Shillong: In the month of February, AEA’s iLEAD (Initiative for Livelihood Education and Development) project has won e-North East Award 2016 in the e-Livelihood and Enterprise category constituted by North East Development Foundation in partnership with Impulse NGO Network, Meghalaya Information Technology Society (MITS), Information Technology Department, Government of Meghalaya and North Eastern Council (NEC).
The award is in recognition to Aide et Action’s relentless work to promote skill & enterprise development in North East India.
For decades, the North East region has been neglected due to geographical isolation and sustained conflicts. However, the last few years has witnessed rapid development in terms of infrastructure and education.
Aide et Action South Asia started iLEAD – Initiative for Livelihood and Education and Development program in Assam and Meghalaya in 2009. The project trains youth and school dropouts from the marginalized sections of the society in employable skills which are in-demand locally. So far, the 3 iLEAD centers (2 in Guwahati & 1 in Shillong) were instrumental in training 3,600 youth comprising 50 percent girls, out of which 18 percent started their own enterprises and 56 percent of them are in to organized sector employment.
The training of candidates involves several processes, starting from the mobilization of candidates for the training to tracking of trainees post completion of training and placement. It also includes formation of alumni networks which support the iLEAD pass-outs with placements and networking.
The students are introduced to various business program modules including SIYB (Start and Improvise your Business programme), GYB (Generate Your Business Ideas) and SYB (Start Your Business) where they are given an opportunity to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
Besides providing technical skills, the courses also stress on building the confidence and leadership skills of the trainees.
Alongside, iLEAD is also working with 250 relatively less educated youth of 12 villages living on the river side of the embankment in Dibrugarh including 50 % percent women to make them entrepreneurs with the support of Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam (FREMAA) that allocated grant funds from Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) administered by Asian Development Bank (ADB). Out of which 50 Young Entrepreneurs will be trained and supported by Seed Capital and 10 Group Enterprises supported with loans in Meghalaya from TATA Trusts, he adds.
Aide et Action is also part of Government of Meghalaya (GOM) project on Supporting Human Capital Development in Meghalaya with the support of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
A total of 1,99,249 youths have been trained in iLEAD Programme since 2005 out of which 45% are Women and 75% are from Marginalized Communities and 74% are working in the organised sector employment or have initiated their own or group enterprises.
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