Vocational courses empower Kandahar women
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Despite a budget shortage, the Women’s Affairs Department in southern Kandahar province has been able to train hundreds of women in various skills to help them become self-reliant, an official said on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the department’s economic section head, Lailuma Noori, said 400 women were trained in tailoring, embroidery, curtain making, beautician and bead making in 2013.
She said though her department lacked its own development budget, the said programmes were completed with financial support from donor agencies.
This year too, she said, 30 destitute women received a two-month training on curtain-making from experienced mentors.
The project was completed under the Regional Afghan Municipalities Programme for Urban Populations (RAMP UP), the USAID's main initiative to empower Afghan citizens. The trainees were also distributed required equipment free of cost, she said, adding the vocational trainings were aimed at empowering poor women, particularly those begging on streets.
Under a two-phase programme, up to 100 woman beggars were picked from streets and engaged them in embroidery and tailoring trainings in three months, Noori said.
She said the programme was still ongoing currently involving 80 women in a two-month beautician training in the 8th and 7th police districts of Kandahar City.
The official said women who had completed their trainings were now working in their houses: “Despite multiple problems confronted by women, 2013 proved a good year for Kandahar women because many females received professional trainings to eke out a living on their own.”
About this year’s programmes, she said they planned building a bakery, a tailoring training centre, a woman market as well as launching cooking trainings for women.
One of the beneficiaries, Salima, said previously she would work as a maiden in houses of rich people, but now she produced embroidered curtains at home.
She said her husband was a disabled person and her children were small and she was the only bread-earner for her family.
On completing the training through the women’s affairs department, she was given the required equipment, changing her professional from a tough to a respectable one.
Salima said her customers had increased with the passage of time and she had been able to meet their expectations.
Another woman, Masooma, a former beggar, said her life changed the day she was taken to the women’s affairs department from a street, where she would call for alms, and was engaged in a tailoring training.
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