A training center in Angola to empower women and give them the skills to join the workforce

Even though Angola has seen some powerful economic growth in recent years the country still faces big challenges when it comes to the social inclusion of women in society.

Many of the women in Kawelele, a neighborhood in the southern area of Luanda, the capital city of Angola, lack the adequate training and skills needed to enter the labor market and that means they are stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty.

For the past 50 years the Good Shepherd Sisters of Angola have gained experience in training and empowering women. The sisters have provided services in the post-war conflict in response to the enormous needs of the population through healthcare and education ministries, and they have also used literacy programs to empower women and girls, many of which have been turned into formal vocational training programs and small income-generation initiatives.

Now the GSS are taking another big step with their latest project in Kawelele. Funded by international donor Misean Cara, the project is focused on a training program aimed at empowering local women with business start-up opportunities and improved access to the local job market, micro-credit, as well as support to start up cooperatives or informal business associations.

The project, which will get under way in next few months, includes the construction of a professional training center that will offer courses in cooking/pastry, decoration for ceremonies, maid services and computer skills. The three-month training courses will be held four times a year and some 1,200 women are expected to participate annually.

The training center will also run adult literacy classes (160 women are expected to benefit anually) and basic business skills workshops. 

In addition, the center will provide job placement services for graduates and/or help them make contacts with micro-credit institutions for self-employment or small cooperative opportunities.

This important project is part of the GSS strategy to help eradicate extreme poverty and secure economic growth and a more equitable distribution of resources, through education and professional training. It also puts social justice and human rights of women at the forefront.

Plus this training project also showcases how the GSS are transitioning from emergency programs to development interventions. This strategy of renewal and organizational development is also evident through the establishment of a local Mission Development Office that provides technical assistance to the social projects carried out by the GSS in Angola.

 The project is expected to cover 70% of its annual costs by the end of the second year thanks to "social" fees paid by the trainees that should guarantee its future sustainability.

To learn more about this project and how to help click here and to donate directly click here.