Vocational training by Smile Foundation: Project Manzil
Vocational training is an important way in which one can improve their future. This is especially true for girls. Many parents and girls from smaller towns are skeptical about professional training and going to work in big professions and companies. However, they do have dreams for their future, of being independent and free. Smile Foundation’s Manzil project in partnership with IPE Global is helping thousands of such girls from Rajasthan gain vocational and on-the-job training (OJT). The project also seeks to retain girls in school and reduce drop-out rates.
We have already benefitted a number of girls under the project. Here are some of their stories.
Rajnandini belongs to a very poor family of Rajasthan. She is one of four siblings, all still studying. Her father died a few years back and now her mother is the only earning member of the family. She works very hard as a domestic helper in other people’s homes. However, taking care of four children and ensuring they get a proper education is no mean feat.
Rajnandini is a bright girl who has completed her schooling in 2021. Despite her meagre means and circumstances, she scored 93.16% in her boards. She is now pursuing her bachelors degree, but given her situation, she is eager to learn skills and become more employable.
The Manzil program has helped Rajnandini embark on her path to success. As she wanted to gain vocational training in a lucrative sector while she continues her studies, she enrolled in the online classes for healthcare training.
She learnt a plethora of skills through the Just Learn App under Manzil Parijona. Eager to learn more, the young women expressed her desire for OJT at a hospital. Smile Foundation facilitated 15 days of OJT for Rajnandini at a hospital, which she has completed with flying colours.
The training has done wonders for Rajnandini’s self-confidence. She is now confident that she can work as a General Duty Assistant (GDA) at any hospital.
In future, she aspires to join the Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS).
Farana resides in Bhinay village of Ajmer district with her family in a rental accomodation. Her family belongs to a very humble background. Farana’s father has only studied up to 5th standard and her mother is illiterate. Her younger brother has dropped out of school after class 8 and now works as a plumber to contribute to the family income. As far back as they can remember, Farana’s family has relied on daily wages and manual labour to earn a living. However, she wants to break this chain and create a stable future for herself.
Farana’s journey to Smile Foundation’s Manzil program
After completing her 12th standard, Farana enrolled for a bachelors degree. However, her family was unable to pay the fees. Hence, she had to opt out of the course and she has lost at least one year of her education. She started helping her mother make lace at home. It takes Farana and her mother almost the entire day to prepare 1 lace, and they get the measly sum of Rs 20 for per lace.
Farana has an interest in the healthcare sector, and she is enthusiastic about working in the sector. A counselling session organised by Manzil at Bhinay Vidyalaya made her aware about the online training sessions. As a result, she was soon enrolled in the program.
Trained for the future
After joining the Manzil program, Farana received OJT at Getwell Hospital in Vaishali Nagar. She proved to be an enthusiastic learner; her behavior and passion were appreciated by the hospital staff. Farana now plans to continue her studies and has enrolled in the bachelors course again. Eventually, her dream is to pursue her career in the health sector and support her family financially.
“By joining life skill classes, I found my confidence and the earlier hesitation has gone away. I have never gone out of the house alone, but now I go to the hospital alone every day. My fear of doing things alone has gone. I also have the confidence to speak openly now,” she shares.