LEADERSHIP TRAINING FOR EMPOWERMENT
Training and retraining of members and staff is an ongoing process at WWF with a view to create the multiplier effect. WWF recognises that training needs are likely to vary across different socio-cultural-economic contexts. Consequently, the training programmes are always tailored to suit the specific needs of the participants. The training programmes do not merely rely on the traditional methods of training such as in-class lectures. Rather, a great emphasis is placed on creative and flexible methodologies which are often evolved on the spot during the training. Examples of such methodologies include: role-plays, skits, games, exercises, participative workshops, seminars and charts. Members and staff are given refresher training at regular intervals. Why women are powerless? Who is the ‘real' breadwinner for the family? Why do we follow superstitions that harm women and girls? These issues are discussed in-depth through pictures. Besides, gender equality and equity, health, financial and credit, nutrition, the issues of the girl-child, education for children are also discussed. Prior to disbursing loans, the training is given to the members. To those members who lack sufficient job skills, training in tailoring, embroidery, making candles, detergents, agarbathi perfuming and camphor are also given. The staff of WWF are given periodic refresher training in training methodology at Gandhigram Rural Institute and ICNW staff are given periodic refresher training in Managerial Effectiveness at the Natesan Institute of Co-operative Management.
Some of the teams who have received training/ orientation have been able to replicate themselves this model of WWF in their respective areas to address their own local issues
Training has enabled in some cases to establish fruitful partnership in different geographic locations such as in tribal belts of Orissa, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, etc.,
Training has helped many research scholars, from Western and Eastern Universities to document their observations directly from the field and have been able to gain rich information resource.
WWF - ICNW BRIEF TRAINING
Training And Capacity Building Strategy
Training, orientation and capacity building are ongoing processes in Working Women's Forum (India)(WWF) Indian Co-operative Network for Women (ICNW) and National Union of Working Women (NUWW) in which both new and old members are involved in the process. The various types of training provided are given below:
Working Women's Forum (India)
Emphasize "hands-on" learning from leaders to experts to practitioners, people learn the best when they are sound on concepts and skills and put them into immediate practice. Ideally, such "hands-on" work includes efforts tried on real processes, projects, and improvement needs.
Build knowledge: Workshops are participatory in nature, knowledge/ experience sharing. The process is of poor women themselves creatively gaining awareness through innovative methodology facilitated by co-ordinators/supervisors to develop material, training modules such as visual aids, role plays, puppet shows, games, charts, etc. The various problems and solutions are discussed in different circumstances in these workshops and the manner in which could be modified for specific situation depending on the local needs. Such sessions provide valuable information that makes women both knowledgeable and potential agents of social change. (Gender, legal rights, banking principles, financial literacy, poverty and inclusion, cultural myths / barriers).
Healthcare Training: The healthcare training emphasizes on the mother and child health, nutrition, immunization, symptoms of various diseases and most importantly on the small family norm to balance economic needs of the family. The training programme vividly explains the consequences of large families that would otherwise end up in the vicious cycle of poverty, perpetuating child labor in each household.
The Working Women's Forum organizes women workers who are weavers, seri-culture workers, fisherwomen, beedi rollers, lace makers and other handicraft producers. However, when WWF finds that such skills of the members are not sufficient in providing them adequate income, alternate skill training is sought for. Hence, WWF provides training in such skills that they may be useful to generate an income, before they avail of credit facilities from ICNW.
Skill training is provided to members to assist them earn a living or to provide them with an alternate employment opportunity to take-up gainful employment, mostly either connected to the major employment opportunities or otherwise. New skills are also provided at times with the assistance of well known training institutes such as the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysore and Small Industry Service Institute. After training, women engage themselves in occupations depending upon the seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables. In fact, these products mentioned above are perishable and consumable items that have a very good local market. Secondly, advocacy skills to municipalities, government departments; accessing government schemes etc. are provided.
There is also a marketing programme designed for Kanchipuram silk weavers and Dharmapuri cotton weavers in Tamil Nadu. The products have to be designed according to the changing needs of the consumers/buyers who are invited to a buyer-seller meet. Therefore new designs are provided among the producers to enhance their marketing strategy.
Indian Cooperative Network for Women (ICNW)
Financial Literacy Training: This training deals with financial discipline and helps poor women understand the payment of installments with interest, strengthens their skills as an entrepreneur, helps them have custody of income - apportioning of their income-profit to loan installments and the rest for livelihood expenses; all these are part of a simplified financial education process to the poor women borrowers. Therefore awareness, knowledge and skills to make decisions about savings, investments, borrowings and expenditure are imparted in an informed manner.
Staff Training: Training is imparted to the banking and other staff in reputed co-operative institutes from time to time since they have to take care of a large number of clients and transact microfinance business.
Training of Trainers: from time to time field workers and supervisors are trained for sound training in leadership aspects, group management, group dynamism and principles of delivery mechanism to reach large numbers. They function as trainers too.
National Union of Working Women
Leadership/Communication Skill Training: The most important aspect of training is to train women to speak i.e. in communication skills. A successful entrepreneur is a good communicator. Being part of a group helps women to be bold and to communicate their needs effectively and efficiently. Women's empowerment training is provided at the time of disbursing loans. The women are taught to be good leaders and good members. The good leaders ultimately become successful entrepreneurs. Women are trained to stand up for their rights in the community and market. The decision making skills leads to better leadership qualities, especially one that poor women can break barriers of ignorance and resistance.
Training to acquaint with Micro-insurance: The training sessions also acquaint the clients in various micro insurance and social security programmes which are comprehensive safety net programmes for WWF members both as a worker and a mother. The various insurance programmes to clients of WWF become necessary particularly to learn about the various benefits available for them for life, disability, accident and disaster. The insurance also covers maternity benefits. (Click on the link for full report )