After a decade of experience in microfinance and community development activities, VSSU learnt that microfinance alone is not sufficient for economic development and empowerment of the community. Generating employment opportunities is an essential development initiative that can harmonize the microfinance services with social development activities. To achieve this, VSSU is in the process of setting up the 'Jeebika Foundation', an institution dedicated to promoting sustainable livelihood among low income households. The foundation aims to connect these new employment opportunities with its existing microfinance and community development services.
So far, VSSU has already collected more than 100 acres of land and canal to be used for livelihood promotion and entered into a joint venture with Jaipur Rugs Foundation, a carpet manufacturing company to train women in carpet weaving skills. Other initiatives include mushroom cultivation training, production of jute bags, 'Jodi' work and embroidery of saris, to name a few. VSSU has recently partnered with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore as one consortium partner for a project on Sustainable harvesting processing and value addition of wild bee honey. The project is to be funded by the World Bank through the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the National Agricultural Innovation Program (NAIP) with other consortium partners.
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