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British Council and WeEmpower: Chagossian women trained in entrepreneurship

Thanks to an initiative of the British Council and WeEmpower, 15 Chagossian women will benefit from entrepreneurship training.

An initiative of the British Council and WeEmpower

Following an announcement by the UK government in 2016, a support fund was made available to Chagossians in need. Taking advantage of this support program from the UK, the British Council and WeEmpower have set up free courses for Chagossian women of all ages. The objective will be to improve their self-confidence and autonomy, to strengthen their English skills, and to teach them the entrepreneurial skills necessary to run a business.

Last year, 16 women entrepreneurs were selected for online courses offered by the British Council in collaboration with WeEmpower. Thus, these Chagossian women attended classes for 10 weeks. The objective was to teach them how to better manage their businesses and improve their services.

The idea was born three years ago,” Niamh Allen, Country Director of the British Council and founder of the project, told ionnews. First, I offered English classes to 5 to 11 year olds, then classes to adults. Today’s project is dedicated to the women of the Chagossian community. Not only did they have English classes, but they also had the chance to participate in various workshops on business planning, management, marketing, and the importance of good communication.

It is therefore thanks to the success of previous English courses with the Chagossian community, and WeEmpower’s entrepreneurship courses, that the British Council is preparing to launch these courses this year.

Courses for Chagossian women

This year’s program includes English classes, entrepreneurship training, as well as workshops to improve their communication skills and boost their self-confidence. Internships and apprenticeships will also be offered later in the year.

However, there are criteria that must be met in order to benefit from the courses. To be eligible, you must be born in the Chagos Archipelago. However, a candidate may also be accepted for training if she proves descent from a Chagossian born in the archipelago, with a direct maternal or paternal lineage. A copy of the original birth certificate or original identity card confirming the place of birth as the Chagos Archipelago must therefore be presented. In the following case, documentary evidence in the form of a copy of the original birth certificate or original identity card, as well as copies of all subsequent relevant original birth certificates tracing a direct maternal or paternal lineage of a Chagossian born in the Chagos Archipelago shall be provided.

An open house for Chagossian women will be held on February 23, starting at 10:30 a.m., and visitors will be able to gather as much information as possible about upcoming courses, as well as internship and apprenticeship opportunities. In addition, registration for courses is still open.

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