Amira Shawky owns her own sewing business in Awlad Gharieb village, Sohag governorate in Upper Egypt. She is a single mother of two school children. Amira fixed torn clothes using simple sewing materials, however she was earning a very low income. Amira joined the Vocational Training Program to learn professional sewing and develop her techniques. The program also offered her training for business tactics. She, later on, applied for a loan from BLESS to buy the materials to grow her business and purchase her own sewing machine. The business thrived and Amira’s income increased by 30% which helped in supporting her children and their education.
2,221 beneficiaries have joined the labor market as a result of the program's activities including microeconomic projects, technical and vocational trainings, etc., and 1,678 beneficiaries increased their income by 30%.
The "I Can" Center is a vocational training course that carries on activities that were previously provided in the Al-Moatamedia area, but is now located in *new area*. The new center provided training to 137 beneficiaries from July 2022 till the end of the year. The beneficiaries received training on hairdressing, sewing, mobile maintenance, refrigeration and air conditioning courses.
76 beneficiaries were trained in three vocational skills (tailoring, dressmaking and household electric wiring). The successful trainees received official certificates. Top achieving trainees received grants in the form of tools to start their own business. This activity capitalizes on the signed agreement of cooperation between BLESS and the Ministry of Manpower (signed in 2021).
87% of the trainees have gained skills to be qualified as an ordinary labor according to the internal practical and theoretical evaluation (31% good, 56% very good).
In cooperation with the National Council for Women, 387 women were trained on how to save money and carry out their own projects, and 1000 women were encouraged to apply for saving visas.
147 local cadres are now able to implement and lead economic development interventions in their own communities.