Can You Give Support or Feedback for My Program to Alleviate Poverty?

Hi LessWrong,

Two years ago, when I trav­el­led to Belize, I came up with an idea for a self-suffi­cient scal­able pro­gram to ad­dress poverty. I saw how many peo­ple in Belize were un­em­ployed or get­ting paid very low wages, but I also saw how skil­led they were, a re­sult of English be­ing the na­tional lan­guage and a manda­tory ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Many Belizeans have a sec­ondary/​high school ed­u­ca­tion in Belize, and the vast ma­jor­ity have at least a pri­mary school ed­u­ca­tion and can speak English. I thought to my­self, “it’s too bad I can’t tele­port Belizeans to the United States, be­cause in the U.S., they would au­to­mat­i­cally be able to earn many times more the min­i­mum wage in Belize with their ex­ist­ing skills.”

But I knew there was a way to do it: “vir­tual tele­por­ta­tion.” My solu­tion in­volves us­ing com­puter and in­ter­net ac­cess in con­junc­tion with train­ing and sup­port to con­nect the poor with high pay­ing in­ter­na­tional work op­por­tu­ni­ties. My tests of vir­tual em­ploy­ment us­ing Up­work and Ama­zon Me­chan­i­cal Turk show that it is pos­si­ble to earn at least twice the min­i­mum wage in Belize, around $3 an hour, work­ing with flex­ible hours. This solu­tion is scal­able be­cause there is a con­sis­tent in­ter­na­tional de­mand for very low wage work (rel­a­tively speak­ing) from com­pe­tent English speak­ers, and in other coun­tries around the world like South Africa, many peo­ple match­ing that de­scrip­tion can be found and lifted out of poverty. The solu­tion could be­come self-suffi­cient be­cause run­ning a vir­tual em­ploy­ment en­ter­prise or tak­ing a cut of the earn­ings of mem­bers us­ing vir­tual em­ploy­ment ser­vices (as bad as that sounds) can gen­er­ate enough in­come to pay for the rel­a­tively low costs of monthly in­ter­net and the one-time costs of tech­nol­ogy up­grades.

If you have any feed­back, com­ments, sug­ges­tions, I would love to hear about it in the com­ments sec­tion. Feed­back on my fundrais­ing cam­paign at​at/​bvep is also greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.

If you are think­ing about sup­port­ing the idea, my team and I need your help to make this pos­si­ble. It may be difficult for us to reach our goal, but ev­ery con­tri­bu­tion greatly in­creases the chances our fundraiser and our pro­gram will be suc­cess­ful, es­pe­cially in the early stages. All dona­tions are tax-de­ductible, and if you’d like, you can also opt-in for perks like flash drives and t-shirts. It only takes a mo­ment to make a great differ­ence:​at/​bvep.

Thank you for read­ing!