Their level of skills and confidence jumps from 0 to 100

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Shikarpur: November 2014: Women from minorities in Sindh feel empowered and confident after learning skills during a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

In Shikarpur, a city of almost one million, there is a Christian community of 40 families who live alongside 15 Hindu families. This Christian community depends mainly on painting jobs carried out by the men as source of livelihood. From this, they manage to earn around PKR 300 a day (between 2 and 3 euros). Eight girls from the community signed up for the TVET course on stitching and sewing – – and they simply loved it. “I gained such confidence from working in a group”, one said. She seemed to speak for all.

The pastor is very happy about what these girls have learnt. “Now, even if the husbands are out of work, the women will be able to help out,” he says. The girls are also very enthusiastic about the course. Now they sew for themselves and have already started to earn money. It is the first time any of the women have ever made money. One of the women says that what she will miss most is the experience of working with others. “I want to establish a sewing centres within the community”, she said.
At the Hi-tech vocational school, the atmosphere is even more confident and happy. Asked how much they felt they had improved, they give all credit to the course.

Two weeks before the course finishes, Sameena says she has just received her first orders from a boutique. Moreover she and three colleagues have been offered jobs training while others are earning around PKR 6000 per month even before they have graduated. Another student, Selma, wants to open a training center in her house and has come up with a formal business model as well. She plans to take community women as trainees and teach them what she has learned, charging 300 rupees a month. “We learn from each other.” she said.
ACTED is implementing a 3 year EU-funded project in a total of 7 districts in AJK, KPK and Sindh provinces of Pakistan, with local partners TUSDEC and the Pakistan Micro-finance Network (PMN). The project aims to help a total of 8,000 young people from impoverished and marginalized rural areas develop skills in relevant trades that will help them earn a decent livelihood. This will be achieved through improving the availability, quality, relevance and equity of TVET services in project areas, improving information about labour markets, and strengthen linkages between trainees, employers and microfinance institutions. The total project value is over 3 million Euros.

Fact Box

Project:
ACTED Project

Name
Improving access, quality and service delivery of the TVET sector to marginalised rural communities through innovative approaches

Location:
Shikarpur in Sindh Province

“We’ve gone from 0 – 100 %” they said enthusiastically. When asked about what they learnt, they shout out, all speaking at the same time: “colors, tie and dye, trousers, dresses, printing, smoking, weaving, screen print, quilting, patchwork.”



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