OUR SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS
Institution of Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), Johrat, Assam, India
Project: Women's Literacy program
Status: Over 1000 women empowered since 2019! (Ongoing Project)
I-CARD mission is to put the "tribals" on the development map of Assam, through a time bound program of systematic and intensive sustainable development strategies at every level, and thus educate the community to be cumulatively self-sufficient in developing themselves through internal indigenous resources. I-CARD ensures a successful future for the community through powerful youth projects and runs a holistic campaign to promote health awareness among women and children. The NGO helps to keep, preserve, protect and unite the cultural identity, traditional values, language and literature of the Mising tribes from disappearance. FrauenPower e.V. is supporting I-CARD with its literacy initiatives for women. The aim of this project is to empower up to 800 Mising tribal women yearly, by providing them with basic reading and writing skills over a period of one year. Animators and volunteers conduct lessons in up to 28 different villages; classes take place in the evenings so that they do not interfere with the daily work of the women. In addition to literacy classes, training courses for the development and empowerment of women are also carried out. These included sessions on women's rights, social justice, health care, family planning, preserving the Mising culture, forming support groups, business development skills, girls' education and so on.
Institution of Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), Johrat, Assam, India
Project: Women's Tailoring Project
Status: Over 50 women trained since 2021! (Ongoing Project)
We are conducting a second project with I-CARD where we are training up to 50 women a year to become tailors, in order for them to earn an income by offering their tailoring services to others or finding employment in this field. Many women in this part of India are either illiterate or have had limited schooling. There are also few employment opportunities for the women in this region, apart from maybe jobs in agriculture. Poverty is a big problem and many men have migrated to work in other parts of the country. Tailoring is one of the few options for employment for women, as it is also an activity that can be done when they are free. Also, many women in this area weave their own fabrics that require stitching. FrauenPower is supporting two tailors, who go from remote village to village, with sewing machines every few months. They spend a few months in the village teaching women the necessary tailoring and stitching skills, and examining them in the end.
Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation (KRMEF), Kathmandu, Nepal, http://www.krmef.org
Project: Women's Health Camps
Status: Over 300 women underwent a health check-up in 2019! Over 500 to be checked in 2022! (Ongoing project)
KRMEF creates a healthy, sustainable environment that embodies environmentally friendly practices for the well-being of local communities in and around Kathmandu, Nepal. Its main goal is to promote health and well-being in the poorest communities by creating sustainable change through environmentally friendly programs. FrauenPower e.V. is supporting KRMEF with its health check-up initiative, with the aim of improving women's health and that of their communities. Women are being checked for cancers, thyroid problems, gynaecological issues and a number of other issues. After the first Camps, health education and awareness on different prevalent diseases related to women increased in the community. It is hoped that by improving the health of women, the standard of living of their families and their communities can also be increased. Another aim of the health camps is to help create awareness of the environment and healthy living among the women.
M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, India, https://www.mssrf.org
Project: Women's Eco-preneurship Program
Status: Over 30 women trained in 2019
MSSRF is a non-profit foundation whose goal is to accelerate the use of modern science for sustainable agricultural and rural development. It specifically focuses on tribal and rural communities with emphasis on the poor, on women and on nature. The Foundation applies appropriate scientific and technological options to solve practical agricultural and food problems faced by rural populations. FrauenPower e.V. supported a project to strengthen the skills and knowledge of tribal women to become "eco-preneurs", as part of the "eco-project" in Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu. It was recognized that tribal women had limited access to training and the development of organic precursors, that they lacked market awareness, and that they lacked the ability to use local plant resources for their benefit. The aim of this training program was to create awareness of the conservation and sustainable use of local resources, to expand the value-added-oriented training for the primary and secondary processing of locally available plant genetic resources, to establish financial connections for tribal women and market connections for their products, and finally the development of cadres of tribal women as trainers of trainers for the development of the rural “eco-preneurs”. This project aimed to empower women - especially in the age group between 20 and 35 years - and to give them the opportunity to use their natural environment and the available resources for a sustainable and mutual benefit. This project was successfully completed in 2019 with 30 women completing their training.
