Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Education to Empower 500 Women and Adolescent Girls
The final Report
‘Education to Empower 500 women and Adolescent Girls’ is a rich learning experience for us and of course for the women and adolescent girls. India has the largest youth population in the world. But adolescents particularly the girls are the most neglected group in India. For us being a women’s organization we see adolescent girls as tomorrow’s women. These generations of adolescent girls are the first generation school goers, most of their parents are illiterates. These girls also belong to the modern information technology world, and they are open for change. Working with them helped us to energize ourselves; it gave us lot of hope and confidence that it is possible to achieve gender equality and just society. On behalf of the women, Adolescent girls and our organization we thank each and every individual who supported our effort through global giving to educate and empower women and adolescent girls.
Education and income generation programme for women: This project was the continuation of our Tsunami rehabilitation work. We have tried so many income generation activities to increase the income of women because we believe that the first step towards women’s empowerment is economic self-sufficiency. After so many unsuccessful attempts finally learning from our experiences we had introduced bio-kitchen gardens as an activity to increase the income of women. That worked because women already had the skills, they do not have to go out of home, they can do it at any time. Even if they are not able to sell their produce they can consume their produce like vegetables and fruits that helps them to improve their family members health and also save money on their expenditure. Actually we have planned to help 500 women but we could able to exceed the target and could able to help nearly 900 women that is 900 families out of that nearly half of them are women headed families. Initially we organized income generation programs like palm leaf product making, food processing, and handicrafts. 500 women were given training and small loans were given to start new business or to strengthen their present business activities. But in the midway from our experiences and learning’s we changed the activities and introduced bio-kitchen gardens and trained women in raising kitchen garden, backyard poultry, beekeeping and that really worked. Nearly 900 women were trained and all of them have created kitchen garden in their homes. Most of these trainings were organized in their villages, some interested women were sent to other trainings organized by the Agricultural University extension centre, and other farms. We have organized beekeeping and vermi-compost making training in our training centre. We have also created model kitchen gardens in our centre so that women can visit and learn. Now we are in the process of creating a producers company to help them further.
Life skill, sexuality education and vocational skill training for adolescent girls: This also we have planned for 500 girls and but we could able to train nearly 1000 girls. We have organized weekend workshops on lifeskill and sexuality education for adolescent girls. We have initiated ‘Snehidhi’ an association for adolescent girls and this programme is implemented through them. They were also provided computer skill training, folk arts like dance and songs. They were motivated to involve in their village development activities. Most of them helped their mothers to create kitchen gardens in their homes. During the last 2 years we have also started providing lifeskill and sexuality education for adolescent boys nearly 300 boys benefitted from this programme. We had also provided life skill and sexuality education in schools in our working area nearly 1500 girls and 500 boys benefited from this activity. Almost all the girls who are member of ‘Snehidhi’ were continuing their education without dropping out from schools. Earlier they used to drop out mostly when they reach puberty. This year 5 girl started attending college, out of that 2 have joined for bachelor of engineering course, earlier they were not send to college because there is no college in their area. Now the girls are sent to colleges and they study by staying in the hostels or relations houses.
This successful experience motivates us further to continue the process of women’s and girls empowerment. In fact all these were possible because of Globalgiving’s support and each and every one who donated for this project. Once again we Thank you for your support. We could able to collect 95% of our target funding for this project so we are deactivating this project from global giving project. But of course our work with women and adolescent girl will continue.
As a next step we have created a new project “ Lifeskill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India’’. This project in addition to provide life skill and sexuality education for girls also help 1000 girls to become graduates. So that they can postpone their marriage to the age of 21 years and also find better employment. We also work with the mothers of these 1000 girls. We request all of you to visit this project in Global Giving site and continue your support for us in our attempt to educate and empower women and girls. Please visit: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/life-skill-education-for-1000-adolescent-girls/
Centre for Women’s Development and Research Education to Empower 500 Women and Adolescent Girls Update- November 2014
We have been continuing our activities among women and adolescent girls.
