Empowering youth through skill development
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India has been supporting ETASHA since 2009. Through the ‘Give As You Earn’ programme, CAF has linked ETASHA to a growing support base of individuals who share our vision for every young Indian to be employable, have self-worth and lead a dignified and productive life. Over the years we have received funds from corporate employees to train and place thousands of youth from marginalised communities through our Vocational Training programmes. Huma’s story is an example of the empowering impact that a job has in the lives of these young people and their ability to contribute to their communities.
Huma is a resident of Pappu Colony, an unauthorised colony on the outskirts of Ghaziabad. Her siblings began working as soon as they were old enough, to support their single mother; her brother is engaged in manufacturing steel railings and her sister is a teacher and counsellor at a local NGO. After completing her graduation, Huma too wanted to work. She joined ETASHA’s Computerised Office and Data Entry programme to improve her skills and got a job as a receptionist at CAN Hospital.
She feels she gained much more than she expected from the programme. “I joined because I wanted to learn computers, but I have also become so much more confident. Earlier, I would only go to places that were within walking distance. During the social confidence visits we were given tasks where we had to travel to and collect information from banks and retails stores before making a presentation about our findings in front of the class. This has made me confident about speaking in front of people as well as about taking the metro and going to places that are far, all on my own. I also realised that I had many strengths; that I am a good team player and a good listener, qualities that help me in my work place,” she says.
Having improved her skills, Huma uses them to help her community. Every day from 4pm to 9 pm she gives tuitions to a group of thirty-five women, comprising a mixed group ranging from young school girls to mothers in their 30s. She gives free classes to these women and also provides them with stationery. “Many mothers can’t fill up forms on their own, read their children’s diaries, or help them with their studies because they don’t know how to read. They would always come to me for help so I started teaching them so that they could help their children. I have been working with the women in my neighbourhood, for the past 3 years.” she says.
One of her immediate goals is to save up for a laptop where she can teach them the basics. “There are many parents who will never allow their daughters to go to an institute but will allow them to come to my house. There are some basic skills like using computers and technology that every young woman should know so that they don’t have to depend on anyone. I want to contribute in my own way to empower the women in my community” she says.
ETASHA SOCIETY is a not-for-profit society providing vocational training with placement as well as employability skills training and career guidance to young people from disadvantaged background in India.