Our model for redefining honor and instilling women's empowerment in tribes and villages takes at least three years to implement. We don't work alone. We work with and train a team of local professionals and organizations, who operate on the ground, for up to three years.
The first step is the most important. We hire two Social Mobilizers—one man and one woman—who serve as the interface between the implementing organization and the community.
Our mobilizers are able to understand the values and lifetstyles of the villages they're impacting. This knowledge is helpful for the implementing organization because the mobilizers are able to communicate with and translate the goals of the project, in ways that are understandable to the community.
In the first three months
After hiring social mobilizers and before starting any work, we engage with three core groups in the village. These stakeholders are the gatekeepers to the community. It is important to engage them first to express respect for their positions in the community, to explain what the organization would like to accomplish in the community, and to activate them as facilitators for the organization in their community.
Tribal leaders are integral to the community's way of life. They are in charge of running the village and making sure that nothing is amiss.
Religious & School Teachers
Religious and school teachers are able to pass down important values and lessons onto the children and youth. They help keep tradition alive.
Midwives help bring new life into the villages. They hold immense power in the ecosystem as well as great influence on the women.
The Selection Process
One Woman, One Household
Exactly one woman per household should be selected to participate.
In many instances, one household may support several women because different families tend to live together. Knowing this, we still choose one woman.
The final group contains 30 women.
We choose women, with demonstrated leadership in the community, as local facilitators. These women are selected for their expertise in traditional arts like music and embroidery, their skill with entrepreneurship at the markets, and their knowledge of women's rights.
We look for women who have refined their traditional skills, such as embroidery, and created them to be compatible with the current standards and quality of the market.
Entrepreneurship at Home
These are women who have experience selling in the market, or are famous for implementing local savings clubs. We look for women who know how to budget and are able to teach others and provide advice.
Women's Rights in Islam
These women are either elders or respected by women in the village. She is knowledgeable and outspoken about women's rights in Islamic and Pakistani law. Because of this she has more freedom than other women in the village.
Training & Execution
We Work Together
Before proceeding, Sughar Foundation trains the local organizations and professionals on developing Training Of Trainer (TOT) sessions. These sessions take into account the particular needs of each community, so that we're working together.
The Initial Period
The training lasts at least two weeks and at the end of it a TOT curriculum will be developed and taught to the local facilitators. Afterwards the local facilitators will train the group of 30 women, while focusing on their particular expertise. This training should take approximately three months per village. During the three months training, a Sughar Hub will be constructed.
Six Months Training
Each facilitator will conduct at least one session per week in the hub for the beneficiaries, for approximately 2 hours per session. That means the 30 beneficiary women are engaged at least 3 days per week on the 3 different topics covered by the facilitators.
After the six months of training, we hold a graduation ceremony and award grants to 10 women so they can launch their businesses.
This award process is based on each woman’s participation in the program and an oral exam. In addition to funding, we provide three months of additional support, to the 10 grant recipients. This includes guidance on how to launch businesses, trips to markets when needed for research, and networking with local vendors or finding alternative ways to market their products or service.
Gathering Support from Men
During the six months of training, we are very sensitive to the culture of the tribes. While the women are going through the course, we engage with the men in the village. During these meetings the organization has the opportunity to demystify the purpose of the program. Through productive conversation, we lessen the fears that these men may have about what the course teaches.
The topics of these meeting varies depending on the needs of the community. Typically, the men are encouraged to speak about something they have done for their wives, or how to be better husbands and brothers, or generally better men in society. While these meetings specifically target men in the community, they are open to the entire community—women and men alike.
For further engagement, the organization holds cricket matches for men and boys in the community. This cricket match is one of the most important activities for men since this is the time when our team openly talks about women’s rights in Islam and Pakistani law.