Jampur: September, 2013: Bano overcomes physical disabilities and is thrilled to be able to join the other girls learning new skills.
‘Happy and hopeful for the first time in a long wile said Bano bibi (20) when asked how she feels to be part of the six-month course of hand embroidery skill at the Government Girls Vocational Training Institute in tehsil Jampur of district RajanPur. Bano, born with under developed and clamped fingers, explained that before joining the course her life revolved only around household chores that she could manage to do with her clamped fingers. The rest of the time she would sit vacantly on her charpai (bed) waiting for it to get dark so she could sleep before waking the next morning to the same routine. She studied till Grade 5 at a nearby government school. In spite being very bright at studies and motivated to learn, her family could not see a bright future for her and hence kept her at home to help with the household chores instead.
A household of eight members with only one earning member (Bano’s father), Bano is the oldest in her family. Her father is a laborer and works in Jampur city on daily wages, earning less Rs.7, 000 (USD 70) a month to provide for his family.
The six-month course on hand embroidery is offered to young girls and women of village Muhammad Pur, Union Council Muhammad Pur, district Jampur as part of a European Union funded project on enhancing socio-economic development of women in underprivileged communities. AWAZ CDS, a local non-governmental organization implements the project with technical support of Care International, to raise awareness about the social and economic benefits of vocational skills trainings. As a result of these awareness raising sessions, a number of parents including Bano’s father, were convinced that the training would bring positive changes in the lives of their daughters.
Bano feels useful now with a meaning to her existence. She has something to talk about and share while sitting in a group of girls. Her class instructor shared that during the first month of the course she only learnt how to hold the needle. But she thinks that given the pace at which Bano is learning the skill, she will soon prove that destiny is not always written; it is sometimes designed with hand picked colors, even when the fingers are clamped.
Care International Project
Enhancing development by investing in Human Capital in Punjab and Sindh
Care International and local partner AWAZ foundation are implementing a EUR 2.7 million project in 4 districts of Punjab province and 3 districts of Sindh, Pakistan. (90% funded by EU)
The aim of the project is to increase access of rural women and youth to job opportunities through innovative TVET approaches. They worked with 15 local institutions to identify skills for which there is a demand and then to develop certified courses, including relevant entrepreneurial and soft skills. In total 4600 students will be trained in a total of 8 trades. At least 1,400 will be helped into self-employment opportunities.
The project will also establish 15 career guidance centers in the TVET institutes; train 400 home-based workers in business development through community-based trainings and establish their linkages with opportunities in the market.
Additionally, for women of the rural communities, the project aims to effectively address issues of accessing urban skill developments center and the market through consistent community mobilization activities.