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Empowering women and improving economic livelihood

Gender discrimination and poverty go hand in hand. And nowhere is that more evident than in the char, where the prevalence of child marriage and lack of education among girls have led to extremely low literacy rates among women and some of the poorest household incomes in the world. But with the help of your Community Sponsorship, we are working with families to address some of the barriers that local women face by providing access to training and a chance to develop income-generating skills so they can earn an income and improve their standard of living.

Women take part in vocational skills training

Recently, a group of 10 women got the chance to complete a 3-month tailoring and dressmaking program through a partnership with a technical school on the mainland. As part of the curriculum, participants also received literacy training to ensure they had some grounding in the essential skills to run a small business. For some, it was the first time they had ever written their name, and for them the symbolism was powerful and the excitement of that moment palpable to everyone.

40 illiterate women learned how to write their name for the very first time

After completing the course, all the women received a sewing machine to start their own small enterprise using their newly acquired skills. And because the majority of them are mothers, their new opportunities are shared with their children who will have the chance for a better life with a mother who has the skills for self-sufficiency and a source of income to pay for school, medical fees and other basic necessities for their children.

Women receiving their certificates and sewing machines

“I got the opportunity to get training in dress making and I know it will help me earn additional money and make clothes for my family members,” says Saharbanu, one of the program participants.

“My confidence level has increased, as well,” she adds with pride. “After my admission to the program, I realized that I have a chance to make a positive change for me and my family.”

Saharbanu, at home with her daughters, works on the skills learned in the new tailoring program.


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