Female inmates learning sustainable skills – JCI Impact Month Contest (June 2013)

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JCI Bandung/ 2012

June’s Impact Month focused on the second stage of community development, education and economic empowerment, as outlined by the JCI Active Citizen Framework. This stage includes projects that advance UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), #2 achieve universal primary education and #3 promote gender equality and empower women.

Members of JCI Bandung of JCI Indonesia won 2013 JCI President Chiara Milani’s challenge to upload the best project during the June JCI Impact Month.

Advancing MDG #3, the young active citizens of JCI Bandung’s project “JCI Female Inmate-preneurs” examined problems and needs of women in their community of Bandung, Indonesia and focused on working with a certain group of women in great need of help and support from engaged citizens. JCI Bandung members visited the local women’s correctional facility and recognized these women’s struggle to create a new life for themselves.

JCI Bandung members recognized a surface level need, but needed to further analyze the situation, so they conducted interviews with the correctional facility officers to find out what would help the women most. Job skills turned out to be the most definitive need for these women, giving JCI members a concrete sustainable solution to begin working toward.

Taking Action 

JCI Bandung
JCI Bandung

After receiving approval from the correctional facility officers, JCI Bandung members partnered with local trainers to conduct classes for the inmates inside the correctional facility. Skills developed through these classes include sewing, stitching and other crafting skills, as well as how to market their handmade products. JCI members volunteer during these trainings and are also responsible for providing the supplies to the women in the morning and picking up finished products in the evening. 

The skills and marketing classes motivate the women to take ownership of their situation. Learning these skills provides them the opportunity to start a new life upon their release into society. Fostering a sense of entrepreneurship among the women brings hope of becoming independent and successful, despite their challenging past. Job skills give them a way to earn a wage, encouraging them to stay away from criminal activity or drugs once their time at the facility concludes. Many inmates have also experienced a history of abuse by husbands or family members, so developing the ability to lead an independent life and escape the cycle of domestic violence is another benefit that many women received from the program.

To sell the women’s handmade products outside the correctional facility, JCI Bandung members obtained proper licensing from their local government and found a local business that can distribute the products to local and international buyers. The local business continues to sell the women’s crafts and the correctional facility uses the profits to improve the women’s living conditions, allowing them to see the direct benefits of their dedication and hard work. Additionally, in the Netherlands, 70% of the women’s product displayed at an exhibition was sold allowing those profits to go back to the facility to provide better equipment and environment for the inmates.

The project proved to be a great success and more than 355 inmates have been helped and trained from the Bandung facility. New inmates sign up everyday and JCI Bandung members continue to work with their local government and business partners to provide skill development and sell the handmade products, ensuring a new life and vast opportunity for the female inmates in their community.

Impact Around the World

Thank you to all JCI members, Local and National Organizations who submitted their projects during June’s JCI Impact Month Contest. Many outstanding projects were submitted, including the four runners-up to the JCI Bandung, Indonesia project.

Congratulations to these June JCI Impact Month project finalists:

JCI Madagascar: “JCI Mada Tour” (advancing MDG #2 Achieve Primary Universal Education)
JCI Cochabamba, Bolivia: “The ABCs of Cochabamba” (advancing MDG #2 Achieve Primary Universal Education)
JCI Corrientes, Argentina: “Yo estoy en contra de la Violencia de Ganero” (advancing MDG #3 Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women)
JCI Samsun, Turkey: “Leading Women of the Future” (advancing MDG #3 Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women)

Browse the JCI Project Gallery to read about the runners-up and many other strong projects JCI members have conducted in their communities throughout the world. Remember, September JCI Impact Month is coming up! Stay tuned for more updates about submitting your projects that advance MDG #7 ensure environmental sustainability and MDG #8 develop a global partnership for development.

Thank you to JCI Bandung Creative Industry Director Titin Agustina for providing information for this story.

source / JCI.CC

Thank you to 2013 JCI President Chiara Milani for choosing the winning project. Follow her travels on her Facebook and Twitter.

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