Education and income generation programme for women: The important thing happened is the 20 women who had initiated the vermi-compost making unit had collected the vermin-compost from their units. They are all very happy about that. Each women could able to get 5-10 kilograms of vermin-compost. This compost was distributed free among other women in their villages and nearby villages to motivate other women to involve in vermin-compost making. Another thing happened was 10 beekeeping units was distributed among women and 4 could able to maintain it and collect honey. All these are giving hope for the women and us. Now in the women’s meetings we are discussing the possibilities of initiating a producers company so that they can market their products and also provide support for women involved in kitchen gardens. The women have made plans to visit some producers company, but the nearst successful companies are in Kerala State, so they have postponed the visit for future. Now women want to expand their kitchen gardens so that they can produce more and sell to raise their income. We are also looking for some market agencies in Chennai to help us in this regard. We have organized regular village level women’s meeting during this period particularly to discuss about the producers company and the registration process. 20-25 women participated in these village meetings and we have organized these meetings in 21 villages. During this period we have also participated in the Joy of Giving event to raise funds. We have set up stalls in a IT(Information Technology) company complex. There we could able sell the handmade soaps made by rural women.
Computer skill training and life skill training for adolescent girls: We are continuing the computer skill training and weekend life skill trainings for adolescent girls. During this period an intern Ms.Bavana from Chirist University organized career guidance and spoken English classes for adolescent girls. 48 girls participated in these programmes. We have also started using Educational DVDs particularly for 10th and 12th Standard students. We found it very useful because in rural areas it is difficult to get tutors in Maths, English for high school students. We wish to strengthen this programme. In the weekend life skill education programme 200 girls participated. As mentioned in our earlier reports now all the girls are continuing their education. Rarely girls discontinue their education after puberty. Their mothers understand the importance of education. It is really encouraging for us because earlier we used to run non-formal education centres for school dropout children now we have closed all the centres because all the children are going to schools.
Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Education to Empower 500 Women and Adolescent Girls
Update- August 2014
Last three months is an important period for us and India, a new BJP party government was formed, after a long time a single with majority had come, people voted for change and stability. We have to wait and see how it is going to affect poor people. In Tamilnadu the ruling party AIADMK had won 37 seats out of 39 seats. It is also summer holidays, examinations results for adolescent girls, all these happenings kept us busy during the last 3 months. All the girls who are part of ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls association have passed their examinations, particularly those appeared for their 10th standard and 12th standard board examinations. Ms.Neeharika Tummala, a representative from GlobalGiving visited the villages where we work on 4th July 2014. It was encouraging for us.
Ms.Neha GlobalGiving visits our village
Computer skill training and life skill training for adolescent girls: During this period we got 4 computers from CTS-Cognizant Technology Solutions and that helped us to continue our computer skill training, earlier because most of the computers were out of order we could not provide computer skill training. During this period 32 girls were given computer skill training, out of that 6 girls were also completed the online retails management course provided by Brisscc. We are also happy that all the girls have passed their examinations and continuing their education, no drop outs. Parents particularly mothers were very happy about that, this year 5 girls have applied for colleges, that is far away from their villages. We have been also continuing our life skill and sexuality education follow up weekend trainings. 120 girls and 30 boys participated in these programmes. Since it is holidays for the adolescents we have organized 10 days community development programmes and 10 days street plays and folk arts programme. 48 girls benefitted from this programme. We have also organized 2 days bio-farming methods for adolescent girls and 24 girls participated in this programme.
Adolescent girls meeting
Education and income generation programme for women: We are regularly organizing village level meetings and training for women. In the rural area the kitchen garden programme become popular and women are actively involved in that. Nearly 500 families have kitchen gardens in our working villages. Now we are discussing the possibilities of increasing the area and yield so that they can sell their produce to earn some income. For that we are also discussing about forming a Producers company with women as shareholders. In collaboration with Madras Christian College, Bio-technology department we have organized 2 days vermin-composte making training and 80 women participated in that programme. Out of that 20 women were given help to set up the vermin-compost units, once the compost is produced they can sell it in the market, actually Madras Christian College is willing to buy back. We are also continuing our dress making training for women 20 women benefitted from this programme. Our handmade soap unit is also picking up, we could able to sell the soaps to the villagers, even though we are making any profit, marketing it in the local market gives us hope to increase the production and market it. 5 women will benefit from this programme.
