Women and girls are trapped in a cycle of poverty by a lack of diverse and market responsive education and skill building opportunities. More often than boys, girls are pulled out of school to take over household responsibilities and many never have the chance to go back. SEWA Bharat facilitates skill building, vocational training, and education programs across India, and supports its members with starting and operating learning centers.
- As of January 2014, 157 adolescent girls are currently training in SEWA Delhi Polytechnics
- 227 girls connected to meaningful employment through the Polytechnic’s placement cell, Rozgar Kendra
- 1,646 girls trained in diverse youth programs in 2016
Opportunities for women members
Women in the informal sector are eager to develop their skills in order to enhance their livelihoods, but do not have access to opportunities. SEWA Bharat steps in with women-organized skill building workshops, trainings, and events that develop both traditional practices and modern skills.
Youth development program
Girls born into families whose primary sources of income are from informal economy jobs typically continue the profession of their parents due to lack access to quality training institutes and little exposure to other professions. As a result, they remain outside the mainstream market of employment and are not given the opportunity for economic and social upward mobility. To address this, SEWA Bharat’s youth development program offers:
- SEWA Polytechnics
- Skill development courses
- SEWA Youth Resource Centers (SYRC)
- Youth Connect
- SEWA Youth Clubs
- SEWA Youth Explore
- SEWA Youth Connect
- Diverse youth events
Since 2011, SEWA Delhi has set up two polytechnics to fill the gap in quality training institutes that are accessible to the urban poor. The Polytechnics are linked with SEWA Delhi vocational training centers that are located in SEWA Shakti Kendras around poor areas of the city.
SEWA Polytechnics offer girls high quality basic and advanced training in textile design, graphic design, fashion design, spoken English and personality development, and bank clerical / financial literacy training through the State Bank Academy.
The uniqueness and innovation behind SEWA’s model is that it is designed to benefit the individual who becomes part of the Polytechnic as a learner and harnesses her skills and graduates as a skilled worker in the mainstream market. Last year, the youth development program connected a total of 513 girls to diverse, market-relevant courses.
SEWA youth skill development courses are available for adolescent girls within polytechnic academics or via SEWA Shakti Kendras. Most classes are 6-months in duration, and charge a nominal fee that is affordable to poor girls’ families and can be waived if the girl demonstrates the passion but does not have access to funding.
All the courses offered through SEWA Delhi Polytechnic and vocational training centers also help develop girls’ soft skills and provides them with personality development, leadership building, and team work experience. The courses also strengthen the girls spoken English in order to make them more competitive in the market.
- National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) partnership prepares girls for class X and class XII, exam taking, and coaches them to reduce the likelihood of early dropout. Through NIOS girls develop skills in English, science, math, home schience, and painting.
- Vocational training centers are located in SEWA Shakti Kendras (SSKs) and provide girls with opportunities to develop hard skills in embroidery, cutting and tailoring, stitching, and in computer literacy.
- Advanced training courses in textile design, graphic design, fashion design, spoken English and personality development, and bank clerical / financial literacy training through the State Bank Academy
- Non-Formal education classes are for children, adolescents and young adults in order to support their development for formal educational training.
- Job placements through Rozgar Kendra
- Internship program: connects girls to internships in diverse community businesses and organizations and in SEWA institutions. The Ruaab SEWA internship incubates girls in garment production and export training.
SEWA Youth Resource Centers (SYRC) mirror SSKs but focus on holistic youth development. SYRCs offer girls a safe place where they can find information and support on topics like sexual and reproductive health rights, job linkages, and banking.
SEWA Youth Resource Centers are currently operational in Rajasthan, Bihar, and Delhi.
Launched in 2013, SEWA Youth Connect is a month mentoring-program that connects young committed University students with marginalized girls aged 15 to 25.
The mentoring relationship aims to support the girls’ development towards a more self-reliant and independent personality and foster their potential and visions for a promising future.
More on this amazing initiative on SEWA Delhi page.
SEWA Youth Clubs are run out of community centers in order to extend youth development interventions. Youth Clubs engage girls in diverse and fun life-skill building activities. The aim is to help girls mature and become local leaders, paving the way for other poor youth in their community.
SEWA Youth Explores invites guest speakers to meet with girls in order to give girls professional role models and expose them to diverse career opportu- nities. Youth Explore is operating in SEWA Delhi.
SEWA Youth Festival brings together hundreds of girls from SEWA Delhi’s youth programs and from other NGOs and organizations around Delhi in order to give young women an opportunity to share their stories, skills, and talents with members of their community and distinguished guests from the Government and top educational institutions.
See more on the SEWA Delhi page.
SEWA Bharat helps adolescent girls plan street plays, events, and awareness sessions in their areas on issues such as women’s safety, gender equality, and girl child education.