Ambitions do not come at the cost of what kind of society or household you are in. Be it a housewife, a woman who is the only breadwinner of her family or even the underprivileged one, all these women can be ambitious and have a right to be one. Ambitions can help women in growing strong in every way - economically, emotionally and mentally. Even if it is about working hard to learn a life skill, it can go a long way in empowering women and making them independent individually or on a greater extend.
Keeping this in mind, Standard Chartered Pakistan, in partnership with Right to Play, hosted a ceremony to recognise girls from underserved areas that have been trained to become future economic leaders in their communities. This initiative called Goal is part of the bank’s leading community investment programme focused on education. Mrs. Shehla Raza, Provincial Minister of Sindh for Women Empowerment, was the chief guest at the ceremony.
As part of the Goal programme, ‘Be Independent’ module was launched in 2018, a module that aims to provide practical experience and equip girls to be ready to generate their own incomes by obtaining a job or developing their own micro-enterprise. Since its launch, over 800 young girls have been empowered with vocational skills, employability skills and other essential knowledge.
Out of the 800, 40 girls were chosen based on their potential to receive vocational training on specific fields such as cooking, baking, pastry making, learning English language, fashion designing, learning how to use Microsoft Office and photography, to name a few. After a year of hard work, 40 of these girls, whom the bank calls the Futuremakers, have completed vocational trainings and some even got employment opportunities. Futuremakers is the bank’s global initiative empowering the next generation to learn, earn and grow through their education, employability and entrepreneurship programmes. Goal is the bank’s leading education programme that falls within the education pillar of the bank’s community investment strategy.
The programme’s curriculum is based on five training modules that provide with confidence, knowledge and skills these girls need to be integral economic leaders in their families, communities and societies. ‘Be Money Savvy’ focuses on financial education (how to save, invest and open a bank account); ‘Be Yourself’ imparts effective communication skills; ‘Be Healthy’ builds knowledge on health and hygiene; ‘Be Empowered’ teaches girls how to be confident, authentic and stand up for their rights; and ‘Be Independent’ focuses on providing vocational training to girls to enable them to be financially empowered.
In Pakistan, the programme has been running since 2016 through its implementing partner, Right to Play, and has empowered over 11,000 girls to date. In 2019, the programme was expanded to include public schools in Islamabad. As in February 2020, Goal is actively running 34 schools in Karachi and Islamabad.
Commenting on the ceremony Mr. Shazad Dada, the CEO of the bank concludes, “I am very proud of these girls who have graduated today through our Goal Employability module. There is massive hidden potential waiting to be unlocked for the youth, specifically girls, across the country. We hope to provide them with the right tools and knowledge that will enable them make informed choices as they move into adulthood, and to empower them to be more active economic participants in their communities. Through this initiative, we hope that these girls become trailblazers for the future generations to become independent and contribute to the Pakistan economy.”
– Mubashir Ahmed