To help women escaping domestic abuse, Habitat for Humanity Japan is supporting the financial independence of residents in 9 shelters in Kanagawa prefecture through the Barclays LifeSkills Programme since last July.

As part of the Barclays LifeSkills programme, we are working with women that have escaped domestic abuse and are looking to build a life for themselves along with their children by collaborating with shelters. Some of these women have mental health challenges or physical disabilities. With the shelters creating a safe environment for them, we are able to focus on upskilling women and impart life skills including grooming, communication, presentation skills, personal etiquette and the like.

The shelters also have people of foreign origin who are not fluent in Japanese. Language skills are imparted to these women to help them seek employment. To date, we have held more than 40 courses which supported over 150 participants.

Zara*, a foreign national living in Japan hoped to grow in her career. Zara worked as a nursing assistant at a hospital and was looking to become a certified nurse. However as her studies progressed, she became overwhelmed by the increasing number of difficult terms in Japanese. She then learned about the Barclays LifeSkills programme and began attending Japanese classes, where she received help in understanding the Japanese language. Zara became a certified nurse and now has a job as a nursing assistant at a senior care facility.

With the Barclays LifeSkills programme gaining traction, we will also offer digital literacy courses to better empower our programme participants as they seek employment. We will also be donating computers to those facilities that do not have shared computers to facilitate the digital literacy sessions.

We are pleased to partner with Barclays on their LifeSkills programme and grateful for their support.

*name changed to protect identity of the individual