Some fifty out of school and underprivileged teenage mothers have been given a three day intensive Vocational training to provide them with a stable income sources to improve their standard of living.
The beneficiaries, most of whom are between the ages of 17 to 20 were drawn from, South Dayi, Afadzato South, Central Tongu, Akatsi North and North Dayi Districts in the Volta region, and were trained in beads craft, hairdressing; which includes styling and wig cap, Pedicure, including eye lashes and temporal tattoo making and designing.
The programme was initiated by the National Youth Authority (NYA) and sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNDPF) and the government of Canada. In all, eighteen of them were trained in wig cap making, four in hairdressing, six in Pedicure and twenty in beads craft.
Speaking to the media during a brief closing ceremony on Saturday, 5 September 2020 at Akoefe in the Ho Municipality where training was organised, the Volta Regional Director of the NYA, Mr Yao Semorde said the initiative is to discourage teenage pregnancy and also to empower teenage mothers especially the underprivileged ones.
" We realized that, when young girls or adolescent girls get pregnant it actually truncate their dreams, they are not able to realise their full potentials and source of livelihood becomes a problem, at times too the parents themselves do not have the means so it difficult for this young girls to actually make earns meet so there the need to give them this livelihood skills" he said.
He noted that, out of the three days training, which commenced on Thursday, 3 September and ended on Saturday, 5 September 2020, the beneficiaries were also taken through, basis of entrepreneurship, adolescent reproductive health and moral education, adding that the training will go a long way to transforming their lives saying "Before they leave here they will have a better understanding of their sexuality then they will know that, now that I've acquired this skills I should be able to use this skills to help myself so that I don't rely on okada boy or taxi driver giving me 10 cedis or 5 cedis a day".
One of the facilitators, Mrs Gifty Dorga who trained some of the beneficiaries in hairdressing and wig cap making indicated that, it takes " two or three years to learn all these and to perfect them but they used three days only, it was really difficult combining something that I will teach for three years in these few days" she then praised them revealing that, " it was really difficult but they picked it up early, most of them can do this without me and I even asked those that are near me (Ho) to come and perfect it" she said.
An 18 