Street mothers and out-of-school youth have marked the completion of their livelihood trainings with a graduation ceremony at iLead Open Day Center for Education and Training (iLead ODC-ET) last September 14.
More than 30 trainees from a range of different backgrounds took part in the graduation ceremony, watched by proud family and friends. The training program was initiated by Virlanie Foundation, Inc. and was funded by Aide et Action and Amade Mondiale. Aide et Action – South Asia’s Regional Head for Livelihood Education, Dr. Aishwarya Mahajan personally congratulated the graduates.
In his message for the graduates, Dr. Mahajan emphasized the resilience of the staff and beneficiaries. “The kind of smiles the staff continues to wear despite their tiresome jobs is being transferred to you. Your smiles give me energy whenever I come here to think of what further can we do.”
The graduates have undergone beauty care, cooking, baking and sewing training in iLead ODC-ET. The center is fully equipped with tools and resources to support its beneficiaries as they receive training and education and eventually, access to sustainable job and livelihood opportunities. They can also be part of various income generating projects and directly receive earnings. The beneficiaries’ young children were also supported through child care services and basic literacy lessons. It is the ultimate goal of the iLead ODC-ET to empower the mothers and the youth so they can improve their lives.
As part of the graduation ceremony, some mothers were asked to share testimonial. Jairah, 32, one of the beneficiaries, said, “I started with sewing rags, which required a lot of work but I earned so little. iLead ODC-ET staff encouraged me to attend the sewing training. At first, I refused, but my will to study again changed my mind. Now, I am able to earn more. I thank Mahajan and the whole team behind iLead ODC-ET. Because of them, I learned a lot.”
Cindy, 21, came from a street family. She shared, “I’m really grateful because the training taught me a lot. I have all the learning I got with me, everywhere I go. Right now, all the skills I learned from baking were used at my job as a baker. I have a monthly salary that helps in supporting my family.”
iLead ODC-ET continues to aid mothers and young adults by offering opportunities that will transform them into independent individuals, help them to live dignified lives, and give their children better lives.