This project is currently supporting 23 teenage girls and young women, many of whom are involved in the commercial sex trade. The women and girls are being supported through psychosocial counselling, enrollment in vocational training courses, entrepreneurship/business skills training, and training in life skills and reproductive/sexual health education. Following discussions with each girl on the most appropriate course for them, three were enrolled on a six month training course in beauty/hair dressing, 19 were enrolled on a 12 month training course in hotel management, and one girl was enrolled on a Early Childhood Development course, equipping them all with marketable skills in order to find meaningful work in the community or establish their own businesses. Shalom’s social workers and community volunteers make regular visits to their homes and the training centres to monitor progress and attendance. If any of the trainees’ attendance starts dipping, Shalom’s social worker will follow-up with the girl to check the reasons for this and provide appropriate support.
Shalom organised group excursions for the girls to develop their confidence, broaden their horizons, and motivate them. The girls were taken to various markets in Arusha to visit women from similar backgrounds to themselves who are now earning an income and have improved their lives; 17 hotel management trainees visited the National Parks Hotel to learn about hotel management.The trainees formed four groups, based on their location, which meet on a regular basis to provide peer support, discuss progress and challenges, and share ideas on income generating activities. The groups are extremely important for providing support – many of the girls had never previously had such a support base where they could confide in others and request advice.
The women and girls are expected to complete their training in late February and will be supported to secure permanent jobs or provided with equipment required to start-up their own business. Stay tuned for further updates!
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