Tools 4 Life
‘Enhancing the employability and contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of 9 UK women and 10 rural Swazi women through vocational and skill trainings in carpentry in Swaziland’
Vulnerable individuals exist in all societies across the globe. They are usually made up of those who have access to the least resources and are often women. Tools for Life aims to work with some of the most vulnerable women in both the UK and Swaziland to create unique opportunities that will change lives. Bringing together women from the UK who have undergone training in carpentry and women in Swaziland who have identified a market in their communities for wood products, we are creating a programme that will enable all of these women to learn, grow and ultimately improve the opportunities that are currently available to them in their countries.
Carpentry skills create opportunities for women from all backgrounds to gain meaningful employment or to establish their own business. This is traditionally a male career and, consequently, the number of women in this sector in the UK is limited. There are, however, a few pioneers in this space that are determined to create opportunities for women. Kath Moore from ‘Women in Construction’ is one of these women and is our partner in the UK. She has been working to get more women into the construction industry for a number of years and is experiencing some success in this. In Swaziland, carpentry is also a male-dominated sector, yet it holds enormous potential for women to generate an income for themselves and families. Due to the high HIV/AIDS prevalence and subsequent reduction in life expectancy, there is a huge demand for coffins in the rural areas - a demand that hasn’t been met. With carpentry skills, rural women could fill this gap, as well as being able to provide benches for schools and other items that are not readily available in their communities.
Tools for Life will bring together two sets of women to create employment and income generation opportunities, as well as creating long-lasting links between Swaziland and the UK that will be mutually beneficial to some of the most vulnerable women in both countries. 16-25 are not only likely to be unemployed, but are also suffer mental illness and to live in poverty. Increasingly, unemployed young people are seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition, enrolling in volunteer or work experience opportunities overseas where they are able to foster their confidence, communication skills and experience of working in a multi- cultural context. NEETs typically do not have access to the resources to facilitate the cost and organisation of such work placements overseas.
The project will be implemented as a joint partnership between Positive Women (PW) the McConnell International Foundation (MIF) and the Sahee Foundation. PW will serve to operate the principal management of the project, while MIF and Sahee will work in a financially supportive and advisory capacity. SWAPOL will serve as the in-field partner and will be responsible for the selection and financial training of the 10 Swazi women. SWAPOL will also work alongside Manzini Industrial Training Centre (MITC) who will provide the workshop facility, together with specific knowledge of tool set procurement and timber provider relations.