Linking literacy and livelihoods

Linking literacy and livelihoods in Tamil Nadu –

Feed the Minds has been working with the Self Help Association for Rural Education and Employment since 2007 to provide hundreds of disadvantaged young people with work skills such as tailoring and pottery. Alongside vocational skills, trainees have also learnt complimentary practical literacy and numeracy skills. To date, over 130 trainees, some with disabilities, have successfully secured employment or set up their own businesses.

Our current partnership project continues with the vocational and literacy skills focus but an additional element has been added in response to a need that was identified through evaluations of past projects. Many of the young trainees were finding that, after graduating, they were unable to access bank loans to enable them to set up their own enterprises. As such, SHARE are now providing financial training to past trainees and supporting them to set up savings and loans groups. Once established these groups will be self-sustaining and current trainees will have the option of joining after graduation.

Linking literacy livelihoods

Ms. Parimala is a single woman with a disability residing in Munjurpet village. Before coming to the training centre, she said she felt alone at her home and village; now she says that she interacts with other team members which gives her great strength.

"I feel comfortable learning in the company of these women."

Find out more about Linking literacy and livelihoods

"Before the project Jeya was treated only as an object and a liability. After the project and learning these skills, her family and relatives started considering her as a asset." Interim Report, January 2015

Mobile phone servicing skills gives new life to family

Saraswati comes from a very poor background. She was married at a young age to a man much older than her who left her after she gave birth to two girls, and no boy. She had no regular income and struggled to provide for her children.

She heard about SHARE and the vocational literacy training they provide in mobile phone servicing, tailoring and pottery. She spoke to a member of the field staff and signed up for a three month mobile phone servicing course.

After the training she was able to get work around her village and now earns Rs100 to Rs150 per day. The additional income helps her children to go to school regularly and her aged mother to receive care.

A mother's day reflection

Our Director of Fundraising & Communications, Adam, was very impacted by what he saw on a recent visit to SHARE. When he got back to England he wrote a blog about the important roles women and mothers play in our societies. You can read it here.