The Zuri Initiative Trust, Nairobi, Kenya, www.zuri-initiative.com
Project: The Zuri Initiative Women's Empowerment Program
Status: Over 90 women have been empowered since 2019 (Ongoing Project)
The Zuri Initiative is a non-profit and social enterprise that was founded in 2018 to support poor women in and around Nairobi (Kenya). Zuri's vision is to create a sustainable future in which women and communities are socially and economically empowered. The initiative aims to empower women, promote entrepreneurship, alleviate poverty and transform communities with social capital. Zuri is currently recruiting and hiring low-income women with little, or no schooling, to become sales agents for natural hair care products produced by the initiative. Before the women start selling the products, they must undergo a three-month training program (known as ZIWEP - Zuri Initiative Women Empowerment Program) that covers topics of group structure, sales representatives, hair products, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, personal trust, and so on . FrauenPower has been supporting both the ZIWEP training, as well as Zuri's Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) initiative (a concept developed by Asia Initiatives, www.asiainitiatives.org). SoCCs is a virtual community currency for social welfare. It's a bottom-up initiative that gives communities the power and freedom of choice to share in their success. People engage socially to earn SoCCs which they can then redeem to improve their lives. The female salespeople involved in selling Zuri hair care products earn SoCCs by recycling, upcycling, undertaking neighbourhood clean-ups, volunteering and helping their neighbours. They then redeem the earned SoCCs for items important to them or for micro-credit. A number of ZIWEP graduates have improved their income by selling hair-care products, a few have been inspired to start their own small businesses and some have expanded their exsisting ones.
The Zuri Initiative, Nairobi, Kenya, www.zuri-initiative.com
Project: Zuri Vertical Garden (VGs) Initiative
Status: Over 50 women have their own VGs since 2020 (Ongoing Project)
This is the second project FrauenPower e.V. is initiating together with The Zuri Initiative Trust. In this initiative, vertical gardens (VGs) are provided to women in the informal settlements of Kibera and Mathare, Ngong Town. VGs are basically large plant growing bags that take up little space and allow kale, spinach and spring onions to be grown in small space. Such a bag has the capacity to feed a household of 6, produces vegetables year round, and is strong enough to last for 3 years. Such gardens also require less water and improve land productivity, as space utilization is minimal. The women have to first earn social capital credits (SoCCs) by undertaking good deeds (recycling, composting, neighbourhood clean-ups, etc.) and the accumulated SoCCs are then redeemed for the VGs. Each woman receives a grow bag, wire to stabilize the bag, compost, seeds and training on how to start and maintain her garden. The adoption of these gardens is not only innovative but also addresses the principles of good nutrition. Moreover, VGs offer the necessary solutions for space problems, generate an income whereby the women can sell surplus produce and, above all, make healthy vegetables available to families.
Divya Jyoti Mahila Vikash (DJMV), Odisha, India, http://djmv.cfsites.org
Project: Menstrual Hygiene Management and Sanitary Napkin Production
Status: Over 200 girls empowered in 2019 and a Napkin Production Unit set-up
DJMV, a non-governmental organization, is committed to the improvement and development of neglected communities in Odisha. Its main areas of focus are empowering women, livelihood support, organic farming, education, and menstrual hygiene management. It works through community-based initiatives, participation and awareness-raising, mainly through self-help groups (SHGs) of women. Over 1250 women are served by SHGs. FrauenPower supported DJMV financially for 40 women, from different SHGs, to set up a production unit for hygiene articles (sanitary towels). The coastal fishing communities in Odisha continue to view menstrual blood as unclean and shameful, and women tend to neglect the importance of proper menstrual management. This leads to a number of infections. Another problem is that either families cannot afford sanitary napkins, or the napkins are not bio-degradable and disposal a real problem where waste is not collected. Hopefully the lives of some women will improve, now that the cheap pads are available locally in the villages. Many women are also making a living now by selling the napkins from door to door. In addition to the manufacture of sanitary napkins, over 200 girls were trained on the subject of “Adolescents and Sexual Reproductive Health and Menstrual Hygiene Management”. These girls are supposed to pass on their skills to others.
