women x women | bridging the gap

Today we visited Kiran Niketan Primary School and Social Centre in Zuarinagar, Goa. The community centre provides training programs, after school tutoring as well as medical services. This organization acts as a platform for the migrant community to come together and learn skills that can be applied to many areas of their life. The main training program run by Kiran Niketan is the tailoring program; funded by the government and runs for 6 months, twice a year. This is a great opportunity to learn sewing techniques and to gain motivation to become an entrepreneur.

There are classes that teach young girls how to macramé and crochet. The first item that they create is to be taken home as a prototype to show their families. Then all of the other products made go towards the annual exhibition in February. All of the proceeds go towards the training and learning programs at Kiran Niketan. In past years these funds have gone towards providing sewing machines to the centre for the girls and women to work.

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During our visit at Kiran Niketan we had the opportunity to meet the 10 women who are apart of the Paper Bag Project. These women have been working on the project for 3 months and have become very skilled at bag production. For newspaper bags the women have created an assembly line of which is separated into two groups: one group does the folding, cutting & pasting and the second group does adds the rivets and handles to the bag. The women are paid per bag that is completed. Together, these women are passionate about their job and create quick, quality work. Kiran Niketan Social Centre offers amazing services to support women’s empowerment and to help bridge the gap.

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Tara Trust is one of the organizations that we have the opportunity to work with over the next few weeks. They have a group of 30 women who have been working along side Tara Trust for 3 years. Tara Trust rents one of the women’s homes in Zari for the ladies to use as their workshop. The women have learned many different skill sets over the past few years such as sewing, embroidery, paper making, weaving, crochet and macramé. There is one woman in particular who is an expert seamstress, tailor and pattern maker. She is the go-to for Tara Trust whenever the team has a new idea. She can visualize drawings and turn them into a prototype for other women to follow. The women are very creative and resourceful. Often many of the products are the ideas of women; they take different materials and transform them into unique products. They are evolving as the creative process goes along. It was an honour to meet these women and see how passionate they are about creating.

img_1530It was refreshing to see two organizations empower women to use their spare time to gain an income doing something they are passionate about. I am really looking forward to collaborating with this community of women so that together; we can create an impact on the community.

– T’mikah