Pasrur, August 23, 2017: The graduation ceremony of more than 300 female students was held at the Pasrur Vocational Center, which is a part of a Coca-Cola funded project ‘Women Economic Empowerment Program’ in partnership with Kashf Foundation. The community based vocational training schools at the Pasrur Center have delivered three months duration training sessions to the low-income women of the local area, focused on beautician work, domestic tailoring, financial education and personal grooming. The ceremony was attended by Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director of Kashf Foundation and Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs & Communications of Coca-Cola Pakistan.
At the ceremony Fahad Qadir highlighted, “Kashf Foundation partnered with Coca-Cola in 2011 to set the ground for a microfinance project that serves the needs of low-income females all across Pakistan. Since then, the project has developed a multi-faceted approach by providing qualitative benefits like gender training to support women empowerment and financial management courses for female entrepreneurs. It is a great step forward for bringing the women of Pakistan into the mainstream, as empowered women contribute significantly both to the economy and the healthy development of families and of society.”
Altogether the project has empowered more than 5,000 female entrepreneurs so far, and in its sixth year, the project has been able to facilitate the enrollment of low-income females in the corporate sector by providing skill-based trainings at Pasrur Vocational Center, to bridge the gap between trainings and employment. Coca-Cola’s global program ‘5by20’ aims to empower more than 5 million females by the year 2020 and Kashf Foundation supports this mandate.
Speaking about the partnership with Coca-Cola Pakistan, Roshaneh Zafar emphasized “Vocational schools provide an opportunity to the low-income females across Pakistan a chance to improve their lives by gaining essential skills. These initiatives and trainings help women enhance their leadership skills and self-confidence, boosting the economy by becoming micro-entrepreneurs and potentially, changing their future.”
Kashf’s internal research has shown that vocational education trainings have a positive impact on wages, employment, mobility and employment opportunity. Complementing vocational trainings with trainings on financial management, self-actualization and self-confidence can help expand the economic benefits of the trainings to the trainees. Around 67% of the graduates of Kashf’s previous vocational trainings are now running their own businesses.
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Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Pakistan presented award certificates to the first graduating batch of Pasrur Vocational Center along with Roshaneh Zafar, MD Kashf Foundation. Through the Women Entrepreneurial Project, Coca-Cola has funded vocational training of 300 women in Pasrur, Sialkot.