He used to count fish now he counts possibilities

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Thatta: October, 2013: Waqar Ahmed, a 28 year old trainee in a six-month general electrician course with a renewed purpose in life. Waqar used to work as a watchman at a local fish farm in Sonheri village in Thatta, Sindh.

Waqar, who left school after 10Th grade, has been making ends meet with an income of just 7,000 rupees (ca. EUR 50) a month to provide for a family of six. ‘If you divide 7,000 rupees by 30 days, what you end up with every day is not enough even for the basics – while I dream of a quality life for my family’.

Once graduated, he aspires to further polish his skills through on-the-job training and specialize in this field.‘From here I only see myself moving up the ladder’ says Waqar.

Waqar is receiving training as part of a EU-funded project that aims to provide technical education and vocational training to men and women in three districts of rural Sindh. The project essentially works with public training institutes to improve the quality of their training services; finance the students’ training courses; and link them with income generating opportunities.

Waqar, who had always been keen to learn a skill that would ensure a sustainable livelihood for him and his family, has recently completed the third month of the six-month course for general electricians at a Government Technical Training Institute in Thatta. There is a real dearth of such opportunities available to the villagers in and around his community, which explains his late career start, but ‘better late than never’ he said, welcoming the project in his village.

Fact Box

Project:
Care International Project

Name:
Enhancing development by investing in Human Capital in Punjab and Sindh

Description:
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.

“I have started to believe I have a future now” says Waqar Ahmed, electrician



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