Pro-Link Organisation with funding support from UK Aid through World Education has trained and equipped a total of 764 less privileged girls with employable skills in three districts of the Oti region.

The beneficiary’s girls including teenage mothers, single mothers, school drop-outs at the primary 4 level, and persons living with disabilities were selected and trained under the Strategic Approaches to Girls Education (STAGE) project aimed at leaving no girl behind enrolled in the beneficiaries into various skills training programmes for a six months period in the Jasikan, Biakoye and Kadjebi Districts of the region.

The selected girls including 200 persons with disability were taken through Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) where they acquired Literacy (reading skills in their various languages), Numeracy (basic bookkeeping skills), and general Life Skills before they were enrolled in six months of intensive skills vocational training in their chosen fields supervised by certified and more experienced hands.

These areas of training include pastries and bread baking, bar soap, powder and detergent making, hair braiding, bead making and decoration, catering services, and local drinks preparation to equip them with employable skills to become self-sufficient and reliance.

The STAGE project also enrolled disadvantaged girls who desire to pursue dress-making and other vocational skills as careers into apprenticeships at the expense of the sponsors.

Start-Up Kits

As part of the vocational skills training graduation package, each of the 764 beneficiaries were provided with start-up kits and 20% of the total start-up amount in cash to help launch their businesses.

Beneficiaries who trained in pastries and bread baking were each presented with three 5kg floors (that is two hard and a soft floor), butter, oil, nut-meg, and baking powder among others whiles those into beads making received tools including six packs of assorted beads, hooks for making, slippers key holders and necklace among others as start-ups.

Those trained in soap and detergent making took home soda, half gallons each of red oil, glycerine, silicate, colour, and perfume whiles those who trained in hair breeding received all assorted types of hair, shampoo, conditioner, combs, rollers, towels and tools needed to start their newly acquired vocational skill.

Speaking at the various graduation ceremonies of the STAGE project graduation, which is the third cohort of graduands hosted in selected communities of the Jasikan municipality, Boakoye, and the Kadjebi districts, Executive Director of ProLink Organisation, Mr. Edem Assisi challenged the girls to make good use of the investment and opportunity granted them and encouraged them to form partnerships to enable them to grow their businesses and become household names in their communities and the country as a whole.

Mr. Assisi also appealed to the various municipal and District assemblies to grant the beneficiaries operational permits, patronize the services and produce to grow their businesses, make the investment in them worthwhile and help reduce the unemployment rates in their communities.

The Executive Director assured of the continued readiness of Pro-Link and its funding partners to support the girls once they exhibit seriousness with the skills acquired.

A representative of the World Education Country Director assured of his outfit’s commitment to the agenda of not leaving any girl behind.

He urged parents to support their wards especially the girl-child irrespective of the circumstances in which they found themselves.

The Asafohene of the Buem Traditional Area who is also the Omanhene of Kadjakrom, Nana Osabarimah Antwi Agyei VI speaking at the graduation ceremony at Okadjakrom emphasized the critical role of Technical and Vocational education in the economic transformation of many nations and praised Pro-Link and its partners for the intervention.

Speaking at the Kajebi event, the District Chief Executive of Kadjebi, Mr. Wilson Agbanyo also expressed gratitude to Pro-Link for the initiative in support of the government’s effort to curb unemployment in the country.

He expressed optimism that the rigorous vocational skills acquired by the girls would sustain them to become economically self-reliant.

The Administrator of the Complementary Education Agency otherwise known as the Non-Formal Education Division of the Jasikan Municipal Assembly, Mr. Bernard Addy Akakpo encouraged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity granted them by the sponsors.

The beneficiary’s girls were all presented with Certificates by the National Vocational and Technical Institute (NVTI) to certify their qualifications to pursue their various trades.

Selected beneficiary communities of the STAGE project in the Jasikan municipality are; Akaa, Atonkor, Attakrom, Bodada, Okadjakrom, Guaman, Old Ayoma, New Ayoma, and Nsuta.

Selected communities in the Biakoye district are Bowiri Amanfrom, Bowiri Kyiriahi, Bowiri Anyinase, and Bowiri Takrabe.

Those in the Kadjebi district include; Asato, Ampeyo, Daapa-Amantah, Dodo-Amanfrom No 1, Amanfrom No 2, Dodo Pepesu, Dodo Tamale, Dzindzinsu, Menuso, Kpomkpa, Mempeasem, Ahamanso, Pampawie, Poase Cement and Yadzo.

Chiefs and elders of the beneficiaries’ communities expressed gratitude to Pro-Link, UK Aid, and World Education for their interventions and support.

The STAGE project is aimed at ensuring a holistic approach to the education and empowerment of less privileged girls through eliminating all forms of barriers to the realization of their full potential and making them useful to themselves, their families, and society in general.

Pro-Link and its funding partners recently graduated over 800 underprivileged girls and those living with disabilities in the Nkwanta South districts of the Oti region and have similar events across the country for the attainment of the sustainable development goal.

Source: Christian Kpesese

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