On 20th April our latest tool shipment set off on the long journey to Ghana. Containing 3,592 tools and sewing machines, plus 14 bicycles, the shipment will support young men and women taking part in our upcoming vocational training projects.
We take a look at two of these projects, being delivered by our in-country partners, NORSAAC and Street Girls Aid.
NORSAAC Project: ‘Skills to Wealth’
This summer, our partner Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC) are launching a 12 month ‘Skills to Wealth’ project which will provide vocational skills training to young men and women who are struggling to build sustainable livelihoods.
Poverty rates in Northern Ghana are 3 times higher than in the South. In Karaga District, the majority of the adult population never completed or attended school. Nearly 80% of people earn a living from agriculture, but the area is vulnerable to climate change and drought so the soil is of poor quality. There are limited opportunities for young people to earn a decent living, particularly for those with no qualifications. This leads to widespread migration to Southern regions in search of work. However, people often end up in extremely poor living conditions and can be vulnerable to exploitation. This project will give people the skills to earn a decent living in the Karaga region, so they can work their way out of poverty and provide for their families.
Our project with NORSAAC will provide vocational skills training in trades such as tailoring, plumbing, bricklaying, building, welding and auto mechanics. At the end of the training period, which will follow a Government accredited syllabus, participants will undertake a 1 month placement at an existing local business within their chosen trade. Business skills and sexual reproductive health rights training will also be delivered to supplement their practical training.
Following this 12 month period, trainees will move into the Transition to Work phase, a follow up project (also funded by Tools for Self Reliance) to provide graduates with extra support in areas such as customer engagement training, practical skills top-up, small grants and utilisation of links formed with local contractors and employers.
Street Girls Aid project: ‘Tailoring a Future’
As highlighted above, poverty rates in Northern Ghana lead to large migrations of people to Southern regions looking for work – including to the capital city of Accra. Across Ghana, an estimated 5.5 million people are living in informal settlements, with Accra hosting the majority. In urban areas, single women are at greatest risk of experiencing these living conditions.
Against this backdrop, Tools for Self Reliance and Street Girls Aid (SGA) are supporting young women by building income generating opportunities to work themselves into a more stable environment.
Over the course of this 12 month project, 25 street-connected women in Accra will be trained in tailoring, and provided with the business skills to start their own businesses and/or obtain formal employment. Alongside meals and accommodation for the duration of the project, SGA will also provide childcare for those trainees that require it. The project also includes a 1 month placement in an existing business. At the end of the course, the young women will sit their National Proficiency 1 examination – opening up new employment routes.
In addition to tailoring skills – participants will also learn how to produce various forms of soap – providing another source of income and stronger financial security and resilience.
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