Jafakash Aurat Project initiated by Khushhali Microfinance Bank was a unique project for the women folk who not only believe in hard work but also have confidence in themselves. The main objectives of the project were to improve income generation of the poor women by developing and strengthening their skill and entrepreneurial capacities and giving them access to micro financing opportunities. Such efforts serve to foster a sense of confidence within people, enabling them to take up jobs and start their own business owing to which they can contribute positively towards the house hold income as well as the overall prosperity of the entire family.
Starting the project in Gawadar was in itself a great challenge due to major difficulty in logistics, accessibility, availability of materials, maintenance of the equipment and above all the poor literacy rates owing to unavailability of proper schools and colleges for women in the city. However, once the initial problems were over come and the project was set up, KMBL began to assess the training needs of the local women and conducted a Training Need Assessment (TNA) survey.
Once the potentially lucrative and most demanded skill sets were determined KMBL began giving the women short courses on tailoring which included the finer side of designing and embroidery using embellishments. Other courses included Beautician training, Cooking on commercial basis in which market linkage was developed via which these women could make and sell food items to meet the local market demand. The demand of this was high, mainly because of the fishermen who travel on their launches averaging a month or so for catching fish.
A computer lab equipped with 20 computers and other related equipment for Computer Training was also set up under the project. Keeping in mind the future requirements of the city an advanced curriculum was developed for Teachers’ Training and Office Management. Even the trainers hired were from the local community thus increasing the employment opportunities in the region. These trainers then went through extensive Training of Trainers (TOT) program. The training program was well received by the local women and the overall response was beyond expectations. There were even instances where the men came and appreciated KMBL’s efforts in providing their women with opportunities for self development and enhancing their family income. As the batches were certified through the training the other most important part of the model was to provide these women access to micro financing opportunities, for which, the bank hired female sales staff that was present at all times at the training center. Some women who were already running their micro businesses also took the loan during or before the training.
Jafakash Aurat Project in Gawadar was an extremely successful project that achieved most of the mile stones outlined in the project brief. It served to train about 4,500 women, whereas around 695 women were provided micro credit loans.