INDIA: Don Bosco Nerul launches online training program to help poor families become self-sufficient through entrepreneurial activities
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Nerul, located in Mumbai, India, has launched a new initiative to help people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic gain skills for employment. The initiative launched with 17 women, aged 19-45, who have signed up for online classes, which also include English language lessons. The goal of the project is to help poor families become self-sufficient by encouraging entrepreneurial activities and sharing the skills learned from other entrepreneurs or traders.
Many people who were migrants, employed as day laborers or in the informal sector lost their means of earning a living and taking care of their families during the lockdown period. Because people are not out on the streets and the tourism industry is shut down, many can no longer afford to feed their families. Finding people a new means of employment, and one that help families earn a livable wage, is critical to helping them escape conditions of poverty.
Salesian missionaries living and working in India, and in more than 130 countries around the globe, are also focused on achieving gender equality through rights training, education and workforce development programs targeted specifically for women and girls. These programs strive to empower women and girls by providing opportunities for education and training that lead to livable wage employment and their independence from violence and exploitation.
“Many women lost work due to the pandemic and are unable to support their families,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Women who are empowered through skills training programs, along with education and workforce development assistance, are more often able to achieve financial independence and help support their families and communities.”
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
India’s youth also face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
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Salesian Missions – India
World Bank – India