MIFA VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING CENTER

Empowering Women Across Africa.

Today, in Africa, too many young women remain outside the reach of what should be their full economic and self-empowerment potential.

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Today, in Africa, too many young women remain outside the reach of what should be their full economic and self-empowerment potential. A new ILO report (Young and Female : a double strike?) based on the school-to-work transitions surveys of 32 developing countries concludes that being young and female serves as a double strike for those seeking to find productive employment. Indeed, 76% of inactive out of school youth are female. Women face higher unemployment rate, persistent wage gaps, and longer school-to-work transition. The causes that prevent them to access a decent job are sadly well-known: lack of access to resources, early marriages and pregnancies, discrimination in recruitment and conditions of work, lack of recognition by men outside households. Mentalities need to be changed and we have a long way to go. First, women must have the opportunity to access education (according to UNICEF, there would also be an effect on child marriage that would drop by 64% if women had access to secondary education). Second, gender equality must become a reality (which is sometimes difficult in countries where the position of women is unequally established at the earliest stages and cannot be changed). This is really important because we know (and many reports have shown it for years) that empowering women and giving them the opportunity to make their own choices for an active participation in the economy makes a huge difference on many fronts.

Indeed, promoting gender equality is one of the most effective ways to drive inclusive growth and reduce poverty.  The AU declared 2015 the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063. Now we need to make it a reality. We must indeed remove the barriers that keep women from realizing their full potential and their rights for equal opportunity and treatment.  Africa needs them.

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Volunteer at MIFA for Women's Empowerment Projects

Gender equality has become a hot topic in the west with a slow but steady development of creating an equal playing field for both sexes. Girls in developing countries, however, have a different battle ahead of them. Many women remain oppressed by men and are frequent victims of gender discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual harassment. Volunteers can truly empower girls by giving them the support and guidance toward a powerful, independent future.

Work with girls in places like Uganda, Cameroon, South Sudan, kenya etc by providing basic education and increasing their self-confidence. Help girls find sustainable solutions for their problems and lead them toward a brighter future. Are you ready for a life-changing experience in Sub-Saharan Africa? Go on and check out all empowering projects on the site.

Why volunteer for women empowerment?

While Hollywood is all over the tabloids fighting for equal wages between actors and actresses, women in developing countries are fighting a completely different battle. In many developing countries, males are the leading figures of society and women are forced to lead domesticated and subordinate lives with limited rights.

Many have no access to education and hence remain dependent on their husbands or male relatives, unable to make their own decisions. Out of the 900 million adults and youths that are lacking basic literacy skills worldwide, more than 60% are women  .

They are also frequent victims of forced sex and prostitution, domestic violence and in some cultures, genital mutilation and child marriage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three women worldwide has experienced physical and/ or sexual violence. Without a voice, these women have no means to break the vicious cycle of abuse and poverty.

To give these girls a fighting chance and the possibility to step out of their awful circumstances, programs worldwide have set up centers focused on women empowerment. These programs provide disadvantaged women a safe space, education and, awareness about their rights. In most projects, girls and women can rely on vocational training, a basic education, psychological support and most importantly, tools that will enable their development and reintegration within the community.

Join a women empowerment program and offer women the much-needed support on their journey to independence.

Volunteering your time and effort to women empowerment programs will support women who have been born with limited rights and opportunities. Empower those that have been suppressed by their male counterparts to take life into their own hands. By providing emotional support and education, you will help create awareness about the women’s rights and values as human beings. Give them the tools to learn how to make powerful decisions which will help with their development to become independent, empowered women.

How can I help as a volunteer for women empowerment?

Once you've decided to volunteer in Africa for a program, you might wonder what type of tasks you will do during your time as a Volunteer in Africa. Each program may differ as they all have a different focus depending on the requirements of the community. Some programs provide a safe environment for women and their children to spend time and recover from what they have been through. These community projects focus on personal development and women’s rights.

Other programs will focus on education and provide vocational training in areas where the women may find work. Classes in stitching work, drawing and henna paint provide will teach women practical skills which they can easily access for future job opportunities or even to start their own business.

Besides providing a safe environment for women and their children, volunteers are encouraged to connect with them and giving them a basic education. Volunteers will teach English as it’s an important language to learn and will be very helpful in the future. Some projects will require the volunteer to teach business skills or provide vocational training which will help the women learn to become more independent and encourage their future development.