Center for Development (CfD), Ahmadabad, India, https://www.cfdngo.org
Project: Girls Empowerment Program
Status: Over 50 girls empowered since 2020 (Ongoing Project)
CfD was founded in 1996 to address the problem of child labour in the poorer areas of Ahmadabad city. It started with formal education for poor children and addressed the rights and problems of vulnerable groups (girls, women, premature marriage, violence, etc.) and sought to empower the oppressed, exploited and disadvantaged communities (mostly women and girls from the lower castes or Muslims). CfD has set up the "Kadam Resource Center for Girls (KADAM)", in which traumatized or neglected girls (mainly Muslims, daughters of single mothers, or mistreated in their homes) are provided with a space where they can take part in therapy sessions, training, literacy classes and educational programs, and workshops (computer and internet knowledge, self-defence courses, training to become a health worker or beautician, etc.). The Center also helps girls find work once they have completed school. FrauenPower has been supporting KADAM and the girls education since 2020. Despite the Covid-19 related problems, a number of girls passed their final year school exams in the past two years and have secured a place for undergraduate studies. Two of the girls have managed to get admission in the prestigious St. Xavier's College in Ahmadabad and two graduated with a master's degree. A handful of girls have managed to find a job.
Shohratgarh Environmental Society, SES, Lucknow, India, www.sesindia.org
Project: Digital Empowerment for Lucknow Adolescent Girls
Status: Over 500 girls empowered since 2020 (Ongoing Project)
The Shohratgarh Environmental Society has been in operation for more than 34 years and has done a lot of work on women's and girls empowerment. They bring about social change by knowledge sharing, capacity building, experimental learning and entrepreneurial development in sustainable ecological manner. FrauenPower e.V. is funding a digital empowerment program, being implemented by SES, with the aim of investing in young girls and equipping them with skills, confidence and life options so that they have a better future. The project addresses the vulnerabilities of young girls living in the social, cultural and economic environments of a slum (which can be very challenging). According to SES, 51% of girls raised in Lucknow's slums will marry before they are 18 years old, 56% are anaemic, 72% of those who married early did not get any education, and 14% became pregnant as teenagers. The project focuses on empowering hundreds of young girls, aged 15 to 21 years, through 13 Girl Resource Centres in 20 Lucknow slums. The girls have access to teachers, computers and literature at the Centres, where they can improve their English and computing skills. The problems faced by young girls are regularly identified in order to provide them with the appropriate support, including that from parents, community leaders and service providers. The girls are also be given access to basic services such as health, education, nutrition and hygiene.
Voluntary Integration for Education and Welfare of Society, VIEWS, Odisha, India, www.viewsindia.org.in
Project: Kitchen Gardens, SoCCs and better farming techniques
Status: Over 600 women empowered with farming techniques since 2020 (Ongoing Project)
The Voluntary Integration for Education and Welfare of Society (VIEWS) is a youth centered grass-root organization working to improve food and livelihoods security among marginal and landless farmers in Odisha, India. They have been in operation since 2008. FrauenPower e.V. is working with VIEWS to support the social and economic empowerment of tribal women. The women are being taught how to start organic vegetable/kitchen gardens and how to undertake sustainable agriculture practices in tribal communities, through women's self-help groups. The women also carry out good deeds (such as keeping their environment clean and planting trees) and thereby earn social capital credits. Men from this area have migrated to larger cities to work and have left women behind to tend (or rent) their own limited land. However, many of these women lack knowledge of improved methods of farming and stick to their primitive, time-consuming methods of farming (which also use high-priced chemical fertilizers). This project, that operates in 28 villages, strengthens and trains women in the field of organic farming, promotes organic vegetable gardens at household level, trains women to create organic manure and vermi-compost pits, encourages them to plant trees (300 planted in one year), supports cleanliness campaigns and insists on the creation seed banks for seed conservation.
Amani Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, https://amanikibera.co.ke/
Project: Teen Talk
Status: Over 70 girls assisted since 2021 (Ongoing Project)
Amani Kibera is a non-profit, non-governmental, youth-led Community-Based Organization dedicated and involved in the running and imparting of knowledge to the disadvantaged segment of the Kibera slum, especially women and children in Kibera. FrauenPower is making it possible for up to 70 teenage girls to visit Amani Kibera, a community-based organization, every Saturday to participate in their Teen Talk program. Most of these girls, aged between of 11 and 18 years, and living in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi, have suffered some form of abuse and trauma. Amani provides them with counselling and therapy conducted by professionals hired by the Center. The latter offers the girls a place where they can relax, forget their problems, get professional help and unwind. Dance and music therapy is mostly used to address some of these problems. The girls are also provided with two warm meals on Saturdays, as well as hygiene items (such as reusable sanitary napkins) when they require them. They are also informed about their changing bodies, menstrual hygiene management, how not to become young mothers (a serious problem in these communities), and much more. Many of these are taboo topics usually not addressed by schools or families at home. One can already see some positive changes in the girls, that have been at the Center for the past year, and many have started having great ambitions, from wanting to become lawyers, to fight injustice in the Slums, to wanting to become actresses, musicians and one even a Nano-technologist! We wish them luck.
