A project to develop the bamboo weaving skills of 30 women in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, Southern India has concluded with resounding success. In partnership with Tzedek, the Hospitality for the Needy Community Trust (HNC Trust), provided skill development training for the women, aged between 22-40 years old, over a 7 day period in a local community hall. Once the training had been completed, the women received interest-free loans from the HNC Trust to acquire the necessary tools for bamboo weaving, such as knives, bamboo sticks and essential raw materials.
All 30 women successfully completed the training programme and all were able to establish independent Bamboo Basket businesses – selling goods which are in high demand in the local community. As a result of this programme, the beneficiaries are earning roughly INR 9000-15000 net income per month, enough to relieve these women from extreme poverty and more than double their previous incomes. These new skills provide an independent, sustainable and reliable source of income for the beneficiaries and their families.
This programme not only served to develop specific vocational skills for the women but also strengthened their sense of independence, self-sufficiency and confidence. For many of the beneficiaries, the training also served to enhance their reading and writing abilities.
Mrs. Rajeswari, a 32-year-old beneficiary with 3 children, reflected that “I am fortunate enough to have joined in the project of HNC-Trust supported by Tzedek UK… My earnings are improved due to my sharpened Vocational skill development training. My confidence is established through the various counselling and training activities of the HNC Trust. I got an opportunity for fair credits. I am safe from exploitation. Now whatever I earned on hard labour is mine as a whole. Thanks a lot to Tzedek UK and HNC-Trust.”