Literacy and Vocational Training for Women in Self-Help Groups

Partner: Hand in Hand India
Country: India
Start date: 01/03/2009
Project type: Vocational & life-skills training
Project reach: 16,749 direct beneficiaries

Each year, Hand in Hand, together with the GSRD Foundation, provides vocational, literacy and numeracy training to thousands of women living in India. The objective of the partnership is to promote social inclusiveness and give socially and economically vulnerable groups, especially young women, the opportunity to participate in the mainstream economy.

Hand in Hand offers women literacy and numeracy training via self-help groups (SHGs). Of the women who join these SHGs, 85% are illiterate and innumerate. This means they cannot start a business, since they need to be able to read and do basic maths to have a bank account, conclude contracts, work with customers, decide on investments, and determine the profitability or otherwise of their businesses. Hand in Hand has developed a 150-day crash course to teach illiterate and innumerate women in SHGs basic literacy and numeracy. So far, the course has had a pass rate of 90%, thanks in part to the high degree of motivation among all participants.

Hand in Hand’s vocational training is intended for SHG members who are either unemployed or underemployed. This project will help women improve their skills, and thus find jobs or set up their own small businesses. Vocational training will give them practical and relevant workplace skills. After they have taken this training, graduates can count on support from Hand in Hand in setting up or strengthening their small businesses by involving the private sector and directly linking them to local industries.

Since 2016, Hand in Hand has been taking a more holistic approach than before in supporting the members of these SHGs. It now complements the literacy, numeracy and vocational training it offers with training in management, financial management and business development.

Hand in Hand is a public charitable trust founded in 2002 in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Hand in Hand’s vision is a world free of extreme poverty and child labor. Hand in Hand’s aim is to eliminate poverty through an integrated community development program. Read more about Hand in Hand India.