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Careerbox – Transforming Lives of African Youth and Their Families

GISA 2021 Influencer Award Winner

Careerbox – Transforming Lives of African Youth and Their Families

 

For Luyanda Gumede and Nontobeko Majozi, providing for their families is one of the greatest rewards of having gained digitally-enabled jobs in South Africa’s largest international contact center providing outsourced customer contact services.

These talented young Africans from underprivileged townships are grateful for the life-changing opportunities not only for themselves but for others they support that has been made possible through the job training and placement services provided by Careerbox that helped them secure jobs at its subsidiary, CCI.

Careerbox, a non-profit company, was recognized at OWS21 by IAOP and the Rockefeller Foundation for its influence in promoting the benefits of Impact Sourcing and having placed over 35,000 previously disadvantaged and unemployed youth and women into permanent jobs with sustainable income. For Careerbox’s video acceptance remarks on receiving the Global Impact Sourcing Award (GISA) in the Influencer category, click here. 

Gumede, a father of two, worked in construction before coming to Careerbox and his outlook seemed bleak.  “If you work with the shovel, you’ll work with the shovel for the rest of your life,” he says. “You do your job and work hard and there’s still no bread on the table.”

As the sole provider for his family, he heard about Careerbox from friends and applied for the training program that has changed his life and given him new self-assuredness and a career path as a team leader.   

“If you are unemployed, your confidence level is very low,” Gumedes shares. “If you don’t have money in your pocket, you can never be confident to do anything. If you come to Careerbox, they will offer you that opportunity and they will train you and offer you a job. You will be valuable to society and there will be more business for the country as well. From now on, I think I can do anything.” 

At the age of 18, Majozi helps to support her mother and two brothers as a call center agent at CCI. The job takes the pressure off her mother to fully support the family on her pension and allows her to buy extras like clothes she loves to wear and electricity for her house.

“Careerbox helping me find a job is the best thing that has happened to me in a while,” she says. “If I could put it in words I would. I have a dream and that dream is to take care of my mother. That’s the only thing that motivates me. That’s the only thing I need. I want to take care of her like she took care of me. Thanks to Careerbox, I’m one step closer to achieving that goal.” 

Far-Reaching Impact

From its impact surveys, CareerBox has found for the one job it places for young people between the ages of 18 to 35 like Gumede and Majozi, four family members rise above the poverty line.

Since its inception eight years ago, the organization has placed around 35,619 unemployed and previously disadvantaged candidates into permanent jobs with a sustainable income proving to have a positive impact of 142,000 lives being changed in and around the local communities. Of those placed, 66 percent were unemployed females.

As a result of its incredibly positive results, Careerbox has now set a target to positively alter the realities of one million Africans across the continent through similar initiatives.

“At Careerbox our focus is not just the future of a single individual, but the multiplier effect we can create in their entire community,” explains Managing Director Lizelle Strydom. “We believe that if you can prepare a young person to invest in their own future, you will inspire their entrepreneurial spirit and they will continue to build on their career and personal achievements which could potentially create thousands of jobs for others around them.”

The organization's efforts toward youth development through education have seen it being named a Mandela Legacy career program of choice, as well as being selected as a grantee of the Digital Jobs Africa initiative, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Impact Sourcing equips disadvantaged demographics and long-term unemployed with skills to fill existing, sustainable vacancies which are sourced through a corporate partner network. The Careerbox model prepares youth and women to engage in earn-while-you-learn programs and learnerships with a job opportunity outcome at the end. The strategy encourages intentional hiring of workers from disadvantaged communities who have fewer career prospects for sustainable jobs.

Successful partner initiatives like the collaboration with Intel in the She Will Connect program allowed Careerbox to contribute to developing the digital literacy of millions of women across Africa. Through the program, Intel has focused on connecting more women to the Internet and to basic technology skills so they can access information and new economic and social opportunities.

This approach is informed by, and closely aligned to, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty, encouraging gender equality and economic growth, and creating partnerships across the public and private lines.

These values and initiatives have attracted local and international partners from across telecoms, multimedia, and financial services, and drawn praise from a diverse network of admirers including former Miss South Africa Tatum Keshwar.

“Careerbox drives the Impact Sourcing work to help change lives and restore dignity to African communities,” Strydom concludes. “That dignity inspires confidence, which is the primary missing ingredient we see among many thousands of our youth. We are grateful to be recognized by IAOP for our work and will use this as a platform to amplify this message and impact more lives.”

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