Tailoring Skills Program for Women helps break cycle of poverty
January 2023 – New skills are leading to new hope and opportunities for women in rural western China, thanks to our unique partnership with Captivating International.
Since 2012, Cenovus Energy has supported Captivating International, a charity with programs in China, Nepal and the Philippines that is focused on educating girls, ending poverty and helping to stop human trafficking. Over the years, our partnership has helped on helping girls and women continue their education and improve job and career readiness in China, where we have offshore operations.
Now in its fifth year, our Tailoring Skills Program for Women offers participants three months of intensive training to become a professional tailor, with the aim of lifting women out of poverty and building self-sufficiency.
These women, many with no formal schooling, have limited time to apply for jobs and are assessed as being furthest away from potential employment opportunities because of their farm duties and family commitments.
Students in the program gain skills in line-drawing and how to take, read and write measurements. In addition to tailoring skills, the program also provides participants with business knowledge to help them earn additional income – supporting local tailoring shops, working part-time from home or starting their own tailoring businesses. The women are also taught important life skills such as how to value and look after themselves while progressing their own careers and continuing to care for their families.
“Many women report they are earning stable income for the first time in their lives,” shares Andrew Colquhoun, Chief Executive Officer, Captivating International. “Following the Tailoring Skills Program for Women, graduates report feeling more confident and optimistic as a result of gaining stronger economic independence.”
To date, 144 women have participated in the program with more than 75% of graduates reporting a significant increase in their regular monthly income.
Our partnership also supports the ONE MORE YEAR Scholarship Program, which helps to keep under-privileged girls in vocational school or high school. Each year, Cenovus employees based in the region also participate in Captivating International’s annual charity auction, which raises additional funds for the scholarship program.
“It is a thrill to see these programs progress each year,” says Andrew Vincent, Cenovus’s Director of Health & Safety Deployed for Asia Pacific. “As part of our commitment to strengthening the communities where we operate, our partnership with Captivating International shows just how important education is to residents in helping them excel and creating shared value for society.”