“MY FIRST JOB” Program update – Giving girls a future
It’s too late for school scholarships for girls who are past school age in China and still well behind in their education levels. Although gaining a basic education would be a great outcome, such solutions would take years to implement for girls we are coming across that have had at most only a few year of primary school. At Captivating, we believe that one of the best things to do is help transition these young women safely into their first job – the best job possible. The MY FIRST JOB (MFJ) program is about joining the dots.
MFJ focuses on mature age girls who have missed most of their schooling. Many are illiterate;
To position them well for their first job, 6 months of intensive vocational skills training is provided (such as cooking, tailoring, cleaning);
Girls are also mentored in basic life and independence skills;
MFJ works to establish a network of trusted employers willing to give these girls a chance; and
We mentor and track their progress for 2 years to ensure they can overcome obstacles.
“I am Motso and I am 25 years old. My family is from pure agricultural area and both my parents are farmers. Though my parents are not rich they always try to provide us with the best they can.”
“I was lucky to be sent to school until grade four primary school and then, when I was 9 years old, I got very sick. My two legs kept aching. My parents borrowed so much money to take me to doctors and hospitals. My parents were told that I would become disabled. I could not walk for the following 9 years. After lots of hospital time I finally recovered which was a miracle even to the doctors. After two years of putting lots of effort in, I was finally able to walk again. I was then 22 years old. My parents were so happy though they were in huge debt because of curing me. During that time I went through so much pain and pressure, but the most painful thing was the thought I would be a burden to my parents, my brother and my sister in particular. I still remember the first day I walked in front of my mother after years staying in wheels and my mother fainted because of over excitement. Since more than two years ago my family was finally free from taking me to hospitals and spending all they have on me.”
“Now I am recovered fully and I know I need to be independent but I do not have skills and my parents do not want me to go digging for herbs or work outside due to the anxiety of me getting sick again. When we heard SHAMTSE Charity is providing cooking training, my parents called them immediately and I was accepted as I fit into their requirement.”
“Since the program started last month, we have been learning to cook Tibetan traditional food and Chinese dishes in the past one month’s time and our teacher is an experienced chef. He always keeps encouraging us while being strict as well and he said he could help me to find a job in a restaurant as assistant to a chef after the training. I know it takes time to become a good chef and I am patient about that. I know so many people are helping me and giving me love and power to live well. I have the passion to do this, as it was like I was dead for over 11 years and I want to cherish my life and love from others. Many thanks to the donors for helping me to fulfil my dreams.”
CAN YOU HELP US? We still need donors to support this program. US$1,600 is the full cost of taking a girl from nothing through to her first job. It includes 2 years of follow-up and support. This is a dream-come-true solution for her. More girls are waiting in line for their chance. It’s up to us to open the door for them. Interested? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
My world is not limited to a small mountain village. I want to reach a distance I have never reached. I want to go to the top of the mountain to overlook the world and blow the night wind on the top of the mountain.
The Husky Energy Tailoring Skills Program for Women started in August this year, with 51 students attending. This program is running in Western China and we have seen great potential in the students in improving their way of life.
One of our projects for the My First Job program in China is the Embroidery Skills Training. Behind the faces of each of the students is an encouraging story of hope and perseverance. One of them is Daretao and this is her story: