A Handicraft project activity – testing the opportunities for improved rural livelihoods through neighborhood based skills development and vocational training in selected handicrafts, India







Projekt start:


Projekt slut:


Beviliget beløb:

484.720,00 kr.

Indsatsen vedrører følgende verdensmål:

  • Mål 4: Kvalitetsuddannelse

Indsatsen foregår i følgende lande:

  • India

Lokale partnere:


Overordnede mål :

The proposed activity aims to experiment with and test an approach to strengthen local handicraft traditions and skills as a means to restore craft based livelihoods, cultural dignity and vocational training and education in rural areas of West Bengal, India. The activity explores the potential for a neighbourhood based vocational training and skills development set-up termed an ‘After School’ facility in partnership with local authorities in a rural area. By engaging the full range of craftsmen involved in one type of handicraft (weaving) in an intensive knowledge sharing process and conducting an extended vocational training program for two groups of apprentices (Trainers-Of-trainers) and learners in a second type of handicraft (sewing), in collaboration with CSOs and local government, the activity will test the possibilities of reinvigorating handicrafts in rural areas of West Bengal. The initiative addresses is the UN’s SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning’ and the Incheon Declaration 2015 of the World Education Forum on – ‘Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all’ which starts with the words “We commit to promoting quality lifelong learning opportunities for all, in all settings and at all levels of education….”.

Umiddelbare mål :

The activity seeks to strengthen the role of civil society organisations in West Bengal in undertaking partnerships with local government institutions and initiate change in livelihoods, neighborhood based vocational training, promote cultural dignity and values (reinvigorating traditional handicrafts and the potential of handicrafts as a source of livelihood).Ahead Initiatives and partner organisations can expand their capacity of working in education, vocational training, youth income generation and public-private partnerships. The project will provide focus and skilled input necessary to develop handicrafts as a further livelihood option for the rural poor so as to cater to the changing taste of the discerning urban and rural buyer. The activity also aims to inspire local authorities, craftsmen (in weawing), young female drop-outs (later with a diploma, and working as ToTs (in sewing and maybe even related to weawing) or as Apprentices (in weawing) and Indian consumers by showing that new designs, cuts and various types of (fashionable) revisions of traditional ways of undertaking established handicrafts in India/West Bengal can provide a means of livelihood.

Målgrupper :

Primary beneficiaries: Two distinct groups of participants and prospective trainers who will also benefit professionally. 1) Professional, skilled craftsmen from Tantipara, selected representatives from each of the involved skills of weaving, including weavers, spinners, dyers/dying, printers, quality control/after handling (10-12 persons). In addition, meetings and work sessions will be open to a limited number of other interested in the weawing craft to participate as observers. 2) Semiskilled embroiderers/seamstresses (young women) whose upgraded skills will take up positions in the village as Para-professionals (ToTs) and some might become Apprentices in weawing (12 persons in total). Secondary beneficiaries are: 3) At least 1 group of dropouts/’After School’ aspirants in sewing (8 persons) who would be the target group of the ToTs. The learners/aspirants are young persons who have not been able to complete secondary schooling and have dropped out prior to the final examination do not have access to further courses and programs. The so-called drop-outs are hence faced with major challenges in developing their skills and increasing their chances for a livelihood. Young women and persons from ethnic groups, low caste and Muslims often are the most affected. 4) A mixed group of potential local resource persons, like teachers and persons with different skills who would like to be part of the initiative and expand their existing knowledge in order to assist the local communities with embedding the skills and methods. The acquired capabilities can be used for other types of learning and skilling processes in other crafts or fields. It is anticipated that 5-10 persons will benefit. Finally, a joint capacity development process will involve the local LSGIs, the CSO, selected staff from Ahead Initiatives and the engaged iiINTERest persons, who all will acquire new knowledge and experience from the activity on how to establish a neighborhood skills development platform for improved rural livelihoods.


The project seeks to test the opportunities for improved rural livelihoods through skills development and vocational training in two selected handicrafts (weaving and sewing) in Tantipara, West Bengal, India in partnership with local government. The activity seeks to explore how to increase the market opportunities of the weawers as well as the potentials of strengthening income generation as well as the employment as ToTs/Para-professionals or even Apprentices in weawing and/or expanding the basket of livelihood activities among young women through a neighbourhood “After School’ programme. It also tests an extension of the iiINTERest and Ahead Initiatives collaboration and partnership through extended engagement of iiINTERest personnel in the field. If successful, the activity hopes to sketch a model which can stem migration and restore broader livelihood and skill development opportunities in rural areas.