Hawkers Market Girls Center (HMGC), Nairobi, Kenya, https://girlscentre.co.ke/
Project: Hairdressing, Beauty therapy, Tailoring and Baking Courses
Status: Over 30 girls/women trained in 2021 (Ongoing Project)
HMGC is a community based organization that works in partnership with other organizations to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential by providing them with both vocational and life skills. The girls who come to the Center are from the slums surrounding the city of Nairobi. There is usually no fresh water, no space and no sanitation in these slums and HMGC provides safe water, free food and free education to the girls. HMGC has dedicated mentors who love, care and support the girls. FrauenPower is supporting Hawkers Market Girls Center to conduct a combined course that teaches girls and young women hairdressing, beauty-therapy, tailoring, baking, life-skills and housekeeping, full-time, for a year. These trainings, conducted by professionals, gives vulnerable girls and young women (aged 15-20 years) a perspective to learn new skills so that they can later find employment and earn a living, or start their own small business. Many of these girls, living in one of the slums in Nairobi, have not completed their secondary schooling, have undergone some form of abuse, are teenage mothers or have had issues with drugs. The Center offers these girls/women therapy, coaching and a secure environment in which they can improve their situation and aim for a better future. The girls are also provided with two meals a day, as well as hygiene items; both incentives for the girls to attend classes. Two girls from 2021 batch managed to find a job as hair-dressers before they had even finished with their course!
Together for Better Foundation, (t4b), Nairobi, Kenya, https://t4bfoundation.org/
Project: Period Poverty
Status: Over 300 girls supported and 30 women trained in 2021 (Ongoing Project)
Together For Better Foundation was founded with a mission to empower less privileged communities with better opportunities in life through improving access to learning resources and educational materials. Their purpose is also to create solutions for effective menstrual health management through the provisions of education, training and adequate information regarding Menstrual Health Hygiene. They aim to effectively decimate and demystify the myths of menstrual health with informational education, and thereby also stem the alarming growing numbers of early and teen girls’ pregnancies. FrauenPower has partnered with the t4b to address the severe problem of period poverty in the country. Studies show that over 65% of the girls and women cannot afford sanitary napkins or tampons in poor countries. This means girls/women often end up using a piece of cloth (often shared by other family members), bark or paper. This often results in them missing school or work, on an average of 4 days a month, when they have their periods. t4b has employed tailors who make reusable sanitary napkins, that they then distribute, as kits, to school girls around the country. Each kit contains 6 washable napkins, as well as information on menstrual hygiene management. t4b also trains women, from our other programs, on how to make such napkins, using old t-shirts or waste fabric. A number of these trained women are inspired to start their own small businesses making such napkins. These napkins can be either stitched by hand or by using a sewing machine.
YMCA National Training Institute (YMCA NTI), Nairobi, Kenya
Status: 40 girls trained in 2021 (Ongoing Project)
YMCA - National Training Institute was created in the 2005 to provide technical training. Its programmes are regularly upgraded to meet the current and emerging needs of students, business and industry. FrauenPower is funding another hair-dressing course in Kenya, this time a certified course, at the YMCA Training Institute. This one-year course gives girls and young women an opportunity to improve their access to the labour market by having a skill that is in high demand. Hair and hairstyles play an important role in women’s appearance in Kenya (as elsewhere) and people do spend a lot of time and money on having their hair done. These women and girls also (mostly) come from „difficult backgrounds“, such as having faced violence, become young mothers, not completed school, lacking money and future perspective, and so on. This training (which they would not have been able to afford on their own) gives them a chance to improve their future and that of their families. The women and girls are also helped to build up their often weak self-confidence, taught communication and conflict management techniques, and other soft and business skills. All girls also take part in the social capital credit initiative where they do social good and thereby earn credits that they exchange for hair-related items.