“ If you educate a man, you educate one person but if you educate a woman, you educate the nation.”
At VARAS we believe that, the only sustainable way to break the circle of poverty is to give a woman the right tool to work (women empowerment). A woman with the necessary resources and support will not only develop herself but the entire family and the community hence breaking the circle of poverty.
It is to this background that, VARAS seeks to empower the rural woman with employable skills and resources after training to be able to make a living.
This programme seeks to attend to women who
1. Suffer some form of abuse
2. Have no source of income/job
3. Desire to learn additional skill
4. Marginalized through cultural and traditional practices
4. Physically challenged
Through our volunteer community trainers programmes, we hope to make the difference.
Women projects we currently focus on are
1. Women in Dressmaking and Tailoring
2. Women in Soap Making
3. Women in animal rearing
Take advantage of our free volunteer placement and join us this summer and winter break on our educate the youth programme. Some of the itineraries include, education of career guidance, computing, healthy living, public health etc. Join us!
In order to achieve its vision of bridging the yawning developmental gap between the urban centers and the rural areas in Ghana, VARAS has initiated the project of empowerment of the rural folks with income generating skills. There is a score of young girls and boys in rural communities who have dropped out of school due to lack of financial support or who could not pursue formal education due to poverty. In these conditions, when no help is given to these young ones to acquire an employable skill they end up miserable. This then leads to an increase in the rate of poverty since they go on to give birth to children who end up in similar condition as their themselves. In order to provide these rural poor young men and women with an employable skill, VARAS has come up with the Dressmaking and Tailoring training project. Dressmaking and tailoring are lucrative ventures which can help increase the income of the family and break the vicious circle of poverty. At the end of the training, these young rural folks will be assisted with a sewing machine to set up their own sewing workshop or re-engaged as an instructor.
This project seeks to provide skills to the youth in dressmaking and tailoring. A sewing centre will be constructed and sewing and knitting machines provided. The centre will be made of a workshop with a storeroom and an office, two bedrooms apartment and a washroom. The workshop will serve as the training room and working room, the working items and tools will be kept in the storeroom. The office will serve as the space for administrative work. The bedrooms will serve as the living quarters for the instructor caretakers. A total of ten (10) machines made up seven Industrial sewing machine, One (1) Industrial multipurpose machine, One (1) Industrial Thread knitting machine, One (1) Industrial Thread overlock Machine shall be provided to furnish the centre.
Once completed, the management of the project will be under the supervision of VARAS. It is expected that the income generated from the sewing will be used to develop the centre.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, the centre will be run as a commercial venture. We will negotiate with local schools and other clients in order to receive sewing contracts of their uniform and other items. With the state of the art sewing machines and the experts’ tailors and dressmakers we shall be a reference centre for all sewing contracts in the region. Advertisement shall be made to attract potential customers to consider the centre for their sewing needs. And the profit that will be made of the sewing will used to
1) expand the projects by building additional halls in order to train more young me and women.
2) pay the wages of the workers
3) to provide the initial working tools for the trainees after their apprenticeship and
4) build training centres in other district capitals in the country
Dzolokpuita in the Volta Region of Ghana.
The construction of the project kicks start September 2018. We hope to complete the project by the close of 2020.
The selection of young men and women will be done in consultation with the local authorities and also an interview will be conducted to ascertain the capacity of the applicant to go through the training successfully.
Short and Long Term Benefits
In the short term this project will provide a centre where rural poor young men and women will be trained to acquire employable skill free of charge.
In the long term the trainees will be able to set up their own workshop, earn income and improve upon their standard of living.
The host community and the entire district will be actively involved in the project before, during and after. During the project, the community members will serve as labourers. This will significantly reduce the cost of project.
The total estimation for the project is US$ 15,000.00. This cover the cost of building materials, Industrial sewing machines, workmanship. Click here to donate on our our gofundme page organized by a past volunteer and see how much we have raised so far.
Volunteers and Partners Calling
VARAS welcomes both local and international partners to contribute to the realization of the project.
The international volunteers will work alongside locals in doing the cement, carpentry, plumbing, electrical works. After completion, the international volunteers will help in the selection of first young men and women for training to commence and also assist in the training process.
We also call on churches, student clubs and groups, universities, communities, organizations, companies, individual to get involve by providing or raising funds to support the project.
Soap and Bleach making is quick, less expensive yet highly economical venture any one can delve into. It is one of the easy ways rural women can engage in, in order to raise additional income to support themselves and their children through school and the provision of the physical needs.
VARAS through this project hope to engage both young and old women to undergo this training, provide initial capital and create market after production to enable the commencement of business just after training.
This we believe will reduce dependency ratio, create employment as well as break the vicious cycle of poverty.
Education is the key to a sustainable development and the only way to break the circle of poverty is to educate a rural girl, because if you educate a man you educate one person but if you educate the woman you educate the nation.
In Ghana, basic education is free but due to the huge burden on the national government, teaching and learning aids, text books, classroom blocks, furniture, sanitation, printing of exam papers etc are not adequately provided. Due to this, facility and school management and development fees are again introduce to directly cater for the aforementioned.
These new fees indirectly prevent the students from staying in class to learn, since they either have to work to raise the funds to pay or stop the school entirely to assist their family cater for the family or pay for the boys or few who are still in school. Rural girls end up been the losing ones since some traditions frown on girls going to school since it is believed they are meant to be in the kitchen.
It is to background and the fact that if nothing is done immediately, the future of the country is in jeopardy that, VARAS design the project called Back to School Poultry Farm. The farm will give the opportunity to students especially girls by sponsoring their tuition (formal school or vocation) and management fees until they are gainfully employed.
Fowl rearing is a lucrative business if managed well. It can be done anywhere and the materials used to construct the coop are cheap of which majority come from the community.
The Longman Classic (hen) layers lay egg in 14 weeks and continue laying for two years of which each of them lays 3 eggs at most in a day depending on the vitamin and feed. After two years, the birds are sold and new ones bought to continue the project.
Starting with 1000 birds, the farm will use the profits from the sales of eggs to;
1. pay tuition either in full or part for 30 to 50 students both in the basic, senior high, university and vocational school in an academic year
2. provide sanitary pads etc to rural school girls
3. provide teaching and learning aids to students and rural schools
4. meet the nutritional needs of students occasionally by supplying eggs to schools for meal
5. support the construction of school facilities
Per our consultation and community engagement, the locals will provide cheap natural building materials (wood, cracked stones etc), serve as labourers, carpenters and masons before and during the construction. The rest of the building materials (roofing sheets, cement, electrical cables etc) will be bought.
The project shall be constructed jointly by two to three communities and manage by women and the girls in the school.
The project location is in Ho-West communities.
The project is self-sustainable because part of the profit will be invested back in the project to keep it going. Therefore in about 2 to 3 years of its inception, international support and donors will not have to finance the farm. Also the project can be done at the school level and or the community level.
But to be able to replicate similar projects in other communities hopefully in 3 to 5 years in order to benefit more rural students especially girls, part of profits from the existing farm and through the support of international donors will finance the construction of the farm.
The farm will be jointly manage and supervise by VARAS, the host communities and the school. Rural women will be engage as caretakers and administrators to run the farm on daily bases. Salaries structure payment will be design and agree upon as mode of payment for part/full time workers.
For the project to be executed, we call on donors, philanthropists, groups, organizations, women associations, families and individuals who would like to bring this project to fruition. Plaques will be made in honour of all who donated or supported the project in any kinds.
We equally call on international volunteers to support the project by physically volunteering their services during and after the construction.