More than 1,500 women from various parts of India poured into Amritapuri for the two-day event in early May - A Celebration of Empowerment. This was the capstone event of AMMACHI Labs’ Women Empowerment Project, co-funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. The participants shared one thing in common: They were all graduates of AMMACHI Labs’ unique computerized vocational education and life enrichment education courses.
The Head of the United Nations in India, Ms Lise Grande, praised the AMMACHI Labs’ Women Empowerment project, saying, "The United Nations scours the world looking for the best projects, the most innovative projects, and projects which will have the highest impact. The one we’ve chosen for India is this project, and we chose it because AMMACHI Labs is the most creative way of empowering women. Of all of the projects which the UN funds around the world, this is the one dearest to our heart. It’s the one we are most proud of; and it’s the one that we intend to take to the rest of the world so that they can learn from what you have achieved."
Over the course of two years, the Women Empowerment (WE) project has empowered over 3,000 women in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, increasing their chances of employment. The project has also strengthened the women’s capacity to make decisions at the individual, family, and community levels. Economic empowerment is fostered through AMMACHI Labs’ computerized vocational education and training (CVET) programs, while social, democratic empowerment is enhanced through Life Enrichment Education (LEE) tailored to the needs of the community.
Over 18 months, the group has opened 18 Women Empowerment Centers as well as 9 mobile centers across Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They have trained 3,134 women. These graduates went on to start 29 self-help groups and 6 small businesses, earning a collective amount of over INR 1 million rupees (US$17,000) by the end of the project. Furthermore, the graduates have been champions for change, spearheading 73 community awareness activities ranging from alcohol awareness campaigns to environmental cleanup activities. By focusing on women, AMMACHI Labs is creating a ripple effect that improves the welfare of the community at large.
May 3, 2014
Cross posted from QS-News2WOWU
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