Women who have sought help at the center, are in a fragile and emotional state and require a good support system to help them recover from the psychological and often times physical abuse they have endured for many years. Volunteers will face challenging situations and meet women who have been through very difficult times. This can be upsetting for emotionally sensitive volunteers, so it is important to ask yourself whether you are suited for a program like this. Volunteering your time and committing to helping these women will make a significant difference in their development. As a volunteer, you will connect with the local women on a profound level and help them with finding sustainable solutions for their problems. Let's take a closer look at some of the possible tasks you will help with as a volunteer in women empowerment:

  • Helping with skills development

  • Teaching basic English and other subjects

  • Development of income-generating skills

  • Personality development activities

  • Awareness raising activities

  • Educating women on health, hygiene, and reproductive health

  • Organizing fun activities

  • Education about their rights

  • Taking care of the children whilst the mothers are in classes

  • Helping with cleaning or maintenance tasks

Who can work as a volunteer for women empowerment?

It's not required to have experience for women's rights volunteer opportunities, but a good work ethic, a strong desire to contribute, and the ability to provide emotional support to vulnerable women, are requirements all projects are definitely looking for.

Volunteers who are unsure if they are cut out to volunteer for women empowerment, there are a few personality traits which are great to have for every women empowerment program. A few characteristics that are great to have if you are eager to volunteer for women's rights and empowerment:

  • a social mindset

  • empathy

  • ability to manage emotions

  • a good work ethic

  • the ability to work as part of a team

  • great communication skills

  • adaptability to different types of tasks

  • teaching skills

  • problem-solving ability

  • focused on finding solutions

  • eager to learn

  • enthusiasm

  • resilience

  • a non-judgmental approach and respect for diversity

  • great cultural awareness

  • a professional attitude to work

  • a strong regard for health and safety

  • eagerness to travel abroad

  • ability to make friends

What language skills are required?

Many of the women at the centers are illiterate and often don't speak any English. In this case, there will be people who can facilitate and act as translators. English is the main language on all projects abroad. It's important that volunteers have a good understanding of English to communicate with the staff at the program center and other volunteers. For programs in Equatorial Guinea etc, it would help if you have a basic knowledge of Spanish prior to going as most locals don't speak any English.

Best places to volunteer for women empowerment

Although gender inequality remains a work in progress worldwide, developing countries especially rely heavily on external initiatives. To volunteer with MIFA you must be ready and willing to travel to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa

If you are convinced that your help is most needed on the African continent, there are several interesting programs in Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya. Cameroon, Morocco, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe are other possibilities in Africa where you can combine meaningful contribution with interesting opportunities abroad.

Speak up and take this unique opportunity to give a voice to women who have been born with limited opportunities. Travel to some of the most interesting places abroad and empower women by making them aware of their rights.

Top 5 benefits of Volunteering

There's no doubt that volunteering in itself is a fantastic thing to do. By volunteering for women empowerment programs, you will work with women who have been violated and denied their rights. Let's take a look at some of the benefits that you can look forward to when you join one of MIFA's women empowerment projects in Africa:

  • Happiness

As you volunteer for a women empowerment program, you are doing something wonderful for women who are less fortunate. You're helping women from disadvantaged communities, such as in Uganda, achieve a better quality of life by providing them with tools to find sustainable solutions for their problems. Research has proven that doing good for others positively affects feelings of happiness. Your volunteer experience will definitely bring this feeling together with a feeling of contribution and empowerment.

  • Practical and personal experience

If you are looking to work in the fields of education, social work or counseling, volunteering is a great way for you to gain practical work experience. You will get to use your skills in a completely different setting which will help you to grow both as a professional and as a person. Get ready to gain a new perspective on life and learn more about yourself at one of these projects.

  • People

Not only will you be connecting with and inspiring local women but you will also get to know other volunteers and staff who are passionate about the same cause. You're destined to meet inspiring people and develop meaningful relationships while you volunteer at MIFA for women empowerment.

  • Travel

This is the ideal opportunity to combine travel with something meaningful. Always wanted to discover a certain part of the world and learn about the culture abroad? This is your chance to go abroad and contribute to one of the many women empowering projects.

  • Career booster

Last but not least - volunteering at MIFA in Africa is also a great activity to mention on your CV. No matter what field you work in and if it is similar to the volunteer work you did or not, volunteering shows that you are passionate, proactive and willing to dedicate your free-time to an important cause. All of these are qualities that employers value highly and it will definitely be beneficial when you apply for a new job in the future.

How can I volunteer for women empowerment?

So you’re ready to volunteer for women empowerment but you’re not quite sure how to get started? Take a look at the following 3 steps that will prepare you for your women empowerment volunteer program with MIFA in Sub-Saharan Africa this is an unforgettable adventure:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between you and the project MIFA is currently handling by looking at their requirements.

  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it would be a location you are excited about.

  3. Get in touch with the MIFA Charity Organization info@mifacharity.org and see whether your expectations and your schedule match up.

Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps:

Insurance (Health & travel)

We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is even a requirement for most programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, passport, and documentation

Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!

  • Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in.

  • Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirement of the host country.

  • Prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application.

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