NON FORMAL EDUCATION & LIFE SKILLS FOR SEX WORKERS AND THEIR CHILDREN
As gender equality takes a more prominent role among economists and the international development community, Lotus Outreach is already ahead of the curve with programs like Non-Formal Education and Life Skills that seek to bring women into the workforce. Aimed at sex workers, their children, and those vulnerable to recruitment in the sex industry, NFE offers a viable alternative to women who are desperate for a means to survive.
In Cambodia’s patriarchal culture, women are largely dependent on their husbands, fathers or brothers for financial support. Many NFE students have either lost a provider to sickness or death, or have been abused by him. In either case, they are left to fend for themselves, unskilled, uneducated, and often with children to feed.
Rather than distributing aid, NFE teaches a broad set of practical, marketable skills that prime these women for personal autonomy and entry into the workforce. Over the 12-month course, students learn not only a trade that will be profitable in their community, such as cooking or sewing, but also basic life skills that are hard to come by in the third world: literacy, mathematics, conflict resolution, nutrition, financial management, and HIV awareness and prevention, to name a few.
Women share these skills and knowledge not only with their children, but also with their friends and neighbors, amplifying the program’s impact. And because educated women have healthier babies and are more likely to educate their children, this training course is a boon not just to students, but to the next generation.
Supported by: EILEEN FISHER, INC., Buddhist Global Relief, GlobalGiving Foundation