SWAN Livelihood Building Capacity through innovative training and learning programme!

Swan Livelihood is a Delhi based start-up that empowers youth through innovative training and learning programmes. It started functioning in January 2020 by imparting training to the youth from the economically weaker sections of the society. The training curriculum involved a comprehensive in-class training followed by connecting the participants to the employers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the operations of all at the TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) institutions including Swan Livelihood came to a complete halt impacting the job aspirations of innumerable youth.

Meghna Joshi, a social entrepreneur and the founder of the Swan Livelihood could grasp the situation well through her experience of several years in the corporate and social sectors. She could very well relate to the ‘pain points’ of youth coming from the economically weaker backgrounds, college going students and working professions through her intensive insight into different levels of the society.

To tackle the situation and to provide counselling support to the youth, SWAN launched a new up-skilling platform ‘Skill-X’, which included a series of specially designed workshops to train the youth for a competitive professional environment.

The online workshop sessions conducted so far aimed at enhancing proficiency in Creative Planning, Writing Emails, Effective Communication, Setting Goals with a series of reflective modules, evoking Creative Consciousness through creative self discovery, mind mapping and visual journaling. All the courses are designed in-house and are continuously fine-tuned on the basis of the feedback from the participants. Detailed surveys with over 100 participants, discussions on the problems being faced by them in getting employment, the skills they would like to learn and further upgrade on their existing skills have helped in preparing these modules.

The online training sessions have received good response from college going students, early stage working professionals and late stage experienced people as well. The online sessions are conducted on one to one mentoring mode with groups and individuals. Self-reflective exercises, activities and frameworks conducted during these workshops has helped individuals in building their capacity and understanding their true potential, says Meghna, who did her graduation in Business Economics (Hons.) and masters in Environment & Development. Born to parents who held senior positions in the Government of India and are now the key supporters of SWAN initiatives, she finds it easier to discuss the problems threadbare with them. 

During my stint in the professional journey, I realized that there is a lack of mentorship support and felt that a robust mentor-mentee connection can create new opportunities for the individuals in attaining their true potential and also learn from the expertise of the other person. This becomes crucial for women professionals and women entrepreneurs. In order to provide new avenues to budding entrepreneurs SWAN Livelihood is holding networking, discussions, learning’s and brainstorming sessions every Sunday over various issues of common interests as a part of new initiative called the Sunday Learning Circle under Skill-X.

Each member of the group gets a chance to present a theme of his/her own interest every week and so far we have held six successful sessions through various facilitators and budding entrepreneurs. The main idea is to disseminate the work or thoughts, come across like minded people, get suggestions, or support that can help in finding new dimensions and forge partnerships”, says Meghna, who is also an art enthusiast, a nature lover and an avid bird watcher heading the GBBC Delhi Chapter, an annual event organised by the Bird Count India every February. The passion for bird watching inspired her to name the venture after the bird SWAN, ‘the mythological Vaahan’ of Hindu goddess of education, Saraswati.

The SWAN team plans to diversify further into e-learning so that they can impart skill-based learning to many more people. It may serve as a milestone in their quest to attain sustainable development through the SDGs-2030 that advocate technical, vocational education training (TVET), decent work opportunities and providing help to young adults. 

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