Vocational Training and Skills-Building

Creating Economic Opportunities

In 2008, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with Women for Women International in Rwanda to create economic opportunities for women and their families through skills-building and vocational training. In 2009, we expanded our investment into Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Sudan. Since 2008, more than 165,000 women have been enrolled in Bloomberg-funded programs.

Women receive training on financial literacy, health and wellness and rights awareness. Each participant receives an individualized program plan that leads to vocational tracks, which range from construction to agriculture.

WOMEN REBUILDING THEIR LIVES – BRICK BY BRICK

The Women’s Opportunity Center was built by and for women. To fulfill the core mission of job creation and income generation, women were trained in construction and a method of brick building called “sand-molding.”  A cooperative of 250 women learned the technique and created the 520,000 bricks that were used to construct the center.

The women in the construction and brick building business training program have secured multiple contracts including building a local hospital and school. Since our investment in 2013, the brick cooperative has permanently employed 200 women.

FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS LEADING AGRI-BUSINESS VENTURES

As a match to the Bloomberg grant, the government provided land to develop agribusiness. The women learn agri-business in vital crops. They learn new business skills so they can transition from subsistence farming to larger-scale farming and other entrepreneurial activities.

ARTISANAL CRAFT GOODS CREATED BY WOMEN AND SOLD IN MAJOR RETAIL STORES

The vocational track in artisan crafts has led to women exporting products that have been sold by major U.S. retailers including Macy’s, Anthropologie and at crafts fairs.

IMPACT SINCE 2008:

  • 149,931 women enrolled in training and education programs, 95% graduated
  • 105,190 children of participants enrolled in school

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