Skills Development: The Path to Self Sufficiency

Skills Development: The Path to Self Sufficiency

By Sana Khan


The running joke these days is that one of the most expensive places to visit is the gas station. With prices skyrocketing across not only the country, but around the globe, families are struggling to make ends meet. Stress levels are on the rise as breadwinners work multiple full-time jobs to ensure their basic needs are being met. This struggle coupled with the added challenges of the holiday season are sure to cause an increase in anxiety and mental illness. But what of those who can’t even afford essentials such as food?

An estimated 689 million people live off only $1.90 a day; this amount doesn’t even cover the price of a cup of coffee. Families living in extreme poverty from the direct result of civil war or natural disasters bear the brunt of inflation. Helping Hand USA is striving to address the problem of cyclical poverty, food and water insecurity, child negligence, limited healthcare access, and lack of opportunities for women and refugees.

Our Skills Development and Livelihood Program (SDLP) provides skill trainings in an effort empower bread winners to become self-sufficient and take charge of their unfortunate circumstances. When donors sponsor a SDLP student they are ensuring students receive training in a variety of backgrounds including computers, sewing, henna, mechanics and much more! This GivingTuesday, HHRD is harnessing the collective power of its donors and their communities to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Meet Safina, a middle-aged woman, who lives in Chakwal with her husband and teen-aged daughter. Her husband worked as an electrical laborer in a local sugar mill. Sadly, Safina’s husband suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed. They borrowed money from relatives and spent whatever they had for his treatment. However, the family was left with no source of income to provide for them. Realizing that it was up to her to provide for her family, Safina joined the HHRD Skills Development and Livelihood Center where she was trained in school uniform stitching. She registered herself with HHRD’s school uniform production program and is now able to earn enough money to easily manage her family’s expenses.

HHRD's vision of One Home One Skill is to sustain the livelihood of every household. HHRD currently provides training in 10 countries at Skills Development and Livelihood Centers (SDLC) set out to organize artisans, assist in developing products, improving product quality, and then marketing these products.  Through talent assessment and skills advancement opportunities the beneficiaries are on the road to a better life with confidence to succeed. With an opportunity to work for a better life they also are given the confidence needed to succeed.

Hafsa is a 23-year-old Henna Art graduate from SDLC Nairobi. She said that she pursued the course because she had a passion for the art since she was in High School and had a creative side. There are so many distinctive combinations of patterns, shading, symmetry that must be mastered and applied to create the designs, and each artist has a unique way of doing things. Hafsa said she has been doing decoration for clients at weddings, family events and on requests. She says it’s a task that involves precision and patience. Hafsa has very recently graduated but is already making enough to help her and her family.

With the support of donors, HHRD has trained over 45,000 individuals in employable skills since 2010. This cycle of poverty can end through imparting knowledge and enabling families to life themselves from their struggles. There's a certain sweetness that comes with hard work and success; and that is called determination! 

To learn more about HHRD’s SDLP and support this program visit our GivingTuesday page.

Sana Khan is the Marketing Content Development Lead for Helping Hand USA. She is a mom of 3 girls and is motivated by SDLP students to teach her own daughters determination and entrepreneurial skills.

HHRD Recognized Amongst Top Zakat Charity

HHRD�s philanthropic programs have not gone unnoticed, we are ranked among the top-rated Zakat Eligible Charity in the USA. HHRD received an overall score of 98.23 out of 100, reflecting the trust HHRD has earned with US based donors

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