Livelihood SOS

Every day, 22 girls and women in India are killed by their husbands or husbands’ family after marriage. There are 8,391 DOWRY DEATHS reported in 2010. That’s DOUBLE the number reported in 1995.

The girls and women whom Daughters Of Tomorrow are helping in Kadapa, India, are victims of such circumstances and other discriminatory practices. Here are some of their stories:

Peeru, 18 years old.

Peeru came to the orphanage with 2 younger sisters. Her father is behind bars for killing her mother and she was an eye-witness. Her father’s family is out for revenge, and she’s staying at the orphanage for security. Peeru is now a tailoring apprentice at Lalitha Women’s Cooperative and has since 2012 been enrolled in quality training and handicraft work for Daughters Of Tomorrow’s products.

Ganga, 20 years old.

Ganga came to the orphanage at age 7. Her father is an alcoholic. Her mother died of kerosene burning, she and her brother watched their mother burn. The police has classified the incident as a suicide case, but the real situation is otherwise. She is now pursuing her college education, and she would like to be yoga teacher some day. She will be featured in a documentary being produced by Daughters Of Tomorrow, to share her story with the world to raise awareness about the plight of women in India.

"A", Muslim lady with 2 children.

"A" speaks better English than most of her peers. Turns out that she has a college degree but was prevented from pursuing a job and a career after marriage. She attended DOT’s handicraft training workshop in February 2013 and learnt about “good workmanship” and “quality”. She is now enrolled into continued employment to produce natural wool-felt Animal Purses, which are marketed by Daughters Of Tomorrow in Singapore and available at our E-shop. "A" works from home as she faces restrictions imposed by her family from working outside the house. (We are unable to use her real name to protect her identity, due to restrictions she faces in her family circumstances.)

 

Lakshmi, mother of a 7-year-old girl.

Lakshmi attended DOT’s workshop in February 2013 and was discovered by DOT’s Founder, Carrie to have a good eye for detail. She was given the role of “Quality Control Officer” and enrolled into continued production work for DOT’s products. For the first time in her life, she had a talent being identified and appreciated, and a job title. She has become very attached to Carrie and looks forward to DOT’s next visit to Kadapa.

Parveen, Chief Seamstress.

Parveen first enrolled in the cooperative’s sewing program 6 years ago. Since 2012 she has been the master sampler for DOT’s baby dresses and acquired knowledge of 1st world quality standards. She has since imparted that knowledge to the production team of 8 other women. The baby dresses made under her supervision have been sold in bazaars and events in Singapore, and are now available online at DOT’s E-shop.

Daughters Of Tomorrow’s livelihood projects have impacted more than 20 women since 2012, supplementing their basic sewing skills with knowledge of international standard quality. We hope to impact more women on an ongoing basis with successful marketing of their skills and craftwork to an international market.

Creating a sustainable livelihood model for the underprivileged women we’ve identified is a long-term process that requires much effort and financial resources. Here’s what is involved:

 

Phase 1 Contact, Authenticity and Needs Assessment (CAN?) - 

1 week to 1 month

Involves 2 DOT personnel visiting the identified community and local NGO to establish contact and verifying the authenticity of the NGO and their work. Things we try to find out: - how are they currently funded - who manages the NGO and what motivates their work - when did they start operating and working with the beneficiaries - what they have achieved since their operation - conduct a research and reference check into the background of the NGO management.

We observe, interact with and interview the potential beneficiaries of the programme to find out - what their current needs are - what their current skills are - what resources do they have available - what skill enhancements do they need - what can be done to make their current work sustainable

Costs involved: SGD 1,500 per personnel covers airfare, visa, food & lodging, insurance and medical vaccination. SGD 500 for local interpreter/translator, or SGD 1,500 for volunteer interpreter to accompany on trip (preferred and more reliable). Total cost per CAN trip is SGD 3,500 and upwards.

 

Phase 2 ACTION PHASE -- 1 to 3 years

Awareness: Build awareness about these women and what can be done to assist them

Commercialization: Identify/develop a product that can tap the skills and resources of this women community and which is commercially viable in our markets

Training: Consistent training visits to help build the skills required for the production of the commercial product

Involvement: Get DOT’s community involved in various aspects of the programme through volunteerism, sponsorship, word-of-mouth

Openness: Documentation and sharing of the programme’s progress and updates to its stakeholders (customers, retail partners, sponsors, volunteers etc).

Network: Build networks to increase the market penetration of the product, thereby increasing the income and employment rates of more beneficiaries into the programme.

Costs involved: Event & Publicity costs range from minimally SGD 1,000 per year with sponsorship to SGD 5,000 without sponsorship for a decent outreach.

Sourcing, procurement and logistics of materials for product development at a minimal of SGD 1,500.

Training requires minimum 2 visits per year by trainer to the community @ SGD 1,500 per trip = SGD 3,000

Freight and logistics costs of initial products are estimated at around SGD 500 per year.

DOT currently runs on a minimal marketing budget of SGD 3,000 per year, and the hire of an intern at SGD 500 per month.

DOT’s Founder is currently undertaking the business development role full-time without a salary. A sustainable model will require a minimum basic monthly salary of SGD 4,000 for a minimally qualified Business Development Manager to develop and implement the market strategy = SGD 48,000 a year.

TOTAL ACTION PHASE EXPENSES without Founder's salary: SGD 15,000 to 20,000

 

Phase 3 IMPACT MEASUREMENT

We need to measure the impact of the programme via indicators such as:

- any increment in average annual income of the beneficiaries already enrolled in the NGO’s work?

- how many more beneficiaries are enrolled into the programme since its inception?

- how many more beneficiaries are gainfully and consistently employed through the programme?

- how many more women are sending their children to school through the income supplement?

Costs involved: Yearly evaluation and review trip by 1 DOT personnel @ SGD 1,500.

LIVELIHOOD SOS TOTAL YEARLY EXPENSES: SGD 20,000 to 25,000

 

 

Other costs which are not computed are inventory storage costs, transportation and delivery of goods within Singapore which are currently being absorbed by the DOT Team Members.

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