Our partnership with World Vision Georgia (WVG) has been active since the beginning of October 2022, during which time we have seen significant improvements to the employability of women and girls living in Georgia, as part of the SI President’s Appeal 2021 – 2023, ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future.’
This specific project, titled ‘Empowering girls and women through improved life skills and employability’, ran until the end of May 2023 and saw 44 women and girls supported through a series of interventions and workshops designed to address four key focus areas.
Key Focus Areas
SKYE Tech Clubs
The first among of the key focus areas, the SKYE Tech clubs initiative, was intended to improve the digital competencies of 40 vulnerable girls and young women. The objective was to provide young people with knowledge and skills related to social media, web-programming, computer graphics, as well as non-formal education topics such as leadership and effective communications.
Over the course of the initiative, a total of 44 young women from Kutaisi and Zestaphoni successfully completed the 26 sessions – the extra participants were enrolled above the initial target of 40 due to the high popularity of this part of the project.
At the start of this project journey, introductory sessions commenced to provide participants with insights into the project objectives whilst also fostering a sense of community and collaboration among them – these initial meetings would provide the foundation upon which the participants would build their digital prowess.
Non-Formal Education Sessions
The first phase of workshops focused on six non-formal education sessions which delved into effective communications and leadership models. These were not typical classroom lectures, rather participants were engaged in dynamic discussions and hands-on activities, gaining insights into essential skills like effective listening, non-verbal communication, feedback mechanisms, and various leadership styles.
The sessions also tackled challenging communication barriers such as cultural differences and stereotypes, empowering the young women with tools to overcome hurdles in their personal and professional lives.
Technical Skills Sessions
The heart of this project lay in these 20 technical skills workshops, during which participants got to roll up their sleeve and dive into practical aspects of digital literacy. From social media management to crafting compelling stories, developing eye-catching graphics and even creating their own web pages, these young women gained skills that were not just theoretical, but also highly applicable to the real world.
These sessions weren’t only about teaching digital literacy; they were also about igniting creativity, sparking innovation, and fostering a deep understanding of how technology shapes our lives.
Turning Knowledge into Action
In order to reinforce the lessons learned during the workshops, participants took their newly acquired knowledge and skills forward, initiating, proposing, and implementing two micro-projects. One of these project’s focused on media literacy in Zestaphoni, which aimed to empower participants with media literacy skills, enabling them to critically assess media content, understand its influence on society, and become responsible consumers of information in a digital age. The Second project, on personal development in Kutaisi, was an innovative initiative involving the creation of a simulation game based on a popular novel – participants nurtured their creativity, honed their problem-solving abilities, and developed essential teamwork skills.
Impact and Lifelong Learning
The impact of the SKYE Tech Clubs has been profound, with participants developing complex life skills alongside their digital competencies. Participants emerged from the program equipped with essential skills like communication, leadership, and self-awareness—skills that transcend the digital realm and are invaluable in any life endeavour.
The success of SKYE Tech Clubs can be attributed to efficient planning and execution. The project adhered to a well-thought-out schedule that considered the participants’ time and workloads. Key lessons learned include the importance of a thorough selection process, continuous stakeholder engagement, and clear criteria for performance evaluation—insights that will shape future initiatives.
Ultra Poor Graduation Programme
The Ultra Poor Graduation Programme was implemented as part of this appeal project in order to improve the socio-economic inclusion, resilience, and skills of nine young women – enabling them to access existing social and financial services and markets, as well as to participate in community structures and networks.
Originally designed to empower nine single mothers, this programme was able to engage 10 beneficiary household; during the initial three months, assessment of the families was conducted to identify their specific needs. The selected families included three beneficiaries from Zestaphoni, one from Baghdati and six from Kutaisi.
As part of the project, a series of training sessions were conducted – covering useful topics such as ‘Sales Management’, ‘Business Administration’ and ‘Digital Marketing’, among many others. The beneficiaries actively participated in these training sessions, demonstrating a high level of interest in the topics covered along with a strong sense of personal responsibility.
Direct support was provided throughout the programme alongside an emphasis on capacity building, enabling the beneficiaries to discover their own potential, improve their financial situation, enhance their self-esteem and make future plans. This part of the project has consequently supported seven of the participants through their own self-employment and independent business management, in addition to two participants who have started work in the private sector!
English Language Training
The third objective of this appeal project in Georgia was to empower five young women with intensive English Language training, equipping them to compete effectively in the Georgian job market. These five individuals embarked on their journey by mastering the fundamentals of the English language within the framework of the project. Driven by their unwavering interest and determination to excel in English for future employment opportunities, they were subsequently enrolled in advanced English classes.
This comprehensive language program spanned over five months, encompassing a wide spectrum of language skills including reading, writing, and listening comprehension. As part of the program’s structure, students engaged in activities that enabled them to read and translate texts proficiently, communicate fluently in both spoken and written forms, and participate in dialogues on various social topics such as healthcare, education, work, professions, shopping, leisure activities, culture, and sports.
To assess the effectiveness of the program, a baseline test was conducted at the outset. The results were promising, with students demonstrating a commendable level of competence – specifically their performance in the final test which consisted of a range of activities to showcase their English language skills. This achievement corresponds to the criteria of the pre-intermediate level: reading – well; writing – good; speaking – good; and listening, which showed significant progress.
The beneficiaries themselves have expressed satisfaction with the remarkable progress they have made. Beyond the acquisition of language skills, they have experienced a boost in self-confidence, motivation, and an increased ability to apply their newfound knowledge effectively in their respective workplaces. This project has not only expanded their linguistic capabilities but has also enriched their overall personal and professional development.
Our partnership with World Vision Georgia as part of the SI President’s Appeal 2021 – 2023, ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’, has yielded remarkable outcomes and transformations in the lives of women and girls living in Georgia.
The SKYE Tech Clubs initiative not only enhanced the digital competencies of 44 vulnerable girls and young women but also fostered a sense of community and collaboration among them. The non-formal education sessions empowered participants with effective communication and leadership skills, transcending traditional classroom lectures. Meanwhile, the technical skills workshops ignited creativity, innovation, and a deep understanding of the role of technology in our lives.
Furthermore, participants turned their newfound knowledge into action by implementing impactful micro-projects, addressing media literacy and personal development. The impact of the SKYE Tech Clubs program extended beyond digital competencies, equipping participants with essential life skills that will serve them well in various endeavours.
As we reflect on the achievements of this project, we are reminded that empowering women and girls is not merely an investment in their futures but a pathway to a stronger, more inclusive society. We look forward to further partnerships where we can work together to open doors to even brighter futures for women and girls in Georgia and beyond.