VIN’s mission is to empower marginalized communities, with a focus on women and children, through enhanced educational programs and community training to promote equality, economic well-being and basic human rights within those communities.
Working towards women's empowerment enables one to support women in their pursuit of a healthy and sustainable livelihood. Women's groups provide a forum for issues such as family health, women's rights, access to resources, income generation, and other challenges women face in their daily lives. Volunteers have the opportunity to exchange ideas, collaborate in ongoing projects, teach Basic English skills, help with small businesses, and be positive role models. You can also provide support in many other ways, depending on your skills and interests and the needs of the local community.VIN has the following key programs to empower the local women:
- Education (Literacy), rights and life skills
- Saving and credit - micro-credit through the establishment of cooperative
- Income generative skills training - agriculture and non agriculture products
- Women's health and maternity education
- Teaching English Language for young women
VIN runs women education classes in the neediest communities on Nepal. by 2011, VIN has trained over 400 women through literacy classes, which were taught by other local women and overseen by the women’s program expert to help everyone learn to a sufficient standard. Women need to be able to speak good English to access career options through the internet, and to be able to impress companies that look for English speakers. Your role as a volunteer for women's empowerment will be crucial to help them learn English and get exposure to learning process.
The women then receive skills-orientated training so that they can generate some income through projects such as vegetable farming (organic and non organic), livestock, sewing and cutting, incense making, candle making, and dry food making. So if you have nay skills to produce any handicrafts items would help these marginalised women generate some income.
They have regular meetings and save some money every month in their saving-credit groups. The women are also given training in organic agriculture to help the organic movement, which is labor intensive. These meetings give women a chance to discuss, learn and exchange views with others in the movement.
VIN will be indebted to any volunteers with experience in this area. The forage development project aims to save women time by having grass closer by to feed their animals, who are their major source of income.Roles of Volunteers:
- Work with VIN local staff to train women
- Help women's groups in learning about account keeping
- Work with women in their farm
- Participate in and initiate awareness raising activities in various issues
- Teach and promote women's rights
- Discuss women's health issues
- Lead activities that teach life skills, e.g. leadership skills, decision making, communication, problem solving, coping with stress
- Teach English language to the young women
- Develop small grant proposals to fund women's empowerment programs
- Research for funding agencies and raise funds for local projects
- Help explore possible market for women's products
- Research and conduct case studies on women's programs, success stories
So, VIN invites all interested national and international volunteers to be a part of our women’s development programs. Come with expertise and help women learn or come with no expertise and learn together. Your small effort can make a big difference to women in the most marginalized communities! We do however request our volunteers to be flexible! It takes time for you to learn about the local women before you start your actual work and you need patience for that. Working in the community is not like a computer program, which is preset, where with a click of a button there are results produced. When one works with people from an entirely different culture and upbringing, ideals are bound to clash. The only thing one can take true comfort in is, each step will take place slowly, but surely.
Volunteer with VIN in the women’s development / empowerment program and teach women to be literate, skilled and empowered. Let's help women leave their domestic spheres and once and for all experience the outside world!
"...I was motivated to work in the women’s empowerment program, and
I was very impressed with the goals VIN had helped the women set. I was
able to aid the much needed new staff in gathering information about
the current situation faced by each group, so they could focus on the
present needs of the individual groups giving them the attention they
need. With the staff routinely checking up on all the groups to monitor
progress and provide assistance in mitigating problems, I think future
volunteers will likely be able to greatly help the groups when they come
to volunteer for even a short amount of time..."
Andrea Schmelcher, Canada
Women’s Empowerment Program Volunteer
January 12 to Feb 26, 2009