Women and handwork are not separable in many areas of Myanmar. The work of women in handicrafts is renowned in Myanmar. As housewives, most of the women possess certain ground skills in hand sewing, stitching, knitting and even tailoring.
Use Women Skills for their Own Empowerment
The community of Ward67 is facing great deals of issues in means of livelihood, living conditions and infrastructure factors. Making a living is always a big challenge as people do not stand many chances to job employment of decent conditions. Many of the population still lack official documents that could prove their national identity. This causes a serious problem for the people to get access to employment opportunities.
In Ward67, there are already small in-house-businesses started by woman-tailors. As a matter of fact, the women are still short of professionalism and skills in doing their business. There is a need for them to attain more advanced and systematic skills to produce quality products.
Skill trainings for the women
As part of Social business activity of FISONG Project, some women from Ward 67 are going to be provided with technical trainings starting from September which will include garment training, making handmade products like ribbons, head bands, hair bands and clips, making tailoring accessories such as pattern buttons and embroidery, sequins attaching, making baskets and handbags using basic local products such as rattan and bamboo.
Garment skills training –
Garment training is a very good opportunity for the women because majority of blue collar woman workers in Yangon are most likely to seek employment in garment factory sector. For this training, women are encouraged to join Aung Myin Hmu training centre which is in connection with Green Lotus.
Aung Myin Hmu offers garment industry training every two months where the trainees will be provided with different skill trainings in making stitches, corners and straight lines, etc. Moreover, they will also be provided with lunch and a stipend of 1800 kyats for every training day. After the completion of the training, the women will be given direct job placements in exporting garment factories which are operating in accordance with international labor regulations.
The fact that Aung Myin Hmu training does not ask for any educational qualification of the trainees makes a very suitable job training option for the women in Ward67. At the moment, some women from the ward are starting to join the training and enjoying the environment there. Gradually, there are growing numbers of interested women who are willing to give a try to this vocational program.
Handwork trainings at the Community Centre –
Weekly handicraft trainings have been delivered at the Community Centre of Ward67 since mid-September. This part of training offers different themes that can attract most women such as handmade products, natural-fabric handbags making and bags and baskets making. With the collaboration with various professional trainers, the trainings are regularly held at the community centre every week.
In September 2018, the first training supported by H&H Handmade Products has been done successfully. This training provides the women with skills in making different patterns of ribbons which can later be turned into beautiful hairbands and clips.
Creativity plays a key role in producing quality works. In other words, with the help of basic skills and knowledge gained from the training, products of many more different works can be made depending on the range of own creativity.
More in the Future
Upcoming events of trainings are in line to be offered to the community. Once women reach a stage where they can fully apply what they have learned and finally master in their skills, it is a matter of time that they get more chances to start spreading their market in multiple options. There is a potential opportunity that they can provide accessories for tailoring and other uses to designers’ society. The key thing is to build a standard quality and maintain quality control for a long run so that they will make a trusted and reliable business.
On the other hand, handicraft and souvenir business has always been a huge attraction to people which also holds a broad market despite high competition. Through these trainings, women will at least be acquired with certain basic skills which will help them make bigger steps towards the industry.