How JUMP is Empowering Overlooked Communities
In 2023, five subgrantees have been selected as a result, which is why AVPN, along with MYSC, are creating an impact series that will share the stories of the recipients. In this story, we will be focusing on JUMP, which is striving to address the growing gaps in education and technology within South Korea.
Team Sebungi and the other contestants of The AI Friends School Competition had gained knowledge and realized the benefits of harnessing technology to benefit society. But, South Korean society still has major issues with digital education and a growing gap in knowledge.
The Digital Education Gap, exacerbated by COVID-19
The situation in South Korea, employers’ needs continue to expand and change in order to adjust to the ever-changing business landscape that is one of world’s most digital economies. However, 79% of students at specialized high schools say they are not able to find a suitable job following graduation. Due to the wide gap in digital skills because of the lack of access to these educations and training, a lot of students are already in a disadvantage before they start their career.
The problem isn’t limited to students. middle-aged job seekers are increasingly struggling to find work without the required digital competencies, and are being displaced by younger, better educated digital natives. There is a chance for those who are in transition to take on digital training, however the cost of such programs can be costly, creating which is a problem for those struggling financially. COVID-19, as well as the shift to remote working, has made many job seekers feel a bit isolated and increasingly helpless in their circumstances.
In addition, Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) have a difficult time digitalize. This is especially true as the majority of businesses depend on non-digital ways of running various aspects of their operations. COVID-19 has been a major problem, forcing SMEs to take the switch to digital or even out of business.
Faced with these difficulties, Civil Society Organisations are helping people in need. JUMP Korea is working hard to ensure that no one is out.
Bridging the Digital Divide: Introducing JUMP
JUMP is a not-for-profit organization that envisions a society that allows everyone to develop and learn without discrimination. Their model of operation and business connects young people and teenagers to mentors from every walk of life through a virtuous cycle of growth and learning. Everyone works to inspire and improve each other. In the last decade, 494 youth volunteers accompanied and mentored 17001 teens, and 580 social mentors have contributed to the growth and development of these teens and young adults. JUMP is actively working with other ecosystem players (e.g., businesses, government agencies, foundations, schools, and social enterprises) to build a community that will allow future generations to imagine and develop.
In the mid-2023 timeframe, JUMP is rolling out their program for farmers in the local area to make use of digital tools like Internet-of-Things (IoT) in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency that they can make their farms more efficient. The education of these tools is crucial to ensure that everyone benefit from the technology to their fullest capacity.
They will also be offering a Digital Upskilling Training Programme for those looking for jobs, assisting people who plan to make the transition to careers in the field of IT. Participants will receive the practical and hands-on process of creating, designing and constructing web and application-related services, as well as basic information about AI. After this, they will be able to be able to step foot in the workforce as they join the workforce of the digital age.
Support required in the South Korean Philanthropic Ecosystem
Even as JUMP and other organizations continue to make amazing progress, however, more funding from funders, philanthropists, and other ecosystem actors is required to ensure that changemakers such as JUMP will continue to fulfill their mission to change the world. JUMP is among five organizations with impact that received grants from the AVPN Digital Transformation Fund, which was developed in partnership and with Merry Year Social Company (MYSC) and with the help of Google.org. The fund was aimed at providing the flexibility to fund non-profits operating in South Korea that support underserved communities, such as small and medium-sized businesses and job seekers impacted by COVID-19, and so on. and aiming to improve their skills to compete in the digital age.
The fund allowed JUMP to implement the programs described. Additionally, the flexibility of the fund allowed them to quickly pivot and alter their strategy to meet the changing requirements of their communities without the burden of administrative burdens.
“Most local nonprofits in South Korea run their activities with limited funding and are constantly hindered by excessive constraints on use of funds, weakening our ability to carry out impactful work,” the JUMP team of the project says. “However with this flexible funding model, we were able collaborate with our external partners who are reliable and our members to offer the proper education our beneficiaries require. In light of the demands for the coming years, JUMP is going to continue to provide a variety of education programs for local teenagers and teenagers who are in need”.