Vocational Training Program to Empower Women in Visakhapatnam

The Barzilai Foundation has launched a new sewing vocational training program in Visakhapatnam, India, that will expand our work providing skills and paths to employability. This program builds upon the success of our recent vocational training program that took place in late 2023, in Guntur, India (read about that program here).

This program identifies individuals living below the poverty line whose lives would be transformed with this employable skillset. To execute this program, we are partnering with the Venkatasurya Tailoring Stitching Classes, a reputable sewing skills training company in Visakhapatnam.

“Venkatasurya shared with us that people are showing great interest in their courses, but many of them don’t enroll because they can’t afford the fees,” said Kesava Majji, Program Advisor for the Barzilai Foundation. “In India, skills like these are vital to changing your trajectory and lifting yourself out of poverty. We are eager to see the participants complete their training and help them in finding work that can change their lives.”

To help these aspiring individuals realize their goal of a better standard of living, the Barzilai Foundation is sponsoring their training. Two cohorts of eight students each will attend a two-month course that will equip them with basic skills as well as the ability to cut and stitch several different varieties of popular clothing designs. Participants who perform well in learning the content and have steady attendance will also receive a sewing machine.

The program will also facilitate paths to jobs at boutique clothing houses for attendees who complete the course and are looking for an employer. For those attendees who intend to start their own independent business – a common approach for tailors in India – program will provide basic start up materials.

“For the people taking this course, a sewing machine can cost well over half a month’s income for their household,” commented Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “Most of the participants are parents and have families they are supporting. Even though they might have the skills or a vision for how earn more, taking half their income to get started is an insurmountable obstacle. For our students in this program, we are thrilled to clear the way for them to get to a place of better financial stability.”