Too many girls from traditional minority groups are still missing out on education. A mixture of poverty and traditional preference for boys is still relevant in some areas, girls (especially the eldest) can find themselves pulled from school and relegated to the job of working around home to keep their siblings in school.
Although things have improved dramatically in more recent times, the sad reality is that many girls still find themselves as young women, with little or no education. They now face the daunting question of “what now?”
The simple reality is that their options are few. The best possible outcome for a young woman who is largely illiterate, is an early marriage to a good husband. She will dream of this. However, sadly, in many cases this will not be her reality. Instead, as a young woman with few options, she will be trapped in an environment where she must be compliant, will be the frequent subject of abuse and frequently taken advantage of. In the worst of cases, desperation can easily result in poor decisions being made such as theft, criminal activity, prostitution, and in an increasing frequency becoming victims of human trafficking in its many forms.
Without help, the future has many clouds for these young women. We can create options and bring hope to some.
It’s too late for school scholarships. Although gaining a basic education would be a great outcome, such solutions are expensive and would take years to implement. At Captivating, we believe that the best solution is getting these young women safely into their first job – the best job possible. The My First Job Program is about joining the dots – matching the needs these girls have of a genuine, independent life with a good first employer.
For this to happen successfully, we need to do several things well:
- We need to mentor these young women with basic life skills. Many will be timid, lack basic skills such as confidence, self-belief, discipline, persistence, and money management;
- We need to position these young women well, in order for them to win a job. This requires teaching them hands-on vocational skills (such as cooking, tailoring, cleaning). These young women will need basic tutoring in reading and math;
- We need to establish a network of trusted employers willing to give these young women a chance;
- And we need to mentor them for a reasonable period of time following their job placement to ensure they can overcome obstacles.
In essence, we need to become their caring parent as they take this first step.
In 2016, we started a new program focused on training young women to work in restaurants as Assistant Chefs. We believe this is one area where many great opportunities exist and where a solid progressive future is possible. We will provide 4 months of intensive vocational training, followed by direct help with 2 months in job placement. We will keep in contact with each young woman for the next two years to support her and track her progress.
In 2017, we will be starting a new program focused on training young women in Home Services skills.This program will instruct girls in home services support such as cleaning, child minding and cooking. These girls will be given 4 months of intensive vocational training followed by a 2 month internship. Then our team will help them secure their first job with a safe family or business and mentor them for 2 years as they settle in.
Drumokar is turning 23 soon. As the eldest child of four in her family, her parents chose to drop her from school when she was only in Grade 2. She says, “I have two younger brothers and a younger sister. They are all at local schools. I was forced to take care of my little brothers when I was only 9 years old and my father promised to send me back to school after my little brothers turned three. So I did not feel too sad that time when I had to stop schooling for three years, though I knew I would not be with my friends in the class.
But things did not go as my father promised. After two years my little sister was born and I had to babysit her for another three years. Then, by that time I was too old to attend the school and my mother could not take care of the kids while getting all the housework done. I had to stop the dream of going back to school. Since then, I have complained for many times though I feel sorry for my parents because of our poverty.
My father kept saying that I am the eldest child in the family and I have the responsibility of taking care of my younger brothers and sister. And he also told me not to worry that he will arrange me to a good marriage as he has been asked by a few families. I know my father is under huge pressure by sending my brothers and sister to school, and I want to help them as much as I can, but I also want to do something that I like personally. I was very happy to learn of a new cooking training program. I promised my father that I will help him to support my brothers and sister at school when I get work. He agreed. Thank you for providing such a chance and I could not appreciate it more.”
- Young women are receiving intensive training to become Assistant Chefs by qualified Tibetan and Chinese chefs OR training in Home Services such as cleaning, childminding and cooking;
- Support this program from US$40 per month for 12 months and you will see a girl through to her first job;
- Training is over a 6-month period including mentoring on life skills;
- First jobs will be found for the young women with supportive businesses;
- We will keep in contact with the young women for 2 years to support and track their progress;
- US$40 mth (half sponsorship) or US$80 mth (full sponsorship) supports one young woman through the full program and solves her problem.
Latest News for My First Job Program
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