Breaking Barriers – Scholarships & Vocational Training Program

OMEED scholarship recipients

What if a young person from a servant family had the opportunity and support to become a trained carpenter, tailor or beautician?  Could they break barriers of poverty?  For our pilot program, we have selected 20 scholarship recipients who say yes.

Goals:  To break poverty barriers by providing scholarships and vocational training and certifications to young men and women ages 16-20 living in poverty; to create employment opportunities; to promote the value of education and provide support and encouragement to families of scholarship recipients.

Highlights.  Among Pakistan’s poorest are young adults who have completed basic high school education but are unable to attend college.  Often these young folks need to help support their families and are limited to working as house servants or day laborers.  They become stuck in a generational cycle of poverty.  They are also at a high risk of being lured into criminal rings and extremist organizations.

OMEED is launching a pilot program for an initial group of  student scholarship recipients – 10 young women and 10 young men.  Recipients will be supported to attend one of many vocational schools in Punjab province that provides training certifications for electricians, carpenters, mechanics, tailors, beauticians and hairdressers and other vocations.  Selection criteria include financial need and a demonstrated motivation to learn and work hard in a vocational program.  Scholarships include tuition fees, room and board, expenses such as books and stipends to recipient families to alleviate the loss of income during the recipient’s period of study.  To maintain scholarships, recipients must demonstrate commitment to their program and adequate performance.

Approximately 70% of students who graduate with a 12-month certification become employed and 30% start their own businesses.   Equipped with certified trade diplomas, these young men and women will have new opportunities to break the barriers of poverty for themselves and their families.

Breaking barriers recipients - 2

First class of scholarship recipients.

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