Displaced women show off their micro-enterprise talent
Miles away from their home and helpless under open sky, the internally displaced women show off their skills in embroidery, small-scale dress designing and stitching. Their work gives an assurance to visitors and potential supporters that had they been provided a little professional help, they could become established entrepreneurs with potentially turning the IDP camps into micro-economic activity marketplace.
Nearly 100 women visit a Women Friendly Space (WFS) being managed by the Roshni Helpline at the 500 Quarters’ IDP Tent Village at Gulshan-e-Benazir, Kemari. The place presents a look of a sea of tents hosting about 8,000 to 10,000 flood victims, including children and women.
The space is established under a psychosocial programme being run by the Potohar Organisation of Advocacy for Development (PODA), in collaboration with the Roshni Helpline, Sindh Home Ministry. Trained staff is hired at the WFS who taught visiting women basic educational, vocational and recreational skills. The project is aimed at taking women away from the hardships they faced during and are facing after flooding to spend some quality time in the spaces.
However, many women have already shown that they possess immense talent and skills of micro-enterprising. Many of them have designed clothing to an expert level and shown off proudly to the staff of the NGOs, but since they do not have an access to any marketplace or potential buyer or at least someone who admires their skills, they are put off.
“These women have remarkable skills in Sindhi embroidery and dress designing,” said Jahan Ara, who is the head teacher at the WFS. “They proudly show us how they have designed women’s clothing, i.e. neck and sleeves etc. This is very fine and elegant. No doubt these women have immense potential of becoming micro entrepreneurs but since there is no system that could facilitate these women to display or market it, their talent goes wasted.”
Roshni Helpline President Muhammad Ali said that the purpose of this space is to keep displaced women busy, keep their skills in the running and polished so that they do not forget their skills before going to their hometowns.