Update about Jaipur Rugs Foundation's WELL project
A year ago Corporate Rebels Foundation and Jaipur Rugs Foundation joined forces to provide a sustainable market-linked livelihood to the women who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start, 33 women have joined the WELL project by following a skill development training project. This program helps women in rural India to gain weaving and personal leadership skills in order for them to become independent skilled artisans.
So why is this important?
Due to limited decent employment opportunities, women in rural India can’t escape a vicious cycle of poverty when they want to stay in their own communities. The only way for rural women to escape this cycle is to move to the big city to start working in factories under poor working conditions, thereby leaving their families and rural communities behind.
The WELL (Women Empowerment Through Livelihoods and Leadership Development) project fights this dilemma and provides women in rural India with decent employment opportunities - in their own communities. The project achieves this by teaching women the necessary weaving and leadership skills so that they can earn their own money through weaver craftsmanship. This equips them with the necessary skills to become truly independent and autonomous for the rest of their lives. This means that they are no longer forced to move to the big cities to earn a living, but instead can stay in their own communities and still provide for their families.
This project is facilitated by a group of trainers. These trainers hold a very important part in the potential success of the WELL project. Only with well-trained and engaged trainers, the women can then develop themselves into highly skilled artisans.
Let us tell you more about these heroes who make a great difference in the lives of many women.
Selection of trainers
First, it is important to select the right trainers. The trainers at Jaipur Rugs Foundation are very experienced and high-quality weavers themselves. Moreover, they are able to efficiently transfer the necessary carpet weaving skills to others. For that reason, Jaipur Rugs Foundation runs surveys to get to know the trainers and their quality better. These surveys focus on gathering more data about things like trainers’ experience, ambitions, and knowledge. By analyzing this data, the foundation selected the most suitable trainers for the WELL project.
Training of trainers
Once the group of trainers is selected by the foundation, it becomes time for this group to first be trained themselves. This is done through a three-day program called ‘Training of Trainers’ (ToT) that is facilitated by experts from the Jaipur Rugs company. During these days the group will be briefed about the WELL project, and all the technical aspects involved with the project. But, maybe more importantly, the group of trainers upgrade their knowledge and skills to efficiently transfer the craft of carpet making to their future trainees.
The role of the trainer
After the group of trainers finishes the ToT, together in pairs the trainers start to work with their group of trainees (18 trainees are in each group). The trainers intensively guide trainees through a skill training that lasts around 6 months. For the first three months the trainers mostly focus the training on demonstrating and teaching the necessary weaving techniques. After these first three months the trainees are already equipped with the knowledge and skills to start weaving their own carpets. As such, during the last three months the role of the trainer shifts from demonstrating weaving techniques to guiding and coaching the trainees in improving their technique. During the last three months of the process, trainees are actually able to earn money already for the work they deliver. Moreover, after a trainee successfully completes the training she will be able to become an independent skilled artisan that is able to make her own living.
And what about a training and work location?
To make the project a success proper training locations are necessary. The locations must be safe, secure, and easily accessible to both trainers and trainees. Also, the location must be well connected to roads in order to have the raw materials supplied to the workplace. The space itself must have a natural light source, and the actual place to work needs to be able to be covered with shade. Also, the location must include a hygienic area, a toilet, and the availability of drinking water.
Once all these conditions are met, the newly trained women can further develop their weaving skills. Next month, 18 of the in total 33 women, will finish their traineeship and have a future as independent artisans. Together with Jaipur Rugs Foundation, we are very proud of the achievements so far.
We're still fighting to make a change
In May 2022 we started a collaboration with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). WRC is an independent labor rights monitoring organization that investigates working conditions in factories around the globe. You can find more information here.
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