The Indian Academy for Self-Employed Women (IASEW — previously known as the SEWA Academy) is the focal point for all of SEWA’s (Self-Employed Women’s Association) training, capacity building, research, and communication efforts. IASEW functions as our members’ “university”, providing them with their first introduction to a formal learning environment. It is the organisational wing that is responsible for basic membership education and for capacity building, leadership training, communications, and research.
SEWA Academy’s pedagogy is based on an interactive and participatory method where the trainer listens to her students and adapts the curriculum accordingly. This results in a flexible course content that constantly evolves with the new issues, concerns and questions that arise from the students. The learning strategies — discussions, demonstrations, participatory exercises — are also designed to meet the needs of the working poor and always keep them at the center.
SEWA’s intervention with its holistic learning, trainings and exposures includes inputs in numerous fields like education, awareness, health, environment, society and culture, thus going a long way in promoting social entrepreneurship, social inclusion and larger holistic development.
The goal, learning from experience, is a unique feature of this learning process. It starts from where people are. The central concern is the growth of the individual person, helping people to realize and reach their potential. Another principle concern is the development of the most disadvantaged — here being the poor, unorganized, self-employed women workers. The goal of IASEW’s training is to improve the dignity, well fare and self-representation of these women, while also remaining sensitive the women’s roles in their families and in their communities.