Skills Training for 250 Tsunami-Affected Women

by Center for Women's Development and Research
Photo - women showing me their new fishing net
Photo - women showing me their new fishing net

Renuka received her undergraduate degree from Ghandi Grameen University and got married soon after. By 1993, Renuka was one of three women activists in Chennai working with women in city slums and the surrounding coastal areas. Only 2% of organizations in India were run by women at the time and Human Rights organizations were very rare.

CWDR – the program that Renuka established in Chennai – works directly with women through four main programs: Training and loans, Human rights and gender issues, Income generation, and Computer training.

This project – 250 tsunami affected women and adolescent girls – was created just after the 2004 tsunami. When natural disaster strikes families living in precarious conditions find recovery very difficult. In small fishing villages in India, families survive on as little as 50 rupees per day (roughly $1.05). After the tsunami devastated many coastal regions of India, women in these fishing communities who were already struggling were forced to provide for their families with no income at all. Initially, CWDR tried to collect and distribute food, clothes and medicine to the affected villages. GlobalGiving funds were used to purchase school materials for children, thereby establishing credibility in the area.

When six months had passed and the village men were still not bringing home and income, the women of these villages became income earners of their own. CWDR’s goal is to equip these women with revenue earning skills so that they can feed their families and gain independence from their unreliable husbands. Specific skills include palm frond weaving, shoe making, soap making, silk screening, tailoring and fishing net weaving. CWDR helped create seven self-help groups with 10 members each in Chennai. There are 20-25 women in each of the 13 groups in tsunami-affected areas and the six groups in other coastal villages. GlobalGiving provided these women with loans to build their own craft shops.

Photo - children of the women who have been trained by CWDR
Photo - children of the women who have been trained by CWDR
Photo - woman in her shop built with donations through GlobalGiv
Photo - woman in her shop built with donations through GlobalGiv

It is really astonishing to see Tsunami affected villages returning to normal life within a period of two years, particularly comparing to the devastation. Fishing is going on as usual of course there are complaints that now the catch is reduced. The major change happened in the process of rehabilitation work is women from fishing community got visibility and importance in their community. They have been consulted by NGOs and Government, they were meeting often to discuss about their issues and development of the community. Women themselves have proven that they have an important role in disaster management and rebuilding families. We are happy that we are part of this process of rebuilding with your support. Still there is a long way to achieve women’s equality in the fishing community, but definitely the process is initiated. On behalf of the women and our organization our sincere Thanks to Globalgiving for helping us in our attempt to rebuild the lives of fishing community and in the process empowering women. In India in the Vedic teachings there is a saying in Sanskrit “Vasudhaiv Ktumbikam” that means the world is one family. In this conflict ridden world only during Tsunami rehabilitation work through the help we received from different corners of the world we felt that the world is one family. We thank each and every individual who supported us through Globalgiving.


Centre for Women's Development and Research

Skill Training for 250 Tsunami Affected Women

Updates Report August 2006

Nearly twenty months have gone after the devastating Tsunami disaster. Except for the affected people Tsunami disaster become a distant past for the world because disaster both natural and manmade has recurring often. For us it is a new experience and we have learned a lot from this experience we are also happy that we are part of the community rebuilding process with the support of GlobalGiving. If we take the numbers we can confidently say we have archived our objectives. That is providing skill training for 250 Tsunami affected women and providing vocational skill training for 150 adolescent girls. Being an organization involved in women’s development trying to create a gender justice community we are not only concerned about the number but also process of empowering women. In that regards we have still miles to go. One thing we wish to mention is we have been working in these villages even prior to Tsunami disaster involved in educating and empowering women. Tsunami rehabilitation work definitely helped women from fishing communities to come out; form their own groups to involve in community rebuilding process and in that they have definitely played an important role. In our earlier reports we have mentioned about the income generation skill trainings we provided like thatch roof making, coconut coir making, paper bag making, vermin compost making, Mushroom growing, palm leaf product making, soap making, incense stick making, nursery raising, screen printing. More than 250 women participated in these trainings, these trainings also helped as a psychosocial counseling, it build their confidence and helped them to earn some income in that difficult situations. But these shot term trainings are not enough for them to become real entrepreneurs, so we are continuing our meetings and trainings with the women. We are also trying to give new trainings related to sea and fishing like growing seaweeds, rearing crabs in captivity.

