THE VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER
Vocational training is a pillar of Don Bosco Ashalayam’s work. The NGO offers professional training in various manual trades. The Vocational Training Centre (VTC) plays an integral part in helping boys and girls learn marketable skills, develop concentration and earn money for the future. The VTC offers training opportunities to:
– Teenage boys staying in our Children Homes who want to learn new skills
Everyday, before school, our teenage trainees are offered professional training in the following trades: carpentry, welding, bakery, tailoring and handicrafts. The products produced by the teenagers are mainly for use in Ashalayam’s twenty-one homes such as furniture, exercise books, school uniforms, except for handicraft items and cards which are sold at the Ashashop.
Vocational training offers more than just the opportunity to learn a trade. It helps young people to focus, develop a strong work ethic, set and meet achievable goals, and to strengthen self-esteem. As vocational training is complimented with formal education, these benefits help young people to succeed in school as well as in their chosen trade. The VTC offers young people the opportunity to try each of the following trades and to choose amongst them. Taking responsibility for their life decisions helps empower young people to take control of their lives. Vocational training also teaches them the value of money. Indeed, Ashalayam trainees are financially compensated for their work in the VTC. The money earned is put in a savings account, ensuring they are financially secure when they leave the NGO.
Ashalayam offers a tailoring training programme for destitute women in two locations: the slum of Pilkhana (the “City of Joy”, Kolkata) and and the rural community of Kalyani. In these underprivileged areas, discrimination against women is still very strong. Young girls have little or no access to education. It is therefore extremely challenging for them to find employment when they grow up. That is why Ashalayam offers them the opportunity to learn tailoring skills. Tailoring is a very valuable skill in India where most clothes are still made bespoke. This training allows young destitute women to develop employable skills and gain financial independence to support themselves and their families. The women also grow in confidence and self-esteem as they become skilled in this creative trade.