Empowering women from rural communities throughout the world applying an innovative method addressed to individuals with low literacy. This initiative help women to build their self confidence allowing them to be more aware of their rights and opportunities.
Market Place Literacy Trust - IndiaLead applicant
Oikos East Africa - TanzaniaInitiative partner
OIKOS Institute - ItalyInitiative partner
Tutelare ambiente e necessità dell’uomo con un approccio integrato: molti strumenti, un quadro coerente. Analisi e pianificazione partecipata delle risorse naturali, sensibilizzazione, formazione, progetti per l’autonomia economica delle comunità disagiate e per un ruolo più ampio delle donne. E ancora, cooperazione tra organismi del Nord e del Sud, creazione di microimprese in campo ambientale, educazione alla sostenibilità.
Empowering women from rural communities throughout the world applying an innovative method addressed to individuals with low literacy. This initiative helps women to build their self confidence allowing them to be more aware of their rights and opportunities.
The main innovation is the method, and it can be applied to many rural communities. It is very illustrative the experience had in Tanzania with Masaai women that shows how the same method applied to different communities with different culture has good results. Training is, in fact, based on an innovative methodology successfully implemented in rural areas of India. This was tested by Oikos East Africa in the project area in collaboration with Illinois University and has proven to be an effective solution in economic decisions and, more importantly, it can be transferred even in the absence of basic literacy. It will be applied to strengthen local uneducated women in dealing with the “market environment”. The program uses a methodology that takes into consideration both the vulnerabilities (low literacy, low incomes) and strengths (social skills) of the rural poor.
Low-income individuals and communities need financial resources, access to markets, and marketplace literacy to function effectively in themarketplace as customers and as entrepreneurs. Marketplace literacy is not basic literacy but rather skills, awareness of rights, and self-confidence needed to function in the marketplace. This concept was used as a basis to develop a consumer and entrepreneurial literacy educational program which assumes that our audience cannot read or write. The program uses an understanding of marketplaces as a basis for being an informed buyer or seller. We use a variety of methods such as picture sorting, simulated shopping, and role plays. We believe such understanding can enable individuals to place themselves on a path to lifelong learning and adapt to changing circumstances. Following extensive piloting and assessment, the program is being scaled through large social enterprises with plans for implementation in other countries and contexts.
The method developed skills to improve employability and income-generation activities facilitated among rural women. The same approach is applicable to disseminate concepts related to food security and good practices for food consumption.
The project targets marginalised, vulnerable rural communities. The experience in Northern Tanzania, where the environment is dominated by drylands and informal subsistence economies (livestock keeping and petty trade) and focuses on Maasai pastoralists women, who rely exclusively on informal subsistence economies, are critically vulnerable to social, economical and environmental shocks, and play a key role in improving the survival of other vulnerable social groups such as children, elderly and disabled people. In India, the organization aims to provide education to enable entrepreneurial and consumer literacy among low-literate, low-income buyers and sellers. Education is provided in Chennai and nearby rural areas in Tamil Nadu, India, through our local partner, Marketplace Literacy Communities (MLC Trust).
The staff of the Marketplace Literacy Community Trust, Staff of Istituto Oikos and of Oikos East Africa has been involved in the testing of the best practice to African communities
There have been no major obstacles to the design and implementation of the initiative.
The initiative have an indirect positive impact on the environment. It allows women to approach diverse income generating activities, that have no negative impact on the environment, being more conscious. For example the establishment of business activities can stop the practices of unsustainable sources of income such as tree cutting for charcoal production with a positive impact on soil, pastureland and climate stability. Furthermore being an educational method it can be used to communicate environmental issues.
The method develops capacity and empower women that, raising their self awareness will be able to have a stronger impact in community decision making.
The skills are transferable from women to women, and the method can be applied to different circumstances.
The application of the method to education of rural communities in India sand Tanzania and its success demonstrates the replicability of marketplace literacy approach to strengthen small-scale income generation activities in rural context. Marketplace literacy, a concept developed on the basis of extensive research boosts skills, awareness of rights, and self-confidence needed to function in the marketplace.