The upskilling journey.
The journey for each of these women begins with walking into our resource center. Either as a curious enquirer or with a financial need. We prioritize upskilling women who truly need financial aid so that we can maximize the impact of our limited resources. To meet this requirement, we meet each potential artisan to understand their situation and accordingly schedule them for the next training batch.
The next time they walk in as trainees. We have a standard training program that spans over 4 weeks. All the women are paid a stipend for this time provided they meet the program deliverables. Training begins with a week of orientation that sets expectations. There they:
Are oriented on the ways of working
Introduced to the craft forms we specialize in
Interact with senior artisans from the community.
The subsequent 3 weeks is a deep dive into the craft forms they choose. The training is currently held at our primary resource center in Ooty. Soon, these training programs will be run from our satellite resource centers. This will be closer to the villages the artisans come from, causing less disruption to their lives.
Highlighted starred locations being villages from where women are being engaged.
This part of their journey is the most important part. Most of them are first time earners. And, for many, it’s their first experience with craft. These 4 weeks set the context for all that’s in store for them in the coming months and years. Training sessions are in batches of 5-10 artisans. Depending on their skill, aptitude and interests, each artisan trains in 2 craft methods. One of which will be the primary craft.
We want to build a support network for the women in addition to upskilling them. After their initial training, they complete 2 follow-up sessions. They then continue to work with a senior member of the community who serves as a guide and mentor. Senior members are around to answer questions, motivate and problem-solve. The purpose of these relationships is to last long past training and continue to build capacity to do more within the community. Each artisan has the opportunity to take on a mentorship and training role as they settle into the Indian Yards Foundation ecosystem. As of now, we have 4 committed trainers from the community.
Our Artisans now specialise in multiple respected international craft forms.