Twenty women have successfully completed a PDO-funded vocational training scheme to design and make bags for adults and children.
They will now be able to earn a living by selling products including rucksacks, backpacks and shoulder bags, as well as pass on their knowledge to others in their communities.
PDO teamed up with the Omani Women’s Association (OWA) in wilayat Al Hamra to run the one-month course and also bought equipment for a workshop where the ladies can make their merchandise.
The women can now make a variety of bags for school and leisure activities, such as hiking, shopping and going to the gym.
The training scheme was run as part of PDO’s Banat Oman social enterprise, which has so far provided vocational training for hundreds of women from low-income backgrounds in skills such as tailoring, embroidery, dairy product manufacture and crafting jewellery.
PDO External Affairs and Value Creation Director Abdul-Amir Al Ajmi said: “I am delighted that these women have taken this opportunity to find self employment by learning new skills. This will help them start their own businesses or work collectively with others to make and sell their goods.
“At the same time, they can also share their knowledge with others and will be able to supply the market with an Omani product that was fully manufactured in the Sultanate.
“This training and the new workshop highlight how our Banat Oman project’s successful collaboration with OWA is supporting female empowerment and sustainable employment across Oman.”
Zahra bint Salim Al Abri, President of OWA in Al Hamra, said: “We are grateful for PDO’s tremendous support in providing this workshop to give these women the opportunity to develop their skills. This initiative supports OWA’s goal of assisting low-income families to become permanently independent. Also, having an in-house workshop in the Association will allow us to continue this work, train other women and produce quantities of product as per market demands.”
___________________________________________Note to editors: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is the major exploration and production company in the Sultanate. It accounts for about 70% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply. The Company is owned by the Government of Oman (which has a 60% interest), the Shell Group (which has a 34% interest), Total (which has a 4% interest) and Partex (which has a 2% interest). Gas fields and processing plants are operated by PDO exclusively on behalf of the Government. For further information please contact the PDO External Affairs Directorate: Karima Farid Al Shahaibi,Media Relations Adviser,Tel: 2467-7756E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org