RENEW with support from Friends of Bhutan Austria (FOBA) conducted a three day “Basic Financial Literacy and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Tutorial”, with 30 participants, 28 female and 2 male. The training took place from 12th to 14th November, 2020 at Gawaling Happy Home, Wangsisina, Thimphu. In addition, FOBA provided four computers for the computer lab for disadvantaged women and girls.
Money management, saving, accounting and ICT
The three day training was provided to the participants who have already participated in one of the vocational trainings offered by RENEW. For the ICT tutorial, four computers were purchased to teach and practice basic excel and tabulation of finances.
The training session covered money management, saving schemes, accounting, basic ICT tutorials and social media. Since the participants will be involved in various kinds of production, the mentioned sessions are essential for them to strengthen and scale up their production. For instance, social media platforms will help them to advertise their products on sale and take orders online. Social media will also extend their network nationally and internationally.
An eye opener for many
The majority of the participants learned to keep accounting of their daily expenses. Some of them were now familiar with e-money transfer such as mbob, mpay and e-teeru. The participants were introduced to RENEW Micro Finance Loan Schemes and some of them even avail themselves of loans from it.The training was very well received and each of the participants expressed that this training was the first of its kind that they have received. The participants expressed that the training was an eye opener and will benefit them for lifetime.
Practice beyond the training
The participants also took keen interest in learning even after the training. They visited the computer lab during the leisure time to learn on their own and to practice. The majority of them were able to open a page on social media/wechat and to learn how to post and to share content. Some of them were able to increase their network on social media. Pros and cons of the usage of the social media and other technological means were discussed and shared with the participants during the training.
The pandemic took its toll
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RENEW has seen a 52% increase in domestic violence cases as well as an increase in unemployment rate. To empower the women population RENEW has been providing comprehensive training packages to vulnerable women and girls specifically survivors of DV/GBV, school drop-out girls and unemployed women & men, commercial sex workers and LGBQTI community. The series of vocational training comprises weaving, tailoring and food production. These livelihood skill trainings will make them skillful and help them reintegrate back into society as productive citizens. During the pandemic, RENEW has trained 484 women, girls and others in the Vocational Training center.
The Bhutanese NGO RENEW provides shelter, counseling and legal services to survivors of domestic and gender based violence. Gawailing Happy Home ist the first emergency center in the country which has the capacity to accomodate up to 100 women and children. Livelihood skills and occupational therapy has been one of RENEW’s core services. Thus, RENEW is also increasing women’s economic opportunities and life choices through vocational trainings which meet the need in the current market. RENEW offers different forms of skills development such as tailoring, weaving, waste management, food production, baking, felting and floriculture.