Livelihood Skills Training

AVAG offers training to members of Self-Help Groups in different vocational fields to enable them to obtain employment and contribute to their journey toward self-reliance.

Advanced Tailoring

started in 2013 under SEDAB

No. of women trained: 57
This was an enterprise-development and skill-based initiative focused on stitching clothes and accessories. Under this activity, women in small groups were trained in tailoring and entrepreneurial skills for 4 months, after which they received help in setting up their units.

Spirulina production

This initiative led to the birth of AVAG’s social enterprise AVAL with an extensive clothing line comprising kurtas, dresses, pants, bags and wallets . Women also stitch re-usable sanitary napkins for the Eco Femme unit in Auroville. 29 of the trained women were selected through interviews to join AVAL while the other women trained under this initiative independently sew garments for private buyers.

Crochet

started in 2014 under SEDAB

No. of women trained: 13
This was an initiative focussed on training women in crochet thread work to make different household items like table runners, lamps, water-bottle holders etc. as well as toys and accessories like scarves and hats. The four month training led to the formation of the AVAL crochet unit (part of an AVAG social enterprise) that employs 4 of the trained women from the SHGs from two villages and different castes who were selected through interviews. AVAG ensures that the women have access to profit-sharing with the enterprise to form part of their wages.

The rest of the women trained in crochet work independently in the villages.

Stitching of eco-friendly cloth bags

started in 2013 under SEDAB

AVAG in association with Upasana Integral Design trained women from SHGs to manufacture the ‘Small Steps’ cloth bags- reusable alternatives to plastic bags. Production groups are run by the women themselves in their villages near Auroville. This livelihood option offers a supportive community, steady work and opportunities for the women to participate in various workshops such as energy healing and yoga. It supports the growth of environmentally conscious habits.

Herbal Beauty Care

started in 2013 under SEDAB

Twenty-two women were trained in offering beauty care using natural products. After receiving training in beauty care, ethical practices and using cosmetics, they came to AVAG’s premises for monthly follow up trainings and exchanges of experiences for how long, continuously widening their knowledge of herbal cosmetics and basic health and hygiene issues. These women continue to practice their skill from home or have set up beauty parlours in their villages. They also work as wellness consultants with individual enterprises in their villages.

Hammock making

started in 2015 under SEDAB

Ambala Hammock is a hammock making unit that has been targeting the vast tourist population that visits Auroville. This unit was unable to produce adequately to meet the demands of the market, and therefore, the manufacturer approached SEDAB with an offer to train, provide raw materials, as well as to market the products of a SHG enterprise. A new Hammock Enterprise was inaugurated at Koot Road on the 18th of February, 2015. This unit is owned and run by 8 women. Two other groups of women trained in making hammocks and have started their units in their respective villages – Apperumpet and Thiruchitrambalam.

Upcycling of paper

started in 2013 under SEDAB

This training was conducted by AVAG in association with Wellpaper (an Auroville Unit). Ten women were trained in making products out of waste paper like bowls and baskets. They have found employment at Wellpaper, making a livelihood in waste recycling.

Bamboo products

started in 2013 under SEDAB

No. of women trained : 10
Women have been employed by Bamboo Centre (an Auroville Unit)

Other livelihood skills trainings conducted by AVAG include

Making pickles jams papads

started in 2008

No. of women trained : 25

Cellphone and TV repair

started in 2009

No. of men trained : 20

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