Training via messaging app for rural women

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Each year in early summer, the ORGANIKA association in Kosovo conducts training for rural women from disadvantaged families. They learn to plant medicinal herbs and generate income through sales thereof. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the association was unable to conduct the training as usual. With Swisscontact’s support, ORGANIKA was able to arrange the training through the Viber messaging app. This platform provided many advantages for the participants.

Rural Kosovar women in poor households often own little land. The Promoting Private Sector Employment project (PPSE) helps them to plant medicinal herbs on their small plots. These plants require little space and the harvesting cycles are short. For this reason, they are particularly well suited to rural women who want to earn an income. Most of them, however, barely have any experience in agriculture. In training implemented by the ORGANIKA association, they learn how to plant and harvest these crops.

It was obvious that due to the pandemic, the training would have to be conducted remotely in 2020. However, the women from these rural areas were unfamiliar with digital tools such as Skype or Zoom. Therefore, ORGANIKA decided to implement the training using an online platform that they knew. In Kosovo, that platform is Viber, the instant messaging application.

Quick reaction thanks to many years of collaboration

Swisscontact and ORGANIKA have already worked together for many years. This continuity is the reason why it was possible to adapt the training to a virtual online platform so smoothly. The training materials comprise 20 videos and various posters. Person-to-person exchange occurred through messages in the app.

The women benefited from this new form not only in terms of content but thanks to this platform, they were also not necessarily bound to strict training times. This made it easier for them to reconcile their household duties with the training. In addition, the training participants were able to download and save all videos and messages, accessing these at their own convenience. Communication through the Viber app gave them the opportunity to network and strengthen their relations during a time when their freedom of movement was very limited due to the pandemic.

Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact.

Women Farmers trained successfully via Instant Messaging Platform
At the start of 2020, Arbesa Lushtaku Veliu, a newly graduated agronomist, got a job with Agroflorentina, a company for the collection, cultivation, and processing of wild mushrooms, wild forest fruits, and aromatic plants.
Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE)