In the heart of Eminabad village in Pakistan, a transformative journey began after the Gender Leadership School (GLS) initiative led by Fairtrade. Inspired by the mission to empower women, the Masoom Support Foundation (MSF) decided to conduct its own GLS program. Among the eager participants was Munazza Imran, who embarked on this empowering journey alongside other women. 

Throughout the GLS program, Munazza and her peers explored into crucial topics such as gender equality, gender-based violence, and women-friendly laws, both locally and internationally. Among the proposals presented, the idea of establishing a vocational institute i.e., a stitching center resonated deeply with the women across the village. It was subsequently selected and funded by Fairtrade NAPP. The purpose of this project was to produce a batch of skilful individuals that would lead to a financial independence. The aim is to provide them with training from the professionals to start their own business with these skills.   

Upon completing the stitching course, a sense of pride and accomplishment filled the air as every participant mastered the art of stitching their own and their children’s clothes. Munazza participated into the stitching center program with unwavering dedication while balancing her studies and household responsibilities. Motivated by this opportunity to support herself, she set an example of resilience and determination for others by pursuing her skills after ten years into her marriage. This newfound skill brought joy and empowerment to her as it sparked the dreams of expanding the program to a commercial level and achieve financial independence. With the ability to stitch full colourful ‘salwar suits’, the trainees have now embarked on their journey to establish their own stitching practice at their home to earn additional income. Beyond her own journey, Munazza took it upon herself to motivate young girls in the village to join the program by overcoming the initial challenges. Today, more than 26 women are achieving the financially independent they aspired. Encouraged by this momentum, Masoom Support Foundation has decided to embark on three new courses including cooking, kitchen gardening, and beautician training using their own resources. 

The stitching center initiative has not only empowered women to contribute positively to the economic development but has also cultivated a skilled and confident group of females ready to tackle entrepreneurial endeavours. Looking ahead, the organization has committed to continuing this project with its own resources to pave the way for future batches of women to embark on their journey towards economic independence and success. In future, Fairtrade has also committed to provide these skilled women a chance to establish their business through short loans, jobs or any other business opportunities for realizing their dreams and aspirations! 

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