More than 20 months of fighting with the unfolding spread of new variants and chances of lockdown looming over our heads have led to a deep financial crisis for many families. Many people, who lost their livelihood during the start of the pandemic, are still searching for sustainable livelihood opportunities and hundreds of trade have been pushed back into darkness.
By the end of 2020, more than 60% of the children were sent back to their homes from Child Care Institutions (CCIs). Instead of being a together moment for the family, it ran them into trouble; with loss of income and no hope of finding it soon, it became difficult for the families to feed their children three meals a day. Our initial analysis revealed that the families were not economically ready to bear an additional expense to the family. Whereas, women-led families suffered the most; most of them had no regular jobs and had negligible to no savings. We also gathered that many families in the community were solely dependent on the relief support provided by Miracle Foundation India. Above all, new livelihood opportunities were the constant requirement of the families.
The Miracle team along with the CCI team members worked on identifying different skill sets of the primary caregivers. Surprisingly, through informal interactions, it was found that women caregivers had a wide range of skill sets that could be converted to sustainable income sources for the families. Joining hands with like-minded organizations working in the same community we took the first step towards the economic empowerment of women for a sustainable living of the family.
Families with single women and less or no means of livelihood resources were identified. The task was majorly done by the CCIs on the basis of interest and confidence to initiate/enhance an income generation activity and existing skills set and experience. Furthermore, it also became an initiative for the family strengthening process even when the children could be transitioned in a year’s time.