized its 4th Annual Give Work Gala as a platform to raise funds towards its $1 million goal.
We had the honor of attending this year’s gala, earlier this month, alongside other Samasource partners and supporters such as The California Endowment, the Ford Foundaiton and the Rockefeller Foundation. Attendees of the gala bid on unique experiences and trips during the event’s live auction, helping to raise more than $800,000 in just one remarkable night.
In addition, for the first time, Samasource chose to recognize one of their supporters at this year’s gala with an award. And we are thrilled to announce that eBay was chosen as recipients of Samasources’ 2012 Client Award. We were selected from a wonderful group of supporters and funders and are honored to have received the recognition for our on-going partnership with the organization.
Our partnership with Samasource is twofold: first, we’re a fundraising partner directing $350,000 in grant money to their cause, to date; and second, we’re a strategic business partner with our catalog team hiring Samasource to employ their network of highly trained individuals to manage data projects, as part of Samasource’s microwork model.
To date, Samasource has paid and trained nearly 3,000 individuals and disbursed more than $2 million in wages to women and youth in marginalized communities. As Samasource founder Leila Janah explained, “I believe there is no other way to create decent livelihoods for the world’s poorest people than to connect them to global markets as producers, and on fair terms.”
By connecting the unemployed with microwork – low-end digital work parsed from larger projects – Samasource is enabling fast-growing industry development in highly underemployed regions. Through this model, Samasource creates opportunities for dignified formal-sector jobs in low-infrastructure and low-income regions.
Janah belives that microwork could be the “next big thing in the development world” with the potential to generate a movement similar to that of microfinance. With a staggering surplus of unemployed youth throughout developing regions – as high as 40 percent in Kenya – there is an extreme demand for stable, fair wages. Janah believes employment is currently the number one priority for governments all around the world and Samasource has developed an innovative way to answer the call by spurring job growth despite lack of traditional industries or infrastructure.
We are pleased to be recognized by Samasource for our continued support of its unique microwork model and look forward to continuing our partnership with the organization as they drive toward their next goal to pay and train more than 20,000 workers by 2015 We believe the work done by Samasource is one of the most inspiring solutions to global poverty, and we will continue to support their efforts as they scale their reach.