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United for Hope
I am passionate about:
India, clean water, toilets, solar energy, women's empowerment, social enterprise, modern farming, alternative livelihood, holistic development, Smart Villages, Digital inclusion
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Hello Ashley Tillman This is Tara from United for Hope. I am happy to answer your question even though the answer is somewhat complex. We work in a highly patriarchal area, where for many women after marriage, live revolves around home and children and even leaving the home requires permission from men. What we find is that the women struggle to answer questions around their personal goals, hopes, aspirations etc. They have never been asked this and the impulse to express it was suppressed at a very early age. For this reason we have to spend a significant amount of time working with the women to develop a sense of agency - and to find their long lost voices. We do this in all vocational classes with women but also in our after-school classes with the girls (and the boys too as coming from a low caste also leads to disempowerment) - however, its a fine balance - if the pace of women's empowerment and agency training goes too fast, then we risk to overwhelm the women and also to enrage the men (who are critical if empowerment is to be sustainable), so we have to tread carefully and pace ourselves for the long term. I hope this gives you a glimpse into our challenges and approach. As I mentioned its a complex theme but as we invest in communities in the long term though our Smart Village approach, we believe they can be overcome. Best, Tara.
Hello Haein Shin , sorry for the delay in replying. We missed your question earlier. We combine local and regional/national/international experts for vocational training. Where available we prefer local trainers but the reality is that in this region quality training isn't readily available. Where we use national/international trainers (whether in person or online), we ensure that there is a train-the trainer session so that local training capacity can be increased. We also have onsite accommodation and host long term volunteers. These people (both westerners and Indians) are also able to assist in training or to take it over completely depending on their skill set. After school is taught by our own teaching staff and supported by long term volunteers. In this way children have access to new cultures and in many cases new activities (if our volunteer is talented in music, art, crafts etc). I hope this has answered your questions. All the best, Tara
Hi Rodney, thanks for taking the time to read our idea. It is indeed true that many villages in Indian now have electricity access (not sure about all) but many people within those communities do not have access and in rural areas electricity is also unreliable - sometimes out for days on end. Without alternatives to agricultural jobs, people just move away, especially those with education - thats what we try to offer - dignified jobs and training across a number of areas. Thanks again for your interest, if we can be of help to you, let us know. Best, Tara