Lend a Hand India
Project Swadheen (self-reliant)
Duration: Jan 2014 – Jul 2017
Location: Kutch, Gujarat, India
The main objective of this programme is to address the disconnect between the education imparted in schools and the skills needed in real life by incorporating job and life-skills training as part of the secondary school curriculum. The project will work in government schools in Kutch, Gujerat, where there are large numbers of poor students.
Lend a Hand will provide 200 hours of vocational training over 2 years for standard 8 to 10 students during the academic year. The course includes a mix of academic and hands-on work.
The training will be based on a customized curriculum that takes the rural environment into consideration with subjects such as basic engineering, energy, environment, agriculture, animal husbandry and home and health science. It will expose students to a wide range of skills needed for technical and vocational employment in rural areas and will also contain a module on soft skills including communication, ideation, critical analysis and personality development to develop confidence and the ability to self-express and negotiate. The curriculum is gender-neutral with girls learning and performing tasks traditionally reserved for boys (e.g. carpentry, plumbing, welding, drilling etc.) and vice versa. The gender neutral approach, and its implementation in mixed schools, serves the dual purpose of exposing the young people to a wider range of options while sensitizing and challenging both girls and boys about their roles and relationships.