Women belonging to minority community getting computer training at Sawera Foundation centre in Peshawar. - Photo by Saba Bangash

By Saba Bangash

PESHAWAR, 29 December: Sawera Foundation, a welfare institution, has opened a centre for women belonging to the minority community affected by terrorism to train them in different skills to enable them to support their families.

The centre established in Gulbahar area of Peshawar is currently providing training to 50 women in computer courses, cloth dyeing and making of decoration pieces. The centre will initially work for three months and will provide Rs7,000 remuneration to every trainee woman.

Maryam Munawar, a woman from minority community, escaped unhurt along with her three daughters when militants attacked a church in Peshawar two years ago. However, her son lost his one leg in the incident. Maryam, who is currently receiving training in the Sawera Foundation centre, said she learned many skills during her training and she can utilise these skills for opening her own small business.

“I have learned how to make embroidery on clothes. I have also learned how to dye a shawl. I am also practicing these skills at home and planning to sell my products in the bazaar once I get full training about it,” Maryam told TNN.

Salma Shakeel, who has three sisters and a brother, said she learned making of decoration pieces and cloth dyeing at the centre.  She said her decoration pieces and clothes will be sold in the next exhibitions.

“There is no male bread winner in our home. I am learning few things in this training centre which will give me opportunity to earn livelihood while working from my home,” she said.

Lal Jan Afridi, head of Sawera Foundation, said the institution is working for strengthening the violence affected women belonging to minority community.

“We are providing vocational and computer training to these women. The purpose of providing computer training is to acquaint the women about new trends and fashion and design with the use of internet,” Mr Afridi said.

Zebun Nisa, a trainee at the centre, says she was earlier unaware about computer skills but after training she is teaching computer to her children and other children as well.

“I previously knew nothing about computer, but now I have learnt about MS Power Point, MS Word and internet. Now I can teach others about these computer skills,” she said.

Ruqia Bibi, who is a computer instructor at the training centre, is also a terror victim. Her father lost his life in a bomb blast in Peshawar Saddar . She is now teaching social media and internet skills to women to promote their business. She said she feels satisfaction in helping out the terrorism and poverty stricken women.

“I am teaching them about the use of social media like facebook and twitter to promote their business at national level. I am also teaching them about various marketing skills,” Ruqia told TNN.