The SGRA (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network) project, which began on commission from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, entered its third year in April 2013.
The objectives of the SGRA project are to improve and raise the livelihoods of informal-sector workers, low-income earners, women, and others who do not receive public assistance through human resource development, such as educational support and vocational training, carried out on the basis of labour-management cooperation. Vocational training and seminars for informal-sector workers and their families are held in Nepal, Thailand, and Bangladesh.
In Nepal, since there are many informal-sector workers who have not had the opportunity to receive school education and do not possess basic occupational skills, the SGRA project focuses mainly on vocational training and literacy education. In addition, life support seminars are held to provide information on such topics as the social security system, household budget improvement, and mutual aid schemes. The SGRA is implemented in four places (two areas in the Bhaktapur district on the outskirts of Kathmandu and two areas in the Parsa district in central Nepal).
On the occasion of the start of the project in the current fiscal year in Nepal, JILAF dispatched a delegation to Kathmandu on April 3–11 mainly to consult and coordinate with local people involved in the project.
In Nepal, the project is implemented by the Central Advisory Committee consisting of representatives of the government (the Nepalese Ministry of Employment and Labour), labour (Nepal Trade Union Congress Independent [NTUC-I]), and employer (Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry [FNCCI]), as well as the International Labour Organization; the central Management Committee (MC) consisting of trade unions; and Regional Working Committees (RWCs) consisting of representatives of the government, labour, and management in the districts of Bhaktapur and Parsa, where the project is being implemented. This time the committees confirmed project policy and specific activities for fiscal 2013 and committed themselves to further strengthening cooperation among related persons so as to achieve the project’s expected results in its third year.
In the current fiscal year, the SGRA project in Nepal is scheduled to provide information on public schemes contributing to livelihood improvement to a total of about 300 informal-sector workers who attended life support seminars in fiscal 2012 (about 150 persons in each district) toward the establishment of mutual aid programs, implement JILAF’s original vocational training for the acquisition of skills (sewing, knitting, hairdressing, candle making, etc.), and, for members unable to receive this original training, serve as a bridge to existing vocational training programs operated by employers’ organizations and local governments. Moreover, from the perspective of promoting mutual assistance among network members, while fostering trainers to promote the project in local areas, the SGRA project will be further strengthened and developed with the aim of establishing a cooperative association.
|04/05||Fri||Enlarged Management Meeting (MC + RWCs); courtesy visit to Japanese Embassy|
|04/06||Sat||First meeting of Central Promotion Committee|
|04/07||Sun||Discussions with the NTUC-I|
|04/08||Mon||Visit to cooperative association office; visit to the Japan International Cooperation Agency|
|04/09||Tue||Discussions with the NTUC-I|