We open pathways for refugees to use their skills and talents as a route out of displacement towards restored self-reliance and safety.
Did you use the resources offered during the Improve Phase (mentorship, expert feedback, community research)? (2000 characters)
TBB-Australia visiting Ali, Laurine and their daughter at their new home in Harvey, Australia, where Ali is now a skilled butcher. Ali had spent many years in Lebanon, and attempted to smuggle himself to Europe unsuccessfully more than a dozen times before he connected with Talent Beyond Boundaries and interviewed with Harvey Beef. Harvey Beef is now planning to recruit several other refugees -- including Ali's brother, also a talented butcher!
TBB visiting Anas, Marah and their baby Mahmoud in their new home in Niagara Falls, Ontario where they moved 2 months ago from Zahle, Lebanon. Anas shared about his upcoming challenges (getting a license!) and shared a lot about what's going well in his new job and community. He can tell he's gained the trust of his coworkers at the advanced manufacturing company that employed him. His employer was facing urgent gaps as he had retiring staff and few people locally go into the trade anymore.
TBB meeting with our partner company, Accenture, the candidate they hired through TBB, Fadi, and the Business Council of Australia to talk about potential for TBB to create a solution for additional Australian companies.
Tarek and Fadi, two of TBB's alumni who formerly lived in Lebanon but now live in Australia, are responding to a group prompt on our shared Slack workspace about how slack can be most useful for engaging candidates who haven't yet moved. Slack allows our teams to stay connected across the world, and offers a platform for our alumni to participate in decision-making.
During the Improve Phase, our team members sat down in person with every one of the candidates who has migrated through our program into employment. We visited people in their homes and workplaces -- taking us to Toronto, Mississauga and Niagara Falls in Canada, as well as Sydney, Melbourne, and Harvey in Australia -- for long-form conversations about their greatest challenges and successes, and are integrating their feedback on what resources would be useful into our standard processes.
As a result of these conversations, we’ve begun engaging spouses earlier in our process and ensuring they receive English language and training resources before they migrate. We’re also sharing more info about destination cities and costs of living with candidates before they accept job offers, or linking them to community groups who can help them get a more realistic picture of what life might be like.
All our candidates who have moved have joined our team Slack workspace, where they can be part of ongoing conversation about improvement along with a broad range of partners.
One of our ambassadors, Nabil, joined us for a video call with a BridgeBuilder mentor to share his experience with TBB. Mahmoud helped us think about how to communicate more clearly about our role, and gave us a few rounds of feedback on our user experience map.
We shared questions about partnership building in fragmented markets for expert feedback, and are building that into how we structure a new partnership in our Canadian market.
We also had dozens of conversations with refugees, regional employment groups, employers, settlement partners, lawyers, government officials, multilaterals, and civil society groups. We see ourselves as a catalyst, building and empowering the network of players who can make it possible for refugees to participate in the global labor market.
In what ways would potential BridgeBuilder funds allow you to pursue your idea that other funding opportunities have not? (1000 characters)
Most funding programs, even many focused on migration, are geographically limited. TBB is a global organization -- our operations span multiple locations, including countries that refugees first fled to and countries that we are helping refugees move to. This international footprint is essential to managing a seamless and accountable process for our candidates and employers, but it can limit our ability to apply for and allocate funding. BridgeBuilder’s global focus is a strong fit for our work. Approximately $200,000 over two years would let us grow our teams enough to provide solutions for additional refugees while carrying out critical learning about eventual greater scale.
What aspects or proportion of the overall idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (1000 characters)
Funding is our primary constraint to connecting more talented refugees with a route to a new life.
In Canada, 40+ employers have expressed interest in hiring one or more candidates through TBB in the next year alone. There are hundreds of candidates we work with who could meet their needs, but we can only address the demand with additional capacity in Canada, as well as additional capacity in Jordan and Lebanon to work directly with refugee talent and prepare them for international recruitment and migration. BridgeBuilder Funds would allow us to hire needed staff and fund key partnerships to rapidly increase our capacity to connect more refugees with jobs and a route to rebuild their lives in Canada. This increased capacity would allow us to carry out key tests (outlined below) that inform our route to greater scale.
What will community-level impact look like over the timeframe of your idea? How will you determine whether or not you have achieved that impact? And what outstanding questions do you still have? (1000 characters)
TBB candidates are helping rewrite false and negative narratives about displaced and stateless people. Fadi, now an employee at Accenture, is pictured sharing his story with business leaders in Sydney. Accenture has 492,000 employees worldwide, and Fadi's story has been shared across the company. The ripple effect of changing perceptions builds support for refugees in receiving communities across the globe who come to see refugees as valued coworkers, neighbors, and community members.
By the start of 2022: Approximately 450 people will have moved to countries where they can build a safe and stable future. The 150 primary applicants will have resumed their careers in their areas of expertise. More than 100 international companies will have successfully recruited with TBB, integrating refugees into their international talent sourcing. 3 destination countries will have documented pathways to admit refugees for employment.
Outstanding questions: As a catalyst, our goal is to create the knowledge, infrastructure, and pathways that enable existing actors to take on key elements of this work. We are continually designing with a mind to embed what we learn with other stakeholders and reduce our own footprint over time. Our tests upcoming are designed to help us learn what core brokering functions we must continue to play in the short term, and what areas are best implemented by partners. Our learnings will be central to informing strategy and growth.
Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (1000 characters)
Our team’s strength lies in our adaptability to the range of contexts in which we need to operate across geographies and sectors, and at the local, national and international levels. Our core staff have been working together for 3 years. Our Board of Directors/Founders bring long experience in policy-making as well as tech entrepreneurship to bear on our government engagement and strategic planning. Our ED is an expert in refugee protection, and our MD has been helping build and iterate TBB’s processes from the start. Our destination country teams have built critical relationships within governments and robust partnerships with refugee-led, employment-oriented groups, networks of lawyers, settlement groups, and employers who are co-champions for our cause. Our Lebanon and Jordan teams are deeply familiar with the context and attuned to changes. The refugees who have moved, our Ambassadors, are key partners in improving our work and demonstrating its value.
Lastly, how did you apply new learnings to your idea? (1000 characters)
1. We're in the process of formalizing a partnership in our less centralized market in the coming weeks. We'll put a focus on co-developing strong tools and comms for replicability.
2. Our Mentor's detailed questions encouraged us to “make it visual” and we iterated our user experience map with his help to better illustrate the nuts and bolts of how it works. Mahmoud has also joined our online global network on Slack to share ideas about TBB's fundraising and communications.
3. We had conversations with our government counterparts in Canada and Australia, our employer partners, our settlement agency partners, and UNHCR. We're in constant contact with these and other key players to continually refine our work.