PR: TAF Foundation, a not-for-profit organization working for women empowerment through its Vocational Training Institute (TAFF-VTI), has commenced its second 3.5-month training course for marginalized women from all across Karachi. This rigorous course will impart classroom and practical training in culinary and housekeeping skills, preparing the trainees comprehensively for a career as professional domestic helper.

There is an overwhelming demand for well-trained, groomed and reliable domestic helpers with structured skills. The higher socio-economic segment of Pakistani society presently addresses this need through domestic help imported from other countries like Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. TAFF-VTI is now all set to bring about a paradigm shift, by institutionalizing the domestic help industry in Pakistan through skills development of our own women, who are willing to build a career for themselves in this field. Not only will there be an assured supply of local skilled domestic helpers for those who need it, but sustainable livelihoods will be created for our society’s marginalized women.

Aatiqa Lateef, CEO TAF Foundation, said, “Our program engages women through a three-tier model – recruitment, training and placement. Thus, the objective is not just providing professional training, but also ensuring placement of our graduates, with premium remuneration. This program is developed to enable women in Pakistan not only with a professional skill set but to also empower them with a legal and financial understanding of their rights as women. We have seen that these additional skills have had a transformational impact on their personal lives.”

Previously TAFF-VTI has rolled out two terms from which majority of the graduates have been placed into meaningful employment. These graduates who were earning PKR 4,000 to 8,000 per month before joining TAFF-VTI are now working in contractual employment at PKR 20,000 to 30,000 per month, with their contracts being based on the labor laws in Pakistan and managed by the VTI’s Career Placement Center.

“Today I consider myself extremely fortunate to have received this training from TAFF-VTI,” stated Sultana, TAFF-VTI trainee from the pilot batch, adding: “It has been a life-changing experience, which only someone who has remained marginalized and exploited their whole life can really understand. The quality and efficiency of my work has improved drastically, my self-confidence is sky-high, and I have a new respect and dignity not only from my own family and in-laws but from my whole community. With my much larger income now, I am able to achieve at least one dream – provide a good education to my son, which was previously impossible.”

As the project gains attention, corporates and institutions from around Pakistan have identified TAFF-VTI as one of the more innovative integrated social development projects in the country.