Tara Trust ran a women’s livelihood program in a slum area in Goa in the years 2014 till 2018, to empower Muslim women that had little chances to even leave their homes, by teaching them craft skills and selling their products. The objective of this project was to form a cohesive group of women with exceptional craft skills and bringing in skilled designers to teach them. That way they learned to work from home or meet with their peers and work independently over time. With the successful implementation of this program, working with them for 4 years, we enabled to empower a group of women and increased their financial security.
Workshops were held twice a week in Zuari Nagar, a low-income community located in a slum area, near the airport in Goa. The group consisted of 20 Muslim women, mostly married with children. It took time to build trust with the families to allow the women to step out of the house and work with us. For the community it was a new and impacting experience that our staff and volunteers came and worked simply for the benefit of the women – all they had known before were people coming to exploit the community as a vote bank or coming and disappearing within a short period of time. At times, we also did workshops for their children during the craft classes, so they can learn new techniques without being distracted. This also allowed their children to develop a few English skills and participate in various games and activities. With this pilot project we brought together women from different socio-economic backgrounds into a nurturing environment, promoting their skills, creative abilities and confidence.