The women in the remote rural areas are mainly confined to household activities. Traditionally they have a very little role in direct income generate for the family. However, it is always felt that if the women also get an opportunity to support the family income, it could provide a great financial relief to the family. For this purpose, Grace Association Pakistan in coordination with Himalayan Green Club Japan established a vocational centre for women in April 2009 at Grace Public School Skardu. The centre was opened to train women of the Astana and neighbouring villages in "Cutting and Sewing of Children and Women Dresses" The target women are generally poor and illiterate but it is clear just from watching them that they enjoy not just learning a new skill but the chance to be away from their housework, children and family in a different, supportive and friendly environment.
On completion of the 6 months training course of the first badge a certification program was organized by Grace Association Program Office Skardu on November 17, 2009 at Grace Public School. 25 women were completed the training successfully. Two lady Instructors Ms Zakia Nisar Khan and Ms Zeban Muhammad were hired by GRACE Association to train the women trainees in the said courses. All the women were very happy on their successful completion of the training.
The lady Instructor Ms Zakia Nisar Khadn at the certification ceremony said that the trained women will use their learnt skills for their as well as for their family to boost up their economy. It will empower them in the society compare to their past. She thanked Grace Association Pakistan for providing this opportunity to enhance income generating skills for women of their remote villages.
A trainee representing all women said that they are highly interested in learning more skills in knitting and embroidery and many other women of the surrounding villages are looking for admission in this vocational centre. So, Grace Association should continue the centre in winter seasons as well.
Mr. Khadim Hussain Founder GRACE Association Pakistan stated that "this program was started in coordination with HGC Japan. It was just initiation towards establishing a Technical Training Institute (TTI) for women of the area. He further stated that GRACE is taking many other initiatives to make the society aware about the work of women and their important role to develop the society. He added that un-Employment is a global challenge but women can achieve self dependency and employment at their door steps through their skills enhancement. Ms Evelin Nommiste an Estonian Volunteer Lady working for GRACE said; I am very happy here working for women and I want to share my skills with you all. All 25 women were awarded certificates of successful participation in the 6 months training course in cutting and sewing of dresses.
GRACE endeavours to empower and improve the quality of life of the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the least developed parts of Pakistan through welfare, participatory research and development, capacity building, promotion of best practices and partnership building, advocacy, and by launching sustainable and replicable innovative projects.