Two hundred and sixty female head porters (kayayei) from 10 communities in the West Mamprusi Municipality, North-East Region, have received vocational training and starter packs to enable them to establish their own businesses.
They were migrants who worked as head porters in urban areas but returned home due to adverse experiences.
The starter packs (toolkits), which comprised make-up kits, sewing machines, hair dryers, weaving equipment, and electrical and tiling materials, were presented to them at a graduation ceremony in Walewale after the six-month skills training programme.
They were trained in hair dressing, make-up and decoration, and tiling, and passed the National Vocational and Technical Institute (NVTI) Examinations.
The initiative formed part of the Providing Livelihood Opportunities and Support for Kayayei Porters (KAYAPORT) project.
It is a $334,446.12 budget project, which began in 2021, with an estimated amount of GHS400,000 allocated to the purchase of the toolkits.
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international non-governmental organisation, implemented the project, in collaboration with the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese.
The KAYAPORT project is aimed at providing opportunities for adolescent girls for sustained livelihoods and social acceptance in the municipality.
Certificates from the NVTI were presented to the beneficiaries.
Dr Shannon Senefeld, the Senior Vice President for Overseas Operations, CRS, said the project was in line with one of the organisation’s goals to empower young people to thrive.
Migrants, especially young girls, who worked as ‘kayayei’ faced numerous risks and vulnerabilities, she said, and that the project sought to reverse the trend of venturing into the ‘kayayei’ trade.
The CRS was committed to collaborating for change and ensuring the young girls succeeded through the support, Dr Senefeld said.
She called for collective investments in the young girls to bring out their talents and nurture them to contribute to society’s growth.
Mr Zakaria Yidana, the North-East Regional Minister, said the KAYAPORT was a step to restore the reputation of the north that had been dented with the ‘kayayei’ tag over the years.
He urged members of the municipality to patronise businesses of the beneficiaries to help them to succeed.
Rev Dr Mrs Comfort Asare, the Director, Department of Social Welfare, commended the CRS for equipping young people to be self-employed to impact national development.
She advised the beneficiaries to grasp the opportunity and leverage it for greater achievements.
Miss Fauziya Sulley, a beneficiary, on behalf of her colleagues, expressed gratitude to the CRS for providing them with sources of income as alternatives for the kayayei trade.
Source: Ghana News Agency