Women Empowerment Program
Suad is a 35 year-old widow with five children. As an immigrant without any identification papers, it was very difficult for her to find a job. After taking the Women Empowerment Program tailoring and trauma relief courses, she had the vocational skills and self-assurance to start working and earning a living as a tailor in her neighborhood. Now she is one of the most active tailors in her community and confidently supports her family.
The Art of Living Foundation Women Empowerment Program in Iraq addresses women'semotional and psychological needs and gives them the skills they need to achieve economic stability for themselves and their families.
The women undergo trauma relief workshops to release the build-up of stress and tension accumulated daily from fear of attack, lack of security, trauma from the loss of friends and family members and the responsibility of often being the sole breadwinner and caregiver to their families.
Vocational training builds confidence and economic independence
Once a sense of stability and inner peace is established, the women are able toimplement the skills learned in the training programs. They have the confidenceand enthusiasm to change their lives and care for their families. They have the tools to achieve an economic status, where self-sustainability and community leadership are possible.
Walaa, is a 24 years old woman. A trained Art of Living Trauma Relief Teacher - One of her dreams was to open her own health and fitness club in Baghdad. Through the Foundation's programs, she received the skills, training, and confidence she needed to open a fitness club. In addition to offering an exercise regimen, her club provides programs for losing weight, nutritional plans for healthy eating, and classes in yoga and breathing techniques. Seeing her success, her clients would like to take the trauma relief training themselves and accomplish their dreams.
Vocational Training: Tailoring Program
The Tailoring Training program provides women with vocational skills required to establish their own businesses and participate in the economic reconstruction of Iraq. During the training women learn to take measurements, cut patterns, stitch clothing, embroidery and make sheets and curtains. The graduates of the program organize bazaars to showcase and sell items they created. The bazaars allow the women to:
- Profit from the products they have created
- Apply marketing and management skills they have learned in the training
- Engage in community outreach, and implement the communication skills they have learned
- Increase awareness about WEP programs and further the empowerment of other women in their communities
Vocational Training: Computer Program
The Computer Training Program begins with an introduction to computers, its’ components and how to use them. As the program continues, the women learn:
- The basics of computer skills
- Use Windows' programs Word, Excel, and Paint, and create their own resume
- Save and delete files, print and copy, use the disk drive and the flash drive
- Navigate the Internet
Graduates of the program share they are more confident and prepared, equipped with the skills required applying for and securing government and administrative jobs.