Street Source Completes First Year, Changing 23 Lives Forever

Street Kids International (SKI) and its partner Project Concern International (PCI) have completed the recruitment, training and placement phase of the Street Source project. To date, 23 youth in Pune, India participated in the pilot program, 13 have been placed with employers and six are actively seeking employment. All youths were placed through the efforts of PCI. They acquired good jobs in fields such as accounting, data entry, reception, marketing, and call centers and proved their capabilities and intelligence. More than 40 training sessions were completed in spoken English, time management, budgeting, having a positive attitude, job atmosphere, interview skills and resume preparation, so they are capable of performing any type of job. The training and placement process has been reviewed as very positive by all of the parties and many useful recommendations for improvements have been made by the youth, trainers and employers.

Affinity Express Supports Street Source

Participants in the Street Source Program

As the program expands in India and rolls out in the Philippines, SKI is looking for additional companies to participate and commit to hiring two to four successful graduates per year. A financial contribution is not required but important. For example, $50,000 will seed India and the Philippines locations to break even within 30 months.

The program was launched in May of 2010. SKI was responsible for providing a curriculum, program guidance and an initial program assessment. Affinity Express President of Creative Services David Grant, a director with SKI and the founder of Street Source, acted as the project coordinator. Affinity Express has also made a donation to SKI.

The hypothesis of the program is that, with the proper coaching, better than 50% of all slum youth who are still connected to their nuclear family can become valuable employees for established well managed firms. In doing so, these youth will change their lives and the lives of their families forever.

To date, the experience with the first pilot in Pune is proving that the SKI hypothesis is overwhelmingly true.

The Program

With a rigorous screening process, tailored training, and partnerships with companies that commit to hiring graduates, SKI provides motivated youth that are prepared to meet job criteria. Employed graduates are then provided with regular mentoring and support to ensure their continued success.

The world’s leading authority on street youth, SKI partnered with Virlanie Foundation, one of the largest child-caring institutions in Metro Manila, to deliver this program in the Philippines.

Street Source is financially sustainable in the long-term, as each group of employed graduates “pay-it-forward” by returning a percentage of their earnings to fund the program for the next group of youth. The mechanism for doing this is through the use of loans to the student.

The Youth

Ranging from 18 to 25 years of age, interested youth undergo a screening process that includes a written application, one-on-one interview and home visits with family members. Although all youth are unemployed when they enter the program, many have previous work experiences and express a strong motivation to secure stable employment.

Company Partners Benefits

  • Building awareness of the company partner in the local community
  • Providing 50% of the mentoring function for employed graduates through company employees and in parallel with Virlanie
  • Demonstrating leadership in a corporate social responsibility initiative
  • Having access to a motivated, qualified workforce that has been screened and trained to match the needs of their business
  • Getting media exposure from promotion of success stories
  • Becoming part of a group of innovative, energetic companies
  • Making tax deductible contributions

Company Partners

Street Source company partners include: Affinity Express, Cummins Engine, Indian Magic Eye, Spyder Systems, Eureka Forbes LTD, Flower Shop, Spyder Systems, Ayarn Imagine and Business Consultant Pvt. Ltd., Creative Engineering, UNITY Gauge and Tool Co., Chanakya Agencies, Ayarn Imagine and Business Consultant Pvt. Ltd.

Participation

If your business is interested in partnering with Street Source to bring opportunity to young people please contact us at: streetsource.program@gmail.com or +63 2 895 3460.

The Future

Looking forward, the goal is to train 60 youths in year two. SKI is setting up a formal, self-funding system set up from a legal/accounting perspective with a financial institution. Cummins provided a big vote of confidence by committing to another year of funding and the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) signed up thanks to the hard work of Fred Ayala, CEO of LiveIt Investments, Ltd., the company that owns Affinity Express.

In addition to the training and placement of the first several youth, further reinforcement for the Street Source program came recently from Poor Economics: a Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. In this book, the authors note that it is a mistake to equate poverty and dependency. It is equally incorrect to believe the poor will lift themselves up by their bootstraps. The authors disagree with business gurus and philanthropists who project their own enthusiasm for entrepreneurship onto the poor. Yes, it is true that the poor are more likely to run their own businesses than the rest of us. But that is because they have no other choice. Most of them aspire to government posts or factory jobs. The authors believe developing countries are not full of billions of budding entrepreneurs; they are full of billions of budding salaried workers. Street Source is providing the skills and support for youth in developing countries to acquire and produce in these kinds of jobs.

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

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