Published on March 8, 2014
Saathi Project: • Started in November, 2007, with support from Godfrey Phillips India, New Delhi and facilitated by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) • In four villages in Gurgaon district. • Targeted at the economic empowerment of women by running self help groups and entrepreneurship development. • We run Adult literacy centres in three villages. • We have been able to reach 250 beneficiaries directly and approximately 1500 beneficiaries indirectly.
We have been able to help disadvantaged women through self-help groups • to save money, •access microcredit, •engage in economically viable activities and become agents of change in their communities.
Today twelve Self Help groups are running more or less independently and many women have been able to break the traditional roles set for them and give wings to their dreams.
It is not sufficient to promote SHG but the group has to be sustained. Constant inputs of training and capacity building are required to sustain SHGs. The main objective of the capacity building trainings is to capacitate the SHG members and to inculcate the fundamentals of the SHG concept through systematic modular trainings.
All the SHG members are imparted the basic training. The focus of the training is on •Concept of Self Help; •Why Self Help?; •Self help as a tool for economic, social and political empowerment, • Detailed presentation of stages of SHG developmentFormation, capacity building, savings and credit as group activities, entrepreneurship and empowerment; •Group mechanics and dynamics- need for cohesion, effect of diversity on the group, leadership issues, tackling group apathy, group facilitation.
Under the project, three spice and cereal processing units are functioning where the women from the SHGs produce spices, cereals, flour etc to earn a living. These units are currently operational in Bandhwari, Gwalpahari and Waliawas villages. We ensure that the spices are produced under the most hygienic conditions and packed neatly for sale.
All the members working in the Spice and Cereal processing Units are well equipped with the processing techniques like drying, grinding, weighing and packaging etc. The members have thorough knowledge about the time span and the extent of grinding. Packaging is also done by these SHG members as well as local sale to earn their profits.
We have also developed linkages with corporates and group housing societies where our women set up stalls for the sale of their product.
A creche is also being run to provide child care support to women members engaged in income generation activities.
Adult Literacy Programme: •Initiated with the vision to impart functional literacy to the SHG women who were illiterate. •With the passage of time the intervention tried to cover all illiterate women of the respective villages. •Three adult literacy centres are being run. •The teachers have been trained by Jamila Milia Islamia University • We are using the curriculum developed by the Jamila Milia Islamia University for imparting literacy skills. •There are 50 beneficiaries under this programme
Project Shobha: • To enable the skill development of girls and women in the villages by providing a vocational beautician training course. •Conducted in village Ghata, Gurgaon. •The duration of the course was for 4 months and the technical skill was being provided by a recognized and experienced professional of this field.
Making spices has given Minu a way to fund her daughter’s education. Until an year ago, Bimla never dreamed that she’d have her own income.
Jagwati never learned to read and write. She is now learning to be an entrepreneur. Kusum hopes to show her sister that women can do a lot more than just keeping house.
“I am happy that I can read and write. Now I sign and do not give a thumb impression. It gives me a great sense of pride.” - Seema, Lakshya SHG, Bandhwari “My family is proud of me, now that I am standing on my feet. I make spices and sell them.” - Sharda, Umang SHG, Gwalpahari.
Doing the course changed Usha’s life. Now she’s teaching others and changing their lives.
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