Elizabeth Osei Owusu receiving her sewing machine
Nine youth at Akyem Tafo in the Abuakwa North Municipality of the Eastern Region have received start-up kits after successfully undergoing skills training organised by SOS Children’s Villages Ghana.
The assistance formed part of the “Strengthening Families” programme, being run by the social organization to support vulnerable families in communities.
The beneficiaries, made up of eight females and a male, each received a start-up kit in their fields of skills training including dress making, hair dressing, auto electrician, welding and auto mechanics.
National Director, SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, Alexander Mar Kekula, addressing participant at the event which took place at Akyem Tafo, said under the programme, 1,013 vulnerable children from 303 families are being supported in terms of care, education and health.
Giving further details, Mr. Kekula said 91 caregivers had been supported with a total grant of GHC109,100.00 from 10 Village Savings and Loans Associations established under the project.
He also indicated that individual caregivers had also benefitted from GHC50,000.00 grants to engage in income generating activities.
He also indicated that three child protection committees have also been established within the Tafo and Kukurantumi communities with 135 caregivers trained in good parenting skills.
Some 136 children have been enrolled in school through the programme. “These children were supported with books, school bags, footwears and uniforms. These children now attend school regularly,” he said.
“In addition, 81 children and 23 caregivers were registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to enable them access healthcare,” he added.
Mr. Kekula said they’ve been able to support caregivers to acquire legal documents (birth certificates) for 109 children as well.
SOS Children’s Villages, Programme Director Asiakwa, Daniel Baani, said the Family Strengthening programme was meant to support families so that they would be able to avoid child abandonment.
He said under the programme, 122 youth were currently being supported to acquire various skills and start their business to earn decent living and create jobs in the municipality.
The beneficiary are youth in agriculture (rabbitry, organic tomato, taro and vegetable production), dress making including apprentices 43, hairdressing 19, auto electrician two, welding five, electricals three and other vocations 14, while six youth were being supported to attain tertiary education.
During the Covid-19 (lockdown period), SOS Children’s Villages Ghana supported 26 families with cash transfers for three months, distributed 5,000 nose masks, and also distributed 50 veronica buckets, carbolic soaps and paper towels at vantage points including lorry parks.
He indicated that 25 families were also given grants to expand their businesses to enable them go through the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Akyem Tafohene Osabarima Adusei Peasah IV, chairperson of the event expressed gratitude to SOS Children’s Villages Ghana for transforming the lives of the youth adding that it would go a long way to provide sustainable livelihoods.
A beneficiary of the programme 26-year-old Osei Owusu Elizabeth, who received an electrical sewing machine thanked SOS Children’s Villages Ghana for giving the support which according to her would enhance her dress making business.
“The hand machine I have is not fast enough and I do not get customers because they say it slow but with the electrical machine I can work faster and get more customers,” she said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri