Training Empowers Women – Building skills for rural women in the Tina Hydro Project catchment

Over 4 days, 90 women and girls from rural communities in the Tina River Hydropower Development Project catchment area participated in training designed to help them build essential job skills, be more job ready and have the ability to be a financial contributor in their family and community.

The hands-on training covering 8 different skill sets was held in the Tina and Ngongoti villages in the Mbahomea region by the Project Office under the Gender Action Plan program. The training was focused on delivering a mix of livelihood and entrepreneurial activities covering cooking, sewing and machine repair, coral printing, tie-dye, baking, floral art, table setting and food and hygiene.

These workshops marked the final training roll out for the GAP program in 2020 and follows on from previous sessions focused on Financial Literacy, held back in June. Project Officer, Helen Dolaiano said “We are really excited to be working with the women in these areas to deliver programs that are more focused, intensive and directly hands-on covering topics that will benefit their future endeavours.” She goes on to add the training was specifically designed to help women who have ideas and dreams about making an income from a small business; into reality by way of practicing and building on their skills, with the guidance of experienced and qualified facilitators.

The Project, through the GAP Programs, operates with a vision to empower and build capacity for rural women and girls in the catchment area. Its programs aim to support participants reach their full potential, take up economic opportunities and become financial contributors to their families and communities. Rural women and girls play a key role in the development of their society and the Gender Action Plan encourages Mbahomea women and girls to be a part of this change. The training allows them to be better equipped to participate in the progress and growth of the future economic development in the project catchment area.

Melta Denick, a woman from Haimane village in the Project catchment area talks about the way in which these trainings have positively impacted her. “I feel confident and able to do my screen printing and apply the knowledge and skills I have learnt through this training,” she says with a smile. “At first, I was only dreaming but my skills level denied me to do it anything about my dreams. Now that I have been trained, I know that I am able to do screen printing. It is a service in demand from schools, churches and youth groups in our community and we use to go to the city to do it. But I am sure we will now stop going to town because myself and other women here believe we will be able to deliver on this service.”

The Tina River Hydropower Gender Action Plan Program, in its first year has positively impacted over 100 people through training and skill development, investing in the lives of rural women and girls of the Project catchment area of Mbahomea region.

Cathrine Voli, from Marava village talks about her experience from the training. “In the past, opportunities did present in our communities and we women and girls, sat and watched as they just passed us by. Those opportunities we couldn’t capitalise on because we do not have relevant skill sets or knowledge to help us to make use of these chances. But now the story will be turned around – after we have gone through several days of intensive training, I am sure that we will be capable of supporting our families by using our skills and knowledge from these programs to meet the service demand within our communities”.

The Tina River Hydropower Development Project Gender Action Plan is an ongoing program facilitated through the Project Office of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification. It will continue to support and build local capacity and role our future programs in rural communities of the project catchment area including Mbahomea, Malango, and Malatoha.