New Activity in the Women's Vocational Training Centre Machulo

Jan 19, 2012
As part of the on going plans for opening training centres in the Hushe Valley, the Women's Development Centre has taken a step further in Machulo, with the opening of a new Training Centre here. Activities have begun which will allow the women to generate more income for themselves. New mural by the women of Machulo on the walls of the Vocational Training Centre.
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Since 2008, FBF and FIFBM have pushed for the establishment of a Vocational Training Centre for the women of Machulo. There have been several activities during this period and currently there are about 300 women who are or have been trained in different techniques such as sewing, English embroidery and the bottling of jams, fruit and juices made from the local crops.  Moreover, the Centre has provided a meeting place for the women where they can chat and share their problems and discus topics of interest, such as hygiene, health and nutrition.


Image 1:Jam bottling performed by the women every September

Recently there has been an evaluation of the Vocational Assessment Centre in Machulo by an FIFBM mobilization team.  Alisha Akhona was the coordinator of the study with Razia Mehdi collecting data for analysis.  The evaluation was conducted on the activities organized at the centre.  88.6% of the women valued the centre as a positive activity and 10% of them rated it as average. Over the years, the experience of the Vocational Training Centre shows that it has had a positive impact on women in and around Machulo and during these years, the women of Saling and Thalis have joined them to take classes at the Machulo centre.


Image 2 :The new activity of making balls of wool at the Machulo Centre.

In another step which took place last November in Machulo, a new activity with wool was started after the Women’s Training Centre noted the surplus of sheep wool in the area.  The women of Machulo travelled to the Barah Training Centre where they shared their different experiences and the progress they had made and to learn from the women of Barah that the processing of wool is a sustainable activity. The women of Machulo saw the need to incorporate this new activity in their centre and to make balls of wool which they would later to be able to sell and so generate income for themselves.


Image 3: Materials made by the women of Barah being shown to the women of Machulo

Through the support of FBF/FIFBM this new activity for women has been realised.  The wool teacher from Barah visited Machulo to give a two week training course at the centre and after the course finished 6 spindles were purchased to enable the women of Machulo to start this new activity.  As a result of all this new activity, the assessment has been very positive.  The Barah training centre is a mere 30 minutes from Machulo and has done very well, so it is hoped that soon wool will also bring income to the women of Machulo.


Image 4: The spinning wheels and materials bought to carry out the activities with wool

This is an example of how, when the women from different villages in the valley meet and get to know each other, they realise how much they have to share and plan and how they can move forward together.  It appears that peer support is also essential in order to generate these new life giving projects.


Image 5 :Women of Machulo and Barah talking about the activities in their different Centres