In October 2007, when Project Why extended its activities to work towards women’s empowerment it realised that the best way to gain the trust of women was by reaching out to their children. From the very outset, the Khader Women Centre ran an after-school support programme for children, in line with the education programs run by Project WHY. Today over 300 children attend this programme that extends from class I to X as well as 160 women have attended our vocational training.
Women Centre and empowerment Program
The Women Centre in Khader began as a residential cum empowerment program. As time passed and working towards women’s empowerment we realised that the best way to gain the trust of women was by reaching out to their children. We found a new building in 2007, that was perfect for a small residential centre, a vocational centre and the roof top was used for an after-school support programme for children, in line with the education programs run by Project WHY. However, in 2008, when the two women residing in Project WHY left to lead a normal life; the residential program was discontinued.
Today, the Women’s centre holds 6-monthly vocational training course for women in stitching/ tailoring and a course on beautician. Women at the end of the courses get a course certificate and a self-made manual of the training. Over the years, we have trained about 160 women. We hope that this year we can improve the quality of their tailoring/ stitching by helping them learn different stitching techniques.
Education Support Program
Initially, the Khader education support program ran primary classes for children of the community. As time passed and with growing parent’s demand, we extended our education support program to include secondary classes. Computer classes are also part of the educational support at the centre. The classes in Khader centre are held in 2 shifts: boys in the morning and girls in the afternoon. Each shift is further divided in two 1hour and 30 minutes shifts, to accommodate more children.
Apart from supporting children’s school curriculum, we also conduct a range of educational workshops concentrate on clean water, good manners, harmful effects of plastic and cleanliness of the surroundings. This is particularly relevant as the centre is located within a village where access is through a small lane replete with buffaloes. Children are also encouraged to plant some green plants and learn to tend to them and respect them.
Over the years this location has seen many projects come and go. It is here that we seeded our first primary support project that was located in a reclaimed pig park and then bulldozed out to land on the roadside!
We then opened other primary projects in neighbouring slums but always retained one in this location.
Fifteen years down the lane we have come full circle as it is one of our alumni who teaches this class!
Our Senior Secondary Project was born and never looked back. The children were taught in the freezing winter mornings and did us proud. Today most of them have secured good jobs and some have even started families!
Every year around 20 students pass their class XII Boards and many top their school.
We watch them find their wings with immense pride.
In no time, we managed to get a few old computers and our computer project saw the light of day.
Over time, we realised that our computer project could also be a possible income generation project and thus opened to students outside project why. The centre runs 6 month courses in different batches and some of the courses on offer are: courses Basic, Tally, DTP, Flash Animation. We also offer hardware courses. Many of our students have secured good jobs.