Without a doubt, non-profit organizations (OFSL) are characterized by offering community services to the most vulnerable populations in the country. Services that are mostly difficult for the government to offer due to their complexity. A study on the impact and evolution of the third sector, carried out in 2015 by Technical Studies, revealed that among the economic impact that this sector contributes to the country is providing 16% of all jobs on the Island, contributing 6.6% to the gross national product. In addition, to avoid a direct cost to the government since, for every dollar invested in NPOs, the government had to invest $ 7 in health-related services and $ 20 in education-related services.
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The OFSLs have not been exempt from the impact that the pandemic caused by Covid-19 generated both to the government sector, the private sector and individuals. We had to adapt and find acceptable solutions for the populations we serve. And it is that vulnerable populations are the most that have suffered from the lack of access to information and basic services. They did not have time to adapt or prepare, suddenly everything changed, services and information began to be provided virtually. Vulnerable communities did not have the equipment (laptop, tablet, smartphone), connectivity (Internet access), and the technological skills or knowledge to access most service providers. Nor did they have the money to purchase technological equipment and Internet service. The scenario was definitely a challenging one for our communities and for us as OFSL.
At Vimenti by Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, we developed an initial communication system focused on phone calls in order to reach our adult participants and connect with them. The first four months of the pandemic, we used to monitor the immediate need of our community and provide individual services via phone calls. The Vimenti Economic Development Area oriented its participants on issues related to job search, development of business ideas, development of technological skills, solution of technological situations, among others. Subsequently, we were able to impact participants through virtual modalities using platforms such as Zoom, MS Teams, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Google Sites, MS Forms and / or WhatsApp. The offer of virtual services is diverse since it aims to capture all the alternatives accessible to our participants while we are developing them in the use of these technologies. In addition, we continue to offer individual services via phone calls. Between July and September 2020, we have offered approximately 484 services to 114 participants, support has been provided in the placement process of 9 participants in employment and in the process of creating 2 businesses.
In every situation there are opportunities, if you are in the process of making a change in your life and you are interested in developing a business idea, at Vimenti we are here to help you discover your business or work potential.