At Mann Deshi, our aim was to develop a step by step training programme that unfolds both in intensity and in diversity. We started with a general awareness on Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) followed by health and hygiene. The idea was also to understand who among the participants are willing to go further, desires to learn more and then take those select ones to the next stage and talk about Financial Literacy and skills.
But in some communities we had to go complete reverse! As there are those would not trust us unless they learn to earn and secure their tomorrows. It is not feasible for them to focus on anything without having that wee bit of security that they could focus on health and other such issues. We often tend to forget that some issues that are our priorities come last in these community’s lists. So we did change our training schedule and brought, rather extensive skills training, to initiate a dialogue with trust; create a situation where health and child marriage could even be considered as threats and unfortunate events.
Our learning: we need to be responsive rather than impressive 🙂
Mann Deshi Foundation
Established in 1996, the Mann Deshi Foundation empowers rural women by supplementing the Bank’s financial service offerings with training, capacity building, skills development, awareness programmes and information sharing.
Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation are independent institutions with similar mission and vision. Mann Deshi Bank, one of India’s largest women’s cooperative banks, is run by women, for women. Mann Deshi delivers a range of financial services – loans, savings, pension and insurance products – to unbanked, rural Indian women with very limited formal education, enabling them to finance their own businesses and to purchase property. Since the bank has been established, over 200,000 women in Maharashtra have been supported.
The Mann Deshi Foundation and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) are working in collaboration through the GIRLS Inspire project to empower girls and women who would otherwise not have access to skills-based and life skills learning due to labour migration, early marriage, distance to school, security concerns and costs of schooling.
Learn more about Mann Deshi here.