BIS #6919 Evaluation Women's Empowerment Project at BSVS

By Fr Anaclete D’Mello for BISMumbai

Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS), Walvanda, along with Isabel Martin Foundation, Spain, conducted an evaluation on the Women Empowerment and Livelihood Project from 23 to 25 March 2023. BSVS has collaborated with the Foundation for a period of six years from 2017-2023.

The project was divided into two major halves: the first phase consisted of women empowerment while the second phase focused on improvement of livelihood through subsistence home farming and small income generation activities. In the first phase the emphasis was placed on creating women's unions and federations for the tribals. The project focused on empowering around 5000 women from these unions and federations with skills and knowledge to get their rights and privileges. This phase took place of three years from June 2017 to May 2020.

One third of tribal women federation members were served in the first phase of the project. Women were identified and prioritised according to their financial situation. They were given help to start poultry farms and kitchen gardens so that they could generate income for their families. Apart from the above, BSVS had also helped women form farm producer groups and marketing federations in order to pool together their produce and sell it in a bigger market to earn a larger income.

The second phase, from June 2020 to March 2023, focused on enhancing the quality of life of around 3000 tribal women of poor and needy tribal women, with the intention of reducing their migration and so that they could get gainful employment within the village and in their households.

Isabel Martin Foundation inspected the entire work and interacted with the women members of Hamlet Federation, Village Federation and Cluster Federation of Jawhar Mokhada Taluka where the project was held. They recorded a very positive response and the Rector, Fr Anaclet D'Mello, mentioned that the main objective of the project had been achieved.