Working with vulnerable women from disadvantaged backgrounds has always been my volition.I believe that for women to become economically empowered they need to be trained to reach bigger markets.The old adage 'build a woman ,build a nation' is so true especially in developing countries like where i come from.A woman that is economically empowered is at an advantage of knowing her rights to sexual and reproductive health,she can negotiate herself against violence and violation of her rights.Therefore my training targeted women who are using their hands to make crafts,peanut butter and who are keeping chickens for sale,so that they can be trained in digital knowledge inorder to reach a wider market.The training also aimed at boosting confidence of these women some of whom are survivors of domestic violence,are HIV positive and all are economically disadvantaged.
I adopted some parts of the trainer's manual but used local language SHONA and a bit of English here and there.
WHERE AND WHEN?
I held the training on the 21st of April 2016,in my office.Participants travelled from their homes to my workplace.I provided them with transport and lunch
Initially i had targeted to train 21 people from Ministries and these emerging entreprenuers. However,i realised that my target was too high as i was going to train women who have never used a computer in their lives to be able to learn how to use them,have knowledge on what online marketing is and create their own online platforms for marketing their products.I ended up training 5 women who are in the business of making bags,sewing curtains,peanut butter production and those who keep chickens for sale.
These women came from different parts of Harare and were very keen to learn on how to reach a greater market than their traditional market of friends and neighbours who sometimes do not pay up in time.
I was responsible for training using the digital manual from World Pulse and adapting it to my target.I divided my training into two parts,the first part was done before we went for lunch.This was getting to know each other,challenges in our businesses,expectations after the training,and setting up of ground rules for the training.The second part involved practicals.I used two laptops that i have in my office.My assistant was also there to help me monitor progress and noting down challenges faced.The second session was more interesting as it provided a hands on approach to the theory we had been discussing.I taught them to take good quality pictures using my two cameras,upload them and even creating pages where they can market.
What was more interesting for my participants was talking to my mentor Kat Haber and my friend(VOF 2016) participant Urmila who both encouraged them to use their phones to connect to the internet and market their products,creating lasting friendships in the process.It was heart warming looking at these women as they exchanged notes with other powerful women.They even had a chance to be shown a bit of India by Urmila.(I will not hear the end of this experience!)
-5 women no know the meaning and importance of being online
-they are keen to learn more about using digital tools to market their products
-they wish to train others who are part of their groups
-self confidence through encouragements by mentors
-they also learnt about self care when they are online therefore they are equipped
We began around 11am and finished at 4pm ,this should not be a one day facilitation as i was trying to compress the training.
However,i could not make it a one week training because i was self funding the training.Having more funding i would love to go ahead with this training as it has measurable results that can be seen in a few hour's time.
Faith Kamwana-" I never knew that i could hold a computer and do all that i was taught today.I am trully empowered!"
Revai Mawuya-" I can't wait to connect online and have people marvel at my crafts and buy them.I am going to be rich and educate my children!"
TAKE HOME NOTES
This transformed me as much as it did them.I was touched by how one's confidence can be boosted or destroyed by small things.I was taught the art of loving and uplifting one another.One does not need a woman as an enemy but a friend and sister.WE ARE ALL ONE.