SKILLED WORKFORCE. DIGNIFIED LIVELIHOOD

WHY Skill Training

WHAT WE DO

our intervention

Last Year's Impact

75,000

youth received skill training so far

45,000

youth directly placed so far

61%

of the total youth beneficiaries were girls

changes that inspire us

STORIES OF CHANGE

GEETA

My childhood was not about balloons, toy cars or kites. In the last days of every month, 

DIPTI

Knowing that my care, touch, voice, and time can help a patient make it throughout the

SARITA

If you lost a little weight, you would look so beautiful; for a girl, it’s important

UPDATES

Career Counselling sessions conducted for STeP students

Counseling sessions had been conducted in …

Career Counselling sessions conducted for STeP students

Counseling sessions had been conducted in centers of …

Exposure visit conducted for students of STeP centers

Exposure Visits were conducted for students of STeP centers of Chennai, 

GEETA

“My childhood was not about balloons, toy cars or kites. In the last days of every month, we usually had no money. My father works as a helper in a factory and his struggle to feed five stomachs in the family was always tough. We slept on a bed that was prepared by arranging bricks in a row. My parents always fed us rice from their portion, so that our stomachs stay full. We live in a slum where people do not get enough food to eat and enough place to sleep. But our sleep was always peaceful in the limited space, and we never felt hungry after eating from a shared bowl. The saddest day in my life was when I had to drop out from school because of lack of money. Seeing me crying, my mother said, “Put your trust in God, and when God destines something to happen, it will.” Today, I have a job through which I am supporting my family. We are not defeated when we lose. We are defeated when we quit.”

Geeta
(Geeta was identified and trained on employability skills under Smile Foundation’s livelihood programme STeP and has been placed in a Multi-Specialty Hospital in New Delhi.)

DIPTI

“Knowing that my care, touch, voice, and time can help a patient make it through the night is one of the most rewarding feelings. Being with people at what is sometimes the worst moments of their lives is a privilege I take very seriously. One of the most profound moments in my nursing career was caring for a woman post-stroke. She was left side flaccid, very depressed, and not adjusting to her new normal. She would not participate in therapies.

I sat, held her hand, and spoke with her as she remained silent. I told her gently that she couldn’t go back, and she had a choice to stay stuck where she was, mind and spirit, or move with intention forward and learn how to use her new body in new and different ways.

She and her husband apparently sought me out for weeks after she finished rehab—and they finally showed up one day again when I was working.

“Watch this,” her husband said.

She was so incredibly proud to show me that she could move her left hand’s fingers, something she could not do when I was caring for her right after the stroke.

They both thanked me for my love, care, and words; it was the spark of love and life out of the depths of darkness that they both were searching for. Everyone, including me, was in tears. Joy.”

-Dipti

Dipti was trained on employability skills and patient care under Smile Foundation’s Smile Twin e-learning Programme (STeP). She is now a GDA healthcare worker at a Super Speciality Hospital in Kolkata.

SARITA

“If you lost a little weight, you would look so beautiful; for a girl, it’s important – don’t you want to get married to a good boy? These are the things that I have grown up hearing. Ever since I was a child, I saw my mother and father work hard to get me an education. People would often taunt them about my weight. They would make fun of me and say that we were already poor, and now they would also have to worry about extra dowry to marry me off. My parents always ignored all this, and told me to concentrate on my studies. But it started affecting my self confidence.

After Class 10th, I had to drop out of school because of financial difficulties. By then I felt completely dejected. I started believing that even education could not change anything for me. As the years passed, even though mother and father never complained, I realized that I was only becoming an additional burden on my parents. I felt useless and thought that not having completed school; I would never get a job and be able to support my family.

That was a year ago. Today I am working with Ola Taxi Drivers Association and adding to my parents’ income. I have also decided to continue my education through open school. With my first salary, I took out my parents for lunch at a city restaurant – something they had never done before.

I still struggle with my image every day but I know it is work in progress, and I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish.” (Sarita was trained under our livelihood initiative Smile Twin e-Learning Programme STeP last year. We wish her all the best for her future.)