Oxfam Novib Project




Poverty is widespread in the rural parts of Sindh. Women with little education have skills in traditional sewing or embroidery. Their products too have seen little innovation over the years. With inadequate knowledge of price and competition, they often receive 20 rupees for something that can sell for 500 rupees. There are also few job opportunities.

Oxfam Novib joined forces with Butterfly Works a company that helps design and market traditional craft products internationally and two local partners Indus Resource Centre & Research Development Foundation to address these problems.

The project is working to bring designers from the prestigious Indus Valley School (IVS) together with village artisans, to develop a brand ‘Kahani’, meaning story, a portfolio of products and a market.

This will leave the IVS with a sustainable model that will allow future students to identify markets for their designs, develop products and establish cooperatives or businesses to sell them. Meanwhile the artisans will learn a range of skills, from new designs to entrepreneurship.

A second project component will provide 3,200 young, poorly educated people with employable skills, and help find them jobs that can support them and their families. The courses will be very practical. A baseline study established a need for trades such as qualified tailors, electricians, plumbers, motor mechanics, with a focus on modern techniques that increase productivity.

The project will upgrade the skills of the trainers, so that at the end of the course the trainees will receive certification recognized by the provincial government. This will automatically make it easier for the young people to get better-paid jobs.

Finally, all trainees will be provided with career counselling services and ‘life skills’, a comprehensive basic education in topics ranging from English and Maths, to how to deal with conflict in the workplace, harassment, or even how to care for one’s health and environment.
For those seeking self-employment the project will also help them get soft loans.


  • To reduce poverty by training 3200 youth in jobs for which there is a demand thus helping them find employment with 30% over baseline earnings.
  • Develop a new brand and products by bringing together local designers and 1600 village artisans to help boost the value of their products and develop new markets.


  • 1600 artisans developing products for local, national and international markets.
  • 3.200 trained in certified skills for which there is a demand and able to find jobs
  • Learning Resource centre established to provide counselling and life skills to youth
  • The capacity of teachers to update their knowledge for new and traditional trades is enhanced

Main Activities

  • Conduct baseline survey
  • Establish 4 learning/resource centres for career/ business counselling, training in basic education courses
  • Provide refresher courses for 60 teachers
  • Train 3200 unemployed youth in basic education and technical skills courses, place in trades
  • Provide equipment and certify graduates
  • Counsel trained beneficiaries
  • Convert 1 Learning Centre into Learning Lab
  • Special Youth Program- web design skills
  • Conduct market study of crafts, traditions and skills
  • Co-design new craft range and brands
  • Develop training modules and films, train Master Trainers and Front Line Women
  • Train 1600 women in value generating activities, develop sales strategy
  • Exposure to local markets and national markets.


EQUATE – Enhancing Quality and Access to Technical and Vocational Education


EUR 3,120,397

Additional Information

Oxfam Novib


Butterfly Works (BFW)

a social design studio based in Amsterdam since 2003. Butterfly Works co-creates learning and design projects with local partners around the world.

Indus Resource Centre (IRC)

established in 2000 is focusing mainly on Sindh with the aim to empower communities through income generation, education, reproductive health, governance and skill development.

Research and Development Foundation (RDF)

an organisation based in Hyderabad, that is serving local communities through direct interventions and research based advocacy

Training Centres
Indus Valley School for design and Architecture Technical training centres

Sindh, in districts of Khairpur, Dadu and Jamshoro

Case Studies

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