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In recent years, the concept of empowering women has gained momentum different walks of life especially in the voluntary sector and has become a subject of much discussion and debate. Several models of women empowerment have evolved and have been experimented at the grass root level with various degrees of success. One of the well accepted strategies is enhancing the income generating skills of women and providing opportunities to earn income. Skill development and economic empowerment will contribute to the improvement of other aspects of life.

Having gained considerable experience in organizing women through Self Help Groups, CADRE-India moves towards facilitating women to undertake activities related with shell craft making, agriculture, palm leaf handicrafts, readymade and tailoring units and other small scale industry. CADRE-India is also promoting thrift generating.

Vision

* To ensure that the minimum income of every family in the adopted villages is increased to a Desired Prosperity Level (DPL) of Rs.6000/- per month

* To avoid social exclusion and empower women self-confidence.

Objective

* To create, as part of Transformation process 10,000 new jobs in the adopted villages

Strategy

* To enhance existing skill sets

* To provide new skill sets

* To forge alliances with agencies engaged in imparting livelihood skills.

* To create employment opportunities within the village by establishing Self Help Groups (SHGs) with the Society extending help in obtaining market and other linkages.

Methodology

* Profiling the current income generation and livelihood situation.

* Developing village specific road maps for full employment

* Developing customised curriculum and delivery processes

* Identifying suitable beneficiaries through Self Help Groups for participating in the livelihood skills programs

Conduct of training in various skills for women

Facilitation of placement / market linkage

1. Functional Vocvational training forum:

In the tsunami affected areas we gave training in alternative skills with the support of Functional Vocational training Forum in association with Caritas India. This training was conducted in Kottilpadu and Kovalm, which were the most affected villages by tsunami. We offered training to the tsunami affected people in alternative skills, 20 men and 45 women were given short term skill orientation on masonry, carpentry, fish processing and sea shell craft making for their livelihood. For this training we formed stake holders forum and this forum became the initial part of planning and implementation of the project. This helped the trainees to find their employment/ self employment.

About the trainings

The training took place for 6 months. In these months we conducted one month training class on fish processing, three months training classes on masonry works, four months training class on sea shell craft maintaining, and six months training classes on carpentry works. Well talented and highly skilled trainers were appointed for giving training to the selected trainees. As the result 20 trainees were trained in Carpentry works and 15 trainees each in Masonry, Fish Processing, Sea Shell Craft makings.

2 . Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development for Women

CADRE-India has implemented in Melpuram Block (Kanyakumari District), a trade related entrepreneurship assistance and development program for rendering selfless service for the poor people, especially women, and thereby promote their educational, cultural, moral and economic well being irrespective of caste and creed. This program is supported by the Office of Development Commissioner Small Scale Industries, Govt. of India and CANARA bank. Under this program we provided loan facilities to 120 women, who completed successfully a Entrepreneurship Development Program organized by our professional team.

Outcome of the program

* Creating awareness (about their rights, status, duties and gender issues)

* Provide economic opportunities both employment and self employment to women in all the participant villages

* Ensure income generating education for all and increase the education levels of women

* Formation / activation of model women SHGs- the members of which are to act as leaders in spreading the social messages to the communites and take part in the overall transformation of the villages.

Conclusion

This service program model is identified as a potential pathway to alleviating poverty. The skills of poor women, who are enrolled in each cluster are increasingly remarkable. They are not only active in thrift and credit management but are also taking up other activities, such as marketing management and development work, literacy, knowledge management, financial security etc. This income generating program lays the foundation for self-reliance, which has the capacity to generate employment opportunities for the rural poor, and lead to job-led economic growth..



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