Training is a hugely important part of our work. Our members have organised themselves into groups for self help inititives and income generating activities. Upon ascertaining the needs of our members we aim to provide training in technical skills, provide methods of capacity building and sustainability skills. We seek to help our members to diversify their income-earning strategies such that they are not solely dependent on the agricultural yields or family income. Training courses are either delivered by us, or specialists if needsbe.
We evaluate the success of each course, thereby constantly learning and developing better ways to share information so that it is retained by our attendees. As our members are illiterate we make sure our courses are engaging and interactive, this can include members acting out a drama, or using stones, charcoal or sticks to explain ways of book-keeping for example.
We have recently run the following training courses:-
- group dynamics and leadership
- business training including micro-credit management and book-keeping
- soap and moisturiser making from sheabutter
- soya milk, kebabs from soya beans
- advocacy training
Effectively working in groups is a new skill for our members, during the group dynamics training we therefore asked some attendees to act out a drama to illustrate ways of managing group conflicts. Our members live and work in villages with no electricity, the experience therefore proved to be the closest thing to television viewing that most women had ever had and was therefore hugely memorable and enjoyable.
The soap and moisturiser training was a result of our members request to expand on their income generating opportunities. As women already made sheabutter this was adding to a skill they had already mastered and would give them a greater earning potential when selling at their local market. The training session was interactive with women coming up with symbols to represent the ingredients and making the soap from raw ingredients to final product.
These training sessions are fantastic for a variety of reasons, they clearly help to improve our members knowledge and skillset, but in addition to this they also help to boost their self-worth and confidence as they are finding that they receive greater respect from their husband and community members as they can teach them what they have learnt. As they are able to generate an income for themselves they are involved in the household decision making which previously was not heard of.
'Now that I am not dependent on my husband for money my children respect me more as well as other members of my village. I am proud that my children and husband are proud of me'
Yin Kumahi, Tengzuk Village