Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan

by Marshall Direct Fund
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Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan
The Group During Training
The Group During Training

For this report we want to highlight an outcome of the Business Trainings conducted in October of 2018 with 100 women.

Asma* and 5 other women who attended our Business Training in October of 2018 decided to form a "co-op" together. They realized while working together during the training that they all shared the passion to start a business sewing school uniforms (based on the need they saw in their community) but lacked the start up funds, time and all the skills needed to pursue this endeavor on their own.

Asma and her team decided that by coming together to work on this business would benefit them all and they drafted a small business plan. They approached the MDF head teacher to see if they could use the school sewing machines after hours until they could secure their own, they pooled some funds for fabric and they elected Asma to go around to each school to announce the business and take orders. The women come together 3-4 times a week to sew their orders and each take turns watching the little children so they can each contribute equally.

So far they have taken about 20 orders of new uniforms and are being mentored closely by the MDF training coordinator to ensure their success. They are hoping to open a joint bank account to put all the income they make on their sales in the near future.

Asma says that she is “...thrilled to have found such a supportive group of colleagues, ” and (with tears in her eyes) says “I never thought I would ever have 'colleagues'!”

Asma and her team do face many challenges but find that by working together none of their family members can try and take any of their assets (like the income or supplies) because they explained that it belongs to the group and not one person. This has empowered them to continue their business and we are excited to follow their progress!

Thank you for making this possible!!

*Names changed for privacy and security

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Week one graudates
Week one graudates

During the month of October we were able to complete 4 trainings for a total of 100 women in essential business skills in 3 communities.  A master trainer facilitated the trainings and participants learned financial skills such as money management, budgeting, banking, credit, and how to create a business plan. We also encouraged group learning throughout the trainings in order to allow illiterate women to participate and network with one another so that they can continue to support each other post training. We are mentoring the women as they begin to develop their long-term business plans.

The women left the training invigorated and excited for the next phase of training which includes a 4-month program where we will equip them with vocational skills. The women have expressed interest in sewing and embellishing as well as food preparation (canning etc) to sell in the markets or to local business on a freelance basis. After we are complete with our market overview of the local economies we will provide the women with the best skills that fit their interest and the local markets.

Some feedback from the women post-training:

"This was a great opportunity for us. The skills that we acquired in the training will help us set up our businesses."

"My husband and his family believe that a woman’s place is in her home. They would never agree to my taking up a job. Now, this training has given me a clear vision and the confidence to start my own business and work from home."

"I always wanted to earn for myself but did not know how to take a start. This training has taught me ‘how’."

"I am now clear what I can to do and how to do. Whatever I earn, will enable me to spend on the education of my children and fulfilling their needs and desires."

Thank you all for making these trainings possible! The Safer World Foundation continues to match every donation made to this project by 50%. Please share this opportunity with friends and family you think might be interested in supporting underserved young women in Pakistan so that they may receive the hand up they need to chose peace and prosperity over violence and despair.

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As we launch next month into our next group of trainings in Pakistan, I want to share a little on why we do what we do.

According to the recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report only 1% of Pakistani women are engaged in entrepreneurship, which is the lowest proportion in the world.

We know, according to the 2012 World Development Report, women earn less and are less economically productive than men almost everywhere across the world. Women now account for more than 40% of workers worldwide yet they are more likely than men to work as unpaid family laborers or in the informal sector, operating smaller businesses in less lucrative sectors. Women’s economic participation and their ownership and control of productive assets speeds up development, helps overcome poverty, reduces inequalities, and even improves children’s nutrition, school attendance, and health.

Women in Pakistan lack in resources and opportunity, but it becomes blatantly clear that in order for women to participate in the economy, they must be empowered in the family and community life as well.

According to the Lahore Journal of Economics, a majority of the women trained in courses like ours will become wage earners and by equipping these women with knowledge and skills we can help them move out of that place of desperation that leads to marrying children off early, extremist recruitment, extreme poverty, etc. Our goal is to equip them to become employable and have life-long financial independence and we believe that two crucial parts; rights and skill development are the first steps to putting them on this path.

During our trainings with the women we educate them on their rights. There is a big difference between skilled and unskilled labor and being taken advantage of. If a woman enters a workplace with no skills, no knowledge of her rights she will get exploited. But once she knows her rights and brings a skill to the table she moves from a place of powerless to powerful. She knows how to demand a fair wage and knows her worth. This also applies to women in the marketplace who run their own businesses. They know their right to the money made on their goods, how much their items are worth and how to negotiate a fair price.

Without women in the workforce Pakistan will never make large gains economically. The national economy is basically leaning only on half the population and there is a whole population left out; the women. An investment in human capital is always a worthwhile strategy and especially when it involves women who are completely left out of the workforce otherwise.

Thank you for your support!

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Next group of women ready to start training
Next group of women ready to start training

In March Marshall Direct Fund participated in the Girl Fund Campaign, which resulted in incredible support and raised more money than we anticipated!  Thank you to everyone who supported the Girl Fund Campaign and voted for our program!

Since we now have enough funding to support more women than expected with our vocational skills and business training we have decided to start the training sessions this August. Between now and August we are working on further building our Monitoring and Evaluation system to ensure we are effectively tracking the progress of the training program. We plan to conduct a baseline survey with the new women who will be trained in August so we can best track their specific progress. We also are ensuring that we developed the correct market linkages and training plan so we are providing our trainees with the most effective skills and resources possible for their future success.

Thank you again for your support!

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Asma
Asma

The ultimate vision of Marshall Direct Fund is to provide our women participants with life long financial independence and skills so they can be employable. As part of this we are equipping our 7th and 8th grade girls (and boys) with skills and additional curriculum lessons to match that of the local Government Vocational Skills Training Program (TEVTA). The hope is that each student upon graduation will gain entry into the TEVTA program and continue on their selected career path.

This is Asma, she is 15 years old and dreams to be an artist. She is currently in Grade 8 and is engaged to be married (her fathers decision). She partakes in the vocational training courses at the school and hopes to run her own business one day incorporating her art with tailoring. She has successfully convinced her parents for the past 2 years to put off her marriage so she can finish school. She knows once she is married she will not be able to continue her schooling. Every year she is able to convince them to keep her in school is one step closer to future employability. She hopes she will be able to continue on to the TEVTA school and have a career and financial independence.

The Safer World Foundation continues to match every donation made to this project by 50%- help us unlock the $9,000 remaining in the campaign- time is limited! Think of how many lives we could change together with these additional funds. Please share this opportunity with friends and family you think might be interested in supporting underserved young women in Pakistan so that they may receive the hand up they need to chose peace and prosperity over violence and despair. 

Thank you to all our generous supporters- its supporters like you that give us the confidence to continue our work!

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Organization Information

Marshall Direct Fund

Location: Aspen, CO - USA
Website:
Marshall Direct Fund
Danielle Givens
Project Leader:
Danielle Givens
Executive Director
Aspen, CO United States

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