Track your investments in doing good

Imagine you create a social impact by investing in an educational project in Africa. Alternatively, you can fund a project that improves water supply in communities in Nigeria. Would you want to know what happened to your donations?  

This is exactly what our engagement with the UNICEF Yoma project has created. We can now offer you proof of the impact of your donation, citing the number of contributions, the number of participants, and the number of locations registered within the challenge. How we can do it? Keep reading!  

Our two-year engagement within the UNICEF Yoma project is coming to an end. We still need to look at the latest results of our tokenized reward process for the Yoma platform. However, as we intend to present a series of articles showcasing the various aspects of our participation in the project, it’s time to unfold the project piece by piece.

Yoma, short for Youth Agency Marketplace, is dedicated to empowering marginalized youth in the Global South by providing access to education and income opportunities. African youth face numerous obstacles while attempting to enter the job market. These challenges include a lack of comprehensive education and continuous learning opportunities. Even those who can afford higher education often find that their skills do not align with the demands of their chosen job market after graduating from college and university.  

As a result, many have turned to various online platforms that offer micro-jobs, such as data collection and organizational tasks. These microgigs offer the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to meet market demands. However, the microgig economy provides more than just upskilling. It also offers income to cover the essential living costs of young people and their families.  

Yoma's standout feature is its reward system, which is built on a digital currency called Zlto. The brainchild of RLabs, a nonprofit and educational institution in Cape Town, South Africa, Zlto, was developed by young coders as a local currency for communities where cash jobs were difficult to obtain. It is an algorithm-based system that generates tokens reflecting time and engagement levels. These tokens can be converted into vouchers for a variety of uses from education to local goods and services. Zlto also offers SaaS functions, managing projects for sponsors, and providing cashless rewards for project participants.  

When Zlto was chosen for Yoma, the benefits were clear. Projects on the Yoma platform allocated a set amount of money to registered participants, who could then exchange their tokens on a platform marketplace. The user experience was straightforward: register, pick a project, complete the task, receive a reward, and trade tokens for goods in the marketplace. However, Zlto is not automated and has a limited scalability. Although it worked well locally, creating an impact in many South African regions, Yoma needed something more scalable, compliant, and transparent for its multicountry operation.  

Caliberco partnered with the Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC Research) for this project. The goal was to develop an MVP for the platform reward process based on the polygon blockchain. This token should mirror the features of the off-chain token Zlto, while offering additional benefits to platform stakeholders.   The new token, run by the name Yoma token, follows a simple mechanism: it is rewarded upon the validation of the project contribution and can be exchanged into vouchers. During its journey, the token transaction fees are managed with a bundler to keep costs away from users.  

pic by Unsplash: Desola Lanre Ologun
pic by Unsplash: Desola Lanre Ologun

Here's how the token journey works:  

When a budget is assigned to a project, an equivalent number of tokens are generated in the project wallet.  
Once a task is completed (or validated), the project wallet transfers tokens to the user's wallet.  
The user wallet then interacts with the voucher store. The tokens are converted into vouchers and are subsequently burnt.  
Although it might seem straightforward and unassuming, this process provides significant benefits to all key players in the system.  

Users manage and own their tokens stored in their own wallets. The rewards they earn are theirs; they can track transactions and see if their contributions have been appropriately rewarded according to the project setup.  

For project managers, tokens work as a record-keeping system, and the number of tokens created corresponds to the available vouchers. The transferred tokens reveal the wallet addresses involved and identify the user count in the project, along with their level of participation. The number of tokens converted provides precise information about preferred voucher offers and thus user needs. Above all, the token system emphasizes project management accountability.  

For investors, the tokenized reward system provides transparency. The number of transactions between the project wallet and user wallets within a certain period, as well as the number of created tokens versus the tokens converted in the voucher store, serves as concrete evidence that the invested funds have reached the intended target groups.  

We are confident of paving the way for transparent funding. We invite investors and funding entities to adopt our token-based reward system in upcoming projects. Moreover, we encourage non-profit partners to integrate this methodology into their workflows.  

The transparency and traceability of funds forms the cornerstone of trust. Yoma Operational Research has not just shown us the path; it has built its foundation.

Pic by Unsplash: Nick Fewings
Pic by Unsplash: Nick Fewings

Credit first picture: Unsplash, Santi Vedri

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