Ms.Sareswathidevi in her kitchen garden
Sareswathidevi is a single woman, Widow. She is 48 years old, she is from Karnataka state and married and came to her husband’s home in Othiyur village, Tamilnadu. Her husband died in an accident, 8 years ago. She has 2 daughters and 2 sons. After the death of her husband she was sent out of her husband’s home and her husband’s brother took all the family property. Her elder son had completed his higher secondary school and going for some odd jobs, the youngest son is studying in 9th standard. Her elder daughter is studying 1st year B.B.A, her younger daughter is studying in 11th standard, both of them ‘Snehidhi’ members and also received some financial support like Rs.1000 per year for their studies. Sareswathidevi is an active member of our local level single women’s group ‘Maithri’. She borrowed Rs.2000 to buy some hens, after attending the kitchen garden training she also created a kitchen garden. She could able to provide good education to her children
Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Education to Empower 500 Women and Adolescent Girls
Update- May 2014
Last 3 months is an important period for us and the people. For adolescent girls it is annual examination time, for people it is parliamentary elections time. All these kept us very busy during the last 3 months. We have also received support from Cognizant Discover to buy 4 new computers for our computer skill training. So we could able to give computer skill trainings for adolescent girls during this summer holidays.
Computer skill Training for adolescent gilrs
Life skill and sexuality education for adolescents: Since it was examination time most of the time was spent on providing supplementary education for adolescent girls, particularly 10th and 12th standard students. We have also started using the computers and DVDs to educate them particularly for Mathematics and Science subjects. It is really encouraging for us because one of the problem we always face in rural areas is not getting the resource people to conduct these classes and DVDs were of great support for girls. 54 adolescent girls benefitted from this programme. We also have been continuing our life skill and sexuality education for adolescent girls and boys. These programmes are organized during weekends. Nearly 140 girls and 45 boys participated in these progrmmes. We have also organized Lifeskill and sexuality education classes in 2 schools and nearly 300 girls and boys benefitted from this programme. In addition to that we have also organized 2 days training on Kitchen garden raising for adolescent girls. 48 adolescent girls participated in this programme. Many of them also crated kitchen gardens in their homes or helped their mothers in maintaining the kitchen gardens. Some of the girls who are aged 18 years are going to vote for the first time, so we have oriented a one day programme on Voting elections and parliament system 60 girls participated in this programme. As a trail In collaboration with BRISC international, a Canada based online training organization we have provided Retail salesmanship online training for 5 girls and they successfully completed it and certificates were distributed to them. In Future we want to expand this programme to other girls and boys.
Kitchen garden training
Girls with online course Certificates
Education and income generation programme for women: During this period the focus of meetings and trainings were the parliament elections that was held during 24th April 2014. From the discussions and meetings the women’s group had collected all the demands of them and it was printed as a booklet and was given to the party candidates when they visited the villages for vote canvassing. Women told the candidates that if they vote only if they promise to fulfill their demands. Some of the demands were:
- To support women’s reservation bill in the parliament
- To create detailed action-plan to implement laws to end violence against women, and allocate enough funds for its implementation.
- To provide reservations for single women in all women’s development schemes.
- To create policies for the development of single women.
- To ensure dignified, remunerative employment for women, pay equal pay for equal work, provide crèches, toilet, and drinking water facilities.
- To provide free quality education for all children upto the age of 18 years.
It was rich learning experience for the women and for us.
Vermi-composte making training
In addition to that we have also organize 2 oneday training programme on Bio-kitchen gardening, they also learned vermin-compost making and bee keeping. 62 women participated in those programmes. We are also continuing our tailoring and dress making trainings, 24 women participated in these trainings.
Centre for Women’s Development and Research Education to Empower 500 Women and Adolescent Girls Update- February 2014 During the last 3 month the year 2013 ended and 2014 began, lot of things have happened during that period. This project ‘Education to empower Women and Adolescent girls was submitted during 2007, the idea was to educate and empower 300 women and 200 girls. We have exceeded this target; we have helped 500 women and 500 adolescent girls. But still we could not raise the full money we have expected, this had created some constraints in implementing our ideas, like we could not buy computers to continue our computer skill education. Now we could able buy 2 computers with local contribution. Initially we have tried several income generation programmes to help women, finally now we have settled for kitchen gardens. More than 500 have started kitchen gardens in their homes. The community and we are happy to see these tangible results. 15 girls are now going to college, even though it is a small number in the rural area girls mostly do not complete their high school and married early, 15 girls going to college is a big achievement for us. Now we are aiming to help 500 girls to go for university education. That would help them to extend their marriage age. Life skill and sexuality education for adolescents: During this period in addition to our week end life skill and sexuality workshops we also organized a 7 days street theatre and folk art workshop for girls. 25 girls participated in these workshops. After the workshop they performed street plays to educate the people about the importance of girl children’s education, elimination of violence against women and girls. We have also organized 2 days leadership training for rural and city girls, 40 girls participated in this programme. Since the parliament election is nearing and most of the girls aged 18 years of age are going to vote for the first time in this elections, the discussions were also on women in politics, Indian parliament system, women’ rights were also discussed in this workshop. During this period we also have organized life skill and sexuality education workshops in the 2 schools in our working area, nearly 80 girls and 50 boys participated in this workshop. Adolescents were also actively participating in our kitchen garden programmes. 82 girls with their mothers created kitchen gardens in their homes. In 23 villages the local level ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls members took up the local issues like demanding public toilets, street lights and drinking water facility, met the local panchayath(village council) member and gave memorandums. Priya is one of the very few girls going to college from our work area, she is one of our ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls association member and attended the life skill snd sexuality education programme. In her family all are illiterates. After higher secondary class all the family members wanted her to marry and settled down. Our staff members and other ‘Snehidhi’ members met her family members and convinced them to allow her to continue her education. She wants to become a teacher, she is travelling 120 kilometers up and down each day the college bus to attend her college at Chengalpu, Vidya Sagar arts and science college. She is doing her second year B.A English Literature D.Priya Education and income generation programme for women: Since kitchen garden programme is become popular among women we are focusing on it. Women just taken the kitchen garden programme easily may be because they already have the skills, they do not have to go out of home, more than that the programme itself is suggested by them. In 23 villages 500 families that is women have created kitchen gardens with our help. They have already harvested the vegetables and fruits grown in the kitchen gardens. They consumed most of the vegetables and fruits and they are really happy about that. They are confident that they can improve the kitchen gardens further so that they can increase the yield and sell the vegetables and fruits to earn some money. Our Village level ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls association is playing an active role in implementing this programme. They motivate their mothers and the community to raise kitchen gardens. They help their mothers in raising kitchen garden. We have distributed seeds and seedlings of Brinjal, chilies, Tomato, ladies finger, drum stick, local variety beans, some herbal plants, papaya, custard apple, mango seedlings. In addition to that women were trained in organic methods of kitchen garden raising, vermicompost making, health education like nutritional values of different vegetables and fruits. During this period 160 women were trained bio-farming methods and backyard poultry, these one day trainings were organized in our centre and after that the follow up trainings were conducted in the villages. Mrs. Manibals is a member of our local level women’s organization in Nainarkuppam village, it is fishing village and affected during 2004 Tsunami. She is widow, she has boy studying in 12th standard class. She attended our income generation programmes and also received a small loan. Mrs.Manibala with her cows With that loan she could able to buy a cow, now she has 3 cows and earns Rs.3000-5000 per month. She has also created a kitchen garden. She is yet to get some income from the kitchen garden, but she is happy to get vegetables from her kitchen garden. She is also happy to give the extra vegetables to the relatives and guests who visit her home.
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