Vocational education and community development to empower forcibly displaced slum dwellers


This Feed the Minds project is based in Chennai, India, where the forced eviction and relocation of slum-dwellers to the poorly resourced city periphery has exacerbated marginalisation, discrimination and limited the livelihood options of the primarily Dalit community – even more so for women.Feed the Minds India

Only 29% of the women in these communities have completed basic schooling, and many are unemployed or living on less than £0.80 a day. This project aims to address the root cause of these issues, by offering 200 women two accessible income generating options:

1) Vocational training for small jewellery and bag production businesses, offering flexible self-employment options for women with families

2) Vocational beautician training to increase technical skills for the labour market. Vocational beautician graduates will be supported to undertake a work placement or gain direct employment in local beauty salons. Women who undertake small business development will receive training on business management training, with monthly meetings to support business establishment. Crucially, the social stigma and political marginalisation underpinning resettled slum-dwellers will also be addressed, by empowering 100 residents through leadership training and education on government schemes/ entitlements, to provide citizens’ advice to the community.

1) 200 vulnerable women have successfully completed vocational training and business skill development in sectors identified as income generating, and are effectively utilizing their skills for income generation after training.

2) 90% of vulnerable women are able to engage in income-generating activities and have increased their income, through support for the development of small businesses or through work placements, which can be spent on education, healthcare, improved nutrition and basic services.

3) 100 men and women know what government services and entitlements are available to them, and how to access them, providing citizens’ advice to 500 community residents.