Kohima: To boost the local economy, Nagaland-based Entrepreneurs Associates (EA), a non-governmental organization, has launched the “reverse urbanization” campaign to assist local communities earn a dignified livelihood.

As part of its campaign, EA conducted a two-day soap-making workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday at Aloha Learning Centre in Kohima. A total of 53 participants from across Nagaland, including one from Manipur’s Senapati district, took part in the training.

Trained from Thailand, Vetoni, an associate woman pastor of the Lumami Baptist Church, taught the participants.

The EA informed that the training received many positive responses and the usage of natural ingredients in the soap-making process was appreciated by many.

Under the flagship program of ‘Trees for Wealth’, the EA had launched the ‘reverse urbanization’ campaign. “The campaign envisions to help local people and communities find meaningful and dignified livelihoods in their own native places,” EA said.

The campaign is also an attempt to help the locals in earning and contributing towards the local economy. To achieve this, the EA is taking the lead to conduct relevant skilling and facilitate upgradation of existing skills through trainings and seminars.

During the two-day soap making workshop, participants were trained to make variety of soaps such as milk and honey, coffee scrub, aloe vera, papaya and citrus. From procuring raw materials to making refined soaps, the participants were trained the art of soap making.

“We are planning to do a team trial first and after perfecting the skill on soap making, we want to train others. Our main mission is to train women and youths mostly residing in rural areas. We are anticipating more such training from Entrepreneurs Associates in the future,” Asalu Nyekha, a Programme Associate from North East Network (NEN) who was part of the training, said.

Thsarola Sangtam, a BSc Agricultural graduate from Tuensang  district, who occasionally taught oyster cultivation to the Self Help Groups in the district, is now excited to share her new skills with peoe back at home. She shared her plans to venture out into soap making business along with other products.

“Initially, I was quite hesitant to buy products from the local market because I was not fully aware of the composition. But the ingredients used in this workshop are safe so I’m planning to make the soaps for my personal usage,” said Lilo Awomi, a civil service aspirant who was thrilled after learning a new skill.

Christine Ngouniba from Senapati, Manipur, also shared about her plans to start home-based business when she returns home. “I think it is about time that we learn to make the products that we regularly use,” she said.

EA informed that all participants were women from diverse backgrounds. It informed that while some women wanted to venture out in business, some hopes to give training to uplift communities after learning from this two-day workshop.

The participants, who each received certificates of participation presented by the trainer, acknowledged EA for providing them a platform to learn and upgrade their skills.

Under the Reverse Urbanization campaign, the EA plans to conduct a series of Skills trainings and Seminars in the rural areas to explore local opportunities for all.
The EA will be conducting a seminar for students at Porba Village, Phek District on February 5 as part of its campaign.

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