Madhu comes from a family, which lives below the poverty line. She was one of the many young people who have had no access to higher education or any vocational guidance. Education and means to support herself and her family was a far-fetched possibility for her.
An opportune chance to improve her living conditions came to her in the form of ALAMB that provides vocational guidance to the economically backward sections of society, and has been able to make a big difference to the lives of many young people.
The organization runs tailoring, embroidery, beautician and computer courses in its vocational training programs to help girls from slums support their families.
Madhu opted for the tailoring course, and on completion joined ALAMB as the instructor for the same course. She set up a tailoring shop at home and earns an extra amount every month in addition to her salary from ALAMB.
“I am happy as I don’t have to worry about finding money for my small personal needs, like medicine and other things. I also have started small savings. I am glad that ALAMB started this program for us as we have very little opportunity to go out and seek work.”
Vocational courses conducted by ALAMB help the students secure a job or livelihood:
Tailoring Course– a six-month course with a Government certification given to all girls enrolled in the program. These girls have already started stitching their own clothes, saving money. They also take up small tasks from other tailors, such as hemming, stitching, saree falls, etc.
Beautician Course– a six-month course that includes henna design and make-up application. The girls have already started earning through small assignments from nearby communities. Festivals or weddings are the best times to make more money.
Computer Course – a six-month program to teach basic computer applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Ranjana, the computer instructor, is also an alumna of ALAMB. Along with this job she is also pursuing higher education through the Open University system.
Vibha and ALAMB
West Delhi, is one of the projects that Vibha supports in India. Vibha has been funding ALAMB’s girl child education and vocational training programs since the year 2003.
ALAMB was established in 1992 with the main aim to help people, especially women and children of socio-economically weaker sections of the society. Its aim is to make these people aware of their rights to education, well-being and self-respect.
It has also equipped youth with skills which will hold them in good stead wherever they may be. At least 700 such youth have improved their economic status or have been motivated to continue higher education along with the assurance of having learnt a skill which will help mitigate financial constraints.
Malleshwari is a 13-year-old girl who has proven that an opportunity is all that required to rise above struggles. She resides with her grandparents along with her five elder sisters. Life is indeed a struggle for these girls, as they have to survive with the meager income sent by their parents who are migrant workers.
The Gandhian Organization for Rural Development (GORD), supported by Vibha, identified her through the school engagement program. She was assisted with education material, exposure visits and capacity enhancement opportunities.
Malleshwari was able explore her talents by making best use of the assistance provided by GORD. With constant encouragement by GORD mentors, her science project on ‘Solar Power in Agrarian Sector’ was awarded the first prize at the district level and was also selected for the state level competition.
“I lost all hopes of a bright future, life was always a struggle as we had to exist with what little we had. I used to be very shy and was hesitant to participate in any events. I had attended the leadership trainings provided by GORD-VIBHA and it was for the first time I gained confidence to speak out my mind. Thanks to the constant encouragement of my mentors, I was able to present my project and secure first place at the district level science competition.”
Vibha and GORD
Vibha, along with GORD, has been successful in enabling girl children access quality education. Their association has resulted in improving the quality of education and infrastructure facilities of schools located in remote areas.
GORD is a voluntary service organization working for rural development since 1984 in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. The area is most backward both Economically and Socially and subjected to perennial drought conditions due to low rainfall and lack of irrigation facilities.
With support from Vibha, GORD is replicating of the concept of Sikshana in the GORD school system. Using structured problem-solving methods Sikshana has created a cost-effective solution to address the shortcomings of individual schools, which ensures that more children benefit from education, and graduate from high school with basic livelihood skills.