In response to the spread of infection of the new corona virus
Dear WELgee family
3.2 million people were infected in 187 countries, of which 230,000 died^1. The new coronavirus, which has spread explosively in many countries around the world, has a great impact on our lives on the earth.
From the viewpoint of infection prevention, we have also started remote work since late February. We are conducting online interviews with business people and asylum-seekers, which we have done face to face. From May 1st to June 30th, we have decided to reduce reception time.
Against the threat of COVID-19, medical personnel are working day and night to treat emergency patients and are working hard to develop therapeutic drugs. Companies are trying to overcome the crisis by developing new means of production. The people involved in the media constantly deliver important and up-to-date information to people every day.
WELgee is our role, with the belief that anyone can shape the future regardless their circumstances, and the hope that transnational solidarity will be created to combat this global turmoil.
We cannot fully see how the society and the world will change in the future. In that sense, we might not be sufficient, but we would like to share with you what kind of role we currently have.
The Job-matching Program will continue to utilize the online tools to continue the "JobCopass" and strive to match asylum-seekers and Japanese companies who have more potential in the post-corona society.
Among the asylum-seekers registered with JobCopass, there are many who are unemployed due to the influence of COVID-19 and who are in poverty due to a significant reduction in shifts even if they have employment contracts.
"The car manufacturing plant where I was working was forced to reduce the number of employees due to the influence of corona, and I was forced to reduce the number of workers, and I was sentenced to dismiss. (30's First half | from Central Africa | male)
"I was told that I wouldn't come for a while because the restaurant where I work was closed, but I don't know how to pay rent." (Early 30s | From Central Africa | Men)
While earning their livelihoods through precarious employment, they are isolated from Japanese society and have closed their own possibilities, saying that “ I have no choice”.
However, those asylum-seekers were business owners, business consultants, healthcare professionals, social entrepreneurs, and others who had trade businesses in their home countries. Originally, they are young people who can contribute their own experience, ability, and aspiration to the society that is under the thread of COVID-19.
In fact, among the eight people who have been matched by “JobCopass” so far, they are working to shape the society of the future in the Japanese business sector across countries. For example, as a member of a major Japanese manufacturer, a person who creates a new logistics service in Africa. And there are asylum-seeker who will start the establishment of an engineer training institution for children in the homeland under reconstruction.
In the critical situation faced by humanity, Job-matching Program will create options for asylum-seekers who have overcome adversity and the Japanese business sector to open up a new era.
Tech-Up is an activity to provide refugees who have fled to Japan with the opportunity to acquire programming skills from scratch and work as a programmer.
Some people who have fled to Japan as refugees are from areas where IT is not widely used. However, that’s why there is an asylum-seeker aims to develop his own country by IT technology. We have found infinite possibilities in their aspirations.
And because of the impact of COVID-19, ICT is becoming more important around the world than ever before. Our work and entertainment would not be possible without ICT. However, many asylum-seekers fled to Japan are from countries where ICT is not widely used.
We believe that to create a situation where asylum-seekers with a strong desire to contribute to their home countries can leans programming and being involved in the ICT industry is an effective means to make ICT "no one left behind".
Mr. R from the Middle East, who took a programming training provided by an IT venture company with zero knowledge and experience, is currently engaged in remote control technology development of heavy construction machinery as a full stack engineer. At Tech-Up, we will continue to devote ourselves to produce technologist who will realize his aspirations, such as Mr. R.
Due to the influence of COVID-19, various events and meetings that were held physically face to face until now will be held in the web space, and the web space becomes an indispensable in our daily life.
On the other hand, asylum-seekers tend to be excluded from the web space. because when they disclose personal information such as their faces and names to an unspecified number of people, there are risks to them and their families back home. Moreover, due to poverty they could not purchase an Internet contract or purchase a PC.
WELgee is seeking a possibility of holding WELgee Salon on online, which has been held "face-to-face" every month. We are considering how to provide refugees with online access and how to ensure their safety and security.
Close communication with asylum-seekers
The core of WELgee's activities is close communication with asylum-seekers. The spread of COVID-19 made it difficult to meet face-to-face, but this foundation remains the same.
Conclusion: We believe in the spirit that humanity opens the way from adversity.
An effective vaccine has not yet been developed, and it will take a very long time to be completely resolved. The movement of people is greatly restricted, and the economic foundations that support life are also greatly shaken.
However, it is also true that unprecedented ideas and solidarity are emerging in the midst of this adversity. The ability of humankind to open up new paths from this adversity is now being tested, and we can also play a role in it ー creating new solidarity by involving the asylum-seekers who have been in adversity in their home countries.
We believe in the spirit that humanity opens the way for adversity.
All WELgee staff
^1: COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (URL: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html), revised as 7:34 am May 1st 2020.