Details of Trainings provided for Tsunami affected women: S.No Training No.of women Training No. Women Continuing Average monthly Income Rupees 1 Thatch roof weaving 25 25 1000 2 Coir making 25 25 1000 3 Food processing (juice making) 25 Seasonal 4 Vermi compost making 25 - 5 Palm leaf product making 25 - 6 Nursery raising 25 20 Seasonal 1500 7 Tailoring 40 10 1500 8 Paper product making 25 5 1500 9 Screen printing 15 3 Employed 1500 10 Mushroom growing 15 - 11 Shoe making 10 10 Employed 2000 12 Incense stick and candle making 25 - 13 Masala making 10 - 15 Soap making 15 - - 14 Entrepreneurship skill training for fish vendors and women doing business in beach 200 - 1000 15 Seaweed, crab and prawns growing 20 Training Just completed 16 Disaster preparedness training 50 1 US $ = Rupees 45

Woman learning to grow seaweed

Most of the non-traditional trades like food processing ( juice and masala making), paper product making, screen printing, soap making, incense stick and candle making needs more capital and marketing so they could not continue their business. Most of the old women went back to fish vending once fishing was started, but definitely our trainings helped them to improve their business. Educated women from fishing community don’t want to go for fish vending, so we wish to continue the training and also help them by providing more capital and marketing support. We have sent 3 girls to 6 months dress making training in NIFT-National Institute of Fashion Technology. Last month we have started a dress-making unit employing these three women that also serves as a training center. In the rural area we are building a training center, the center is build using eco-friendly construction method that is we are using stabilized mud blocks instead of burnt bricks. We have also trained 10 women in mud block making. The center will be finished by September end, there we will be training adolescent girls in Computer skills, and dress making. In that center we can provide income generation training for 25 women every month.

Woman learning to make stabilized mud blocks After 20 months of involvement now we know what is relevant for the women and what would work there, so based on our learning from our experience in the coming months we would like to strengthen the livelihood sources of Tsunami affected women. Based on that we have changed our budget and plan of action, What we are planning to do is build two model solar fish drying units to make dry fish, start two village information centers, two vermin-compost making units, paper and paper product making unit, Mushroom farm, provide further training on seaweed, crab growing for women, provide further training on palm leaf product making. All these activities would help 250 women earn regular monthly income of Rs.1500- 2000 ( US$33-44)


Organization: Centre for Women’ s Development and Research Project Title: Skill Training for 250 Tsunami Affected Women

Budget Date: 14th August 2006

Exchange Rate: $1 USD = Rupees 45

Activity 1: Setting up new business model units- Solar fish drying unit, Village information centre, vermi-compost making, handmade paper and paper product making, seaweed growing. No. Item Unit cost (local currency) Unit cost (USD) Quantity Community/ org. contribution (USD) Requested amount (USD) 1 Solar driers 50 Kg Capacity 2,00,000 4,444 2 888 8,000 2 Village information centre equipments- Computer, printer, digital cameras 80,000 1,777 2 554 3,000 3 Vermi-compost making Construction of cement tanks 25,000 555 2 110 1,000 4 Handmade paper and paper product making 3,00,000 6,666 1 666 6,000 5 Seaweed growing equipments 6,000 133 10 330 1,000 I Activity 1 total 2,548 19,000

Activity 2:Income generation training program for women No. Item Daily rate (local currency) Daily rate (USD) Number of Days Community/ org. contribution (USD) Requested amount (USD) 6 Income generation program trainings for 250 women 300 6.6 3 950 4,000 7 Training program on managing village information centers for 10 women 500 11 10 100 1,000 8 Women and development training program 300 6.6 3 950 4,000 9 Traveling expenses 500 11 150 150 1,500 10 Administration 300 11 250 250 2,500 II Activity 2 total 2,400 13,000 Activity 3: Furniture and equipments for training centre No. Item Unit Cost (local currency) Unit Cost (USD) Quantity Community/ org. contribution (USD) Requested amount (USD) 11 Tables and chairs 5,000 111 5 55 500 12 13 14 15 III Activity 3 total 55 500 Final Project Request from Global Giving:

No. Community/ org. contribution (USD) Requested amount (USD) I Activity 1 total 2,548 19,000 II Activity 2 total 2,400 13,000 III Activity 3 total 55 500 Sub-total 5,003 32,500 Final Total (includes 10% Global Giving Fee) 32,750


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Center for Women's Development and Research

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
K. R. Renuka
Director, C.W.D.R
Chennai, Tamil Nadu India

Funded Project!

Thanks to 180 donors like you, a total of $49,510 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Center for Women's Development and Research that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.