Affording Education through Handicrafts Enterprise

Nineteen-year-old Akabar, belongs to Raheem Thaeem village in Thatta District of rural Sindh. One of seven family members, she worked with her father on harvesting local agricultural fields to earn an adequate income to meet the family’s needs.
Hardworking Akabar, was skilled with basic hand embroidery, mainly Zari work, but was never encouraged to or had the time to work on it to sell her products as a means of income. Some months back at a Village Organization (VO) meeting in Raheem Thaeem, Akabar and her family found out about the Adult Literacy and Vocational training sessions to be conducted at the village skill’s centre (ALC/VTC) established by Taankaⁱ. Akabar, immediately decided to join the centre to participate in these trainings.
‘The journey began when I appeared for the skill test and qualified as per the pre-defined criteria. I learnt how to write my name and basic numeracy through literacy classes. I also learnt color variations, traditional colors, family colors, quality and quantity of work and different type of stitches through vocational classes,’ beamed a confident Akabar.
Akabar, had always dreamt of acquiring education but limited household income did not allow her to continue studying. As this young lady joined the ALC/VTC, her dream soon turned into reality. Akabar started working on lace samples and the additional income that she generates; she spends on her schooling and stationery. Akabar has taken admission at a school near her village and is currently studying in 9th grade.
Sharing her experience of attending the Crafts festival, organized by Taanka and supported by the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU), Akabar narrated how she was thrilled to be part of such an exciting event in a lively city such as Karachi. This was her first ever exposure visit to explore the urban market and witness the trending demand of their products first hand. Akabar was very happy to see that their skills and efforts were appreciated and valued by urban buyers. After her visit to Karachi, Akabar is even more enthusiastic to learn new designs and embroidery techniques and implement then in the production of new and improved products. .
‘I am thankful to the organization for providing such opportunities to rural women to combat poverty for themselves and their families. With the additional money I get from the craft, I can now meet my family’s expenses and can also pay my tuition fees’, said Akabar.