With Self Shakti Program we are trying many new things which haven’t been done before. Instead of a boring training session, we’ve made it an enjoyable and interactive experience. The sessions reach the women in their own villages and incorporate a combination of activities, role-plays, games and storytelling to make it friendly, especially to the unlettered. Here’s how we’re doing things differently.
Instead of calling women to our doorsteps, we take our training to theirs. Our travelling bus goes to the women where they are. The bus is powered by solar panels on its roof, equipped with an audio-visual system, a foldable canopy, stationery, water, juice and chairs. It’s a plug-and-play classroom that can be set up and dismantled in minutes. The mobile classroom can start in an empty farm. From outside, a Buzz bus is a bright orange bundle of excitement. Inside, it carries all the tools we need to urge women to achieve their dreams.
We don’t lecture or teach, we interact, facilitate a space for the women to explore their aspirations. The modules are designed for experiential learning. The women learn through role-plays, peer interactions and games. We make the women problem-solvers by asking questions that they encounter daily. We nudge them to think differently from what they are used to. This way they own the solutions they come up with rather than being told.
The modules promote inclusiveness. Women who can neither read nor write sit alongside the literate and benefit equally from the modules. 38% of the women we’ve trained through our program were illiterate.
Our program includes modules on communication, book-keeping, daily money management, debt management, goal setting and savings. Women can apply the components, tools and techniques best suited to their particular need and see results. We also restrict the number of participants and do smaller team discussions as many researches have shown us that a lesser number allows the facilitator to pay individual attention to every participant and manage the training more effectively. This is unlike most training programs in which they have one lecture for everyone.
We don’t just give a training and go away. We stay in touch, tracking progress, motivating and encouraging. We stay connected with the community through voice calls, newsletters and Buzz friends who are goodwill ambassadors from the community who have completed the Self Shakti Program. The Buzz friends periodically share stories from across villages, check the effectiveness of the program, encourage and motivate the women to continue healthy financial practices, and assess the impact of the Buzz program on women, their families and their businesses. On taking our Self Shakti Program, a whopping 52% women increased their savings by 50%. See how we’ve already impacted these women’s lives.