The skill- based trainings are offered to young girls and women to learn life skills that will help them to be self- reliant. They are trained basing on two different approaches. They are put in small and manageable groups whereby each group members meet every Wednesday and Friday afternoons to teach one another simple life skills, make a variety of materials such as carpets, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and many other products.
Each group is led by one trainer who only facilitate the activities and allows participants to be fully engaged. With this approach, we provide training materials and give them to participants to use during the training sessions. Whoever performs well after the training is given small amount of money to buy materials to make some products of her choice. After selling, the person returns the money back to the organization, it’s given to another person to also buy materials and do the same. The profit made from the sale of the products made helps them to buy materials to make more products that fully belong to them, thus a way to self-reliance.
The person trained is also requested to go and train one other person in need of the skills on a cascading and free approach. Using this approach, we have been able to train over 100 women and young girls in Kinyinya sector in Rwanda. Most of them are currently operating their own initiatives acquired as a result of the training and some of them work from their homes. They make simple products like carpets, table clothes that give them some small earnings.
The other approach is the life skill training center. We have established life skill training centers where participants are empowered with tailoring and hand sewing skills. We teach women and girls to learn different dress designs, learn how to make reusable sanitary pads to help them reduce the costs they meet on buying pads every month.
We have few tailoring machines and accessories that facilitate work in the training centers. These centers operate on a sustainable model where our participants are put into three categories. The first category is the needy women and girls who are our main target. Most of them were former prostitutes who were sensitized and left prostitution to begin another life. This category includes participants who cannot pay anything and they are fully supported. To get these people, we work with the local community and church leaders to help us in the identification process. The second category are those who can manage to pay a half of the fees needed to acquire the required skills basing on their personal needs.
The third category are those who are from well -established families, and are able to pay the full fees. The ones who are able to pay support those who are not able. This model helps us to be sustainable. And our objective is that, for everyone who fully pay fees, supports another one from the needy families. Meaning that if we have 20 people who fully pay fees, 20 people from needy families will be supported. The money earned from the trainings is invested back to the project and is spent in paying; trainers, rent for the house, buying accessories, maintaining and repairing machines.
These trainings help to assimilate new knowledge and connection to the preexisting concepts. Through the above activities and events, women and girls build skills that help them to listen, organize and inspire themselves. Developing your skills through further trainings provides significant benefits including: Increase employment opportunities. Personal growth. Increase career development opportunities.