The Skills Training Programme for Female Head Potters is progressing steadily. According to Hajia Ayisha Mohammed, Coordinator for the Kayayei Empowerment Training Centre, the initiative has proven successful thus far.

The Kayayei empowerment training initiative fulfilled a commitment made by Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia to offer them dignified housing as well as skills training to equip them with entrepreneurial abilities to better their socioeconomic well-being.

Some 600 beneficiaries, mostly from the Northern regions and a handful from other parts of the country, are currently receiving training in Madina and Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region.

A visit to the Madina training centre in the La Nkawantanang Municipality revealed that the beneficiaries were being trained in soap making, bakery, bead making, decoration, make-up, geley (head wrap) and nail fixing.

Hajia Ayisha said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the kayayei had demonstrated remarkable enthusiasm for the tra
ining and were keen to acquire the skills for their future.

According to her, participants received a sum of money to cover their expenses during the three-week training session.

‘We did not force them, we asked them to make their choice and so far out of the 300, we have about 120 of them training in soap making and so we had to divide them into batches.

‘They are very serious learners, in fact most of them are JHS and SHS graduates who want to work and get money to further their education,’ she said.

Hajia Ayisha said the kayayei had recognized that the skills training would provide both economic freedom and sustainability.

She revealed that following several therapy sessions, the recipients realized they needed to return home and establish their businesses using the starter kits that would be given to them on their graduation day.

Hajia Ayisha said more of the kayayei had expressed interest in the programme and that a second batch of trainees were waiting to begin training. In addition to being mobil
ised and selected by theirs, some of the beneficiaries in Madina simply walked into the premises to register and take advantage of the training.

‘We have kayayei from Madina, Dome market, Agbogbloshie, Mallam Attah, and Tema Station. Some of them have left their children with caregivers so they are given the chance to go on weekends to check on them and return.’

Madam Valerie Bamfowah Bamfo, a trainer in soap making reported that the recipient’s enthusiasm and energy during the training had been outstanding. She advised them to specialise in one or two areas to make themselves more marketable.

‘I started training in just two skills and today I am a master of 16, so if you are determined you can do this. I will be more than glad to have them concentrating on one skill for perfection and train on other skills later in life,’ she said.

Speaking with the GNA, several beneficiaries expressed their overwhelming satisfaction with the training programme.

Ms Andaratu Baba, 26, said she had received training in pa
stry and that she was eager to return to Walewale to use her newfound abilities to improve society.

‘I have taken advantage of the training programme. Our job as kayayei is very difficult and risky, we carry heavy loads and people give us small money. For me, this opportunity has come at the right time,’ she said.

Ms. Sulia Tahiru, another soap-making trainee, said that the program had ‘opened her eyes’ and that she was ready to return home and use her acquired skills to support herself.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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