SAFAL, an initiative that runs out of Kolkata, India is one of our many incredible success stories. Sponsored by Asia Initiatives, SAFAL is a joint venture of the Social Welfare Society, Barrackpore Avenue Women’s Cultural and Rotary Club. SAFAL offers numerous projects such as projects supporting child rights, eye camps for the vision impaired, and awareness programs as well as financial aids and tutorials for the under-resourced. In this post, we wish to highlight SAFAL’s free vocational training program in nursing that we have been supporting and which has been extraordinarily rewarding.
During the past year, SAFAL has trained and provided internships in nursing for 22 girls through the Beside Nursing Training initiative. SAFAL’s goal through this project is to “equip women from lower and middle class with a self-sustaining specialized skill” using which they can find permanent jobs in their communities. In preparation, these 22 girls undertook extensive training for six months which was followed by a two months practical internship at the Midland Nursing Home and Techno Global Hospital. They were also required to take written exams after which they were given certificates of completion through the Rotary Club. Specifically, after eight months of extensive training the girls were certified as beside nursing attendants on April 18th, 2015. At AI, we are thrilled with the accomplishments of these young women and look forward to seeing their achievements in the near future and in speaking of Nilu next, we want to share but one of the 22 stories of success.
Nilu Parveen, one of the 22 girls in the program, has keenly expressed her gratitude for SAFAL. Nilu is the daughter of a mason and one of nine children in her family. Before SAFAL, Nilu was presented with an arranged marriage to an elderly man, which would have led her down a terrifying path with limited independence. Through the SAFAL project, Nilu feels free as she excelled through her training and will now be earning a salary of 6000/- rupees at the Techno Global Hospital. Nilu is only one of the many people who are benefitting from SAFAL’s initiatives.
In sponsoring the SAFAL initiative, Asia Initiatives also saw the opportunity to implement SoCCs. The girls are able to earn points through SoCCs and each one has conducted two rounds of community awareness such that they are able to spread knowledge on the topics including sanitation, childcare, and nutrition. SoCCs has been integrated into the evaluation system and helped the girls build strong discipline, punctuality, and teamwork skills. Asia Initiatives is committed to the SAFAL initiative and anticipates further growth and more success in its programs in the future. Stay tuned for more exciting developments from SAFAL and other projects AI is supporting across India, Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, and USA!
– Maya Daver Massion is a Junior Board Member of Asia Initiatives and student at Barnard College of Columbia University