The main issues for illiterate women from remote mountains in Qinghai are —
1) Things have improved significantly in recent years regarding education in in rural, poor China. This has been due to wonderfully progressive education policy. However, go back a few years and the situation was not so positive for girls from traditional, rural nomadic and semi-nomadic families. It is these girls that we are still needing our help today. Typically, a family would have three children on average. Some very traditional families, sadly, did not see the value of education for their children. If you were a girl belonging to one of these families, your chances of having an education past the minor grades was unlikely. Many parents carried this view due to (1) they themselves did not receive an education; and (2) they would hear stories of university graduates struggling to find employment, so would conclude it is pointless investing money in their daughter.
2) Add to this that girls would typically be expected to look after family members and house chores in these areas. Young girls would always face the risk of getting married at an early age as the families would believe that young girls should be married and serve their husband and family well, instead of improving themselves. Accordingly, there were many young women left out with less opportunity, not able to progress because of limited education, with many of them largely illiterate.
3) This program exists to give these women who have missed out (aged from 16 up to 35yrs) an opportunity to progress.
This project will provide systematic sewing training to 30 young women classified as largely illiterate/low education background (at most they would have completed Grade 6 in primary school). These women, aged from 16 – 35 years, will mostly come from remote, nomadic areas in Qinghai Province. Over a period of 6 months, these 30 women will not only receive intensive tailoring training, but will in addition learn valuable life skills on how to become truly independent (including basic reading and writing, how to manage their money, etc). Following their training period, they will receive 2 months of supervised internship, then hopefully progress into their first tailoring job.
This project will:
- STOP the risk for these young women of early marriage or unwanted arranged marriage through the promise of receiving employable skills and the potential to support their families ongoing;
- ENABLE these women to have a genuinely sustainable income generating opportunity and skills to rely on throughout their lives;
- INCREASE their income so they can better support their children and siblings at school;
- Provide an opportunity for these women to make their own life choices and move confidently towards genuine independence.
This program solves these problems for 30 young women EVERY YEAR directly and also assists their families and children. They will also become wonderful examples to so many other young women trapped in the same situation. Trainees will be trained on the materials picking, cutting, designing and sewing process systematically over six months.
Tserang is 28 years old, a single mother living with her daughter and youngest son. Her parents were not able to send her to school as a child so she has no education and is illiterate. Tserang needed to find a skill to give her an opportunity to be able to provide for her young children. When she joined the Husky Energy Tailoring Skills Program for Women, Tserang learned the fine art of designing outfits and pricise cutting. She also learned how to best display the clothes in a shop environment and basic small business skills.
Tserang has completed her training and is now operating a small business from her house. She had a wonderful start to her new sewing business by securing a large order of 600 outfits for a local school. She will earn good income from this order. She is hoping that she will continue to secure large orders for other schools and grow a good reputation as a quality tailor in her region.
This has brought Tserang such confidence and stability in her life. She is able to send her children to school, knowing that she will also be able to provide them with a college education when they are older. She wants her children to have the opportunity of a career and a stable income.
This project will empower illiterate and largely uneducated women from rural areas in Qinghai. None of these women have progressed further than primary school, with many having never attended a school. Many are single moms with little hope of earning enough income to support their children.
Through this program, these women are provided professional tailoring skills aiming to increase their income earning capacity. Not only will they have the capacity to make better life decisions and care for their children, it will also help them build a reputation within their families and communities that better values females and the importance of education.
Thank you to Husky Energy for fully funding this life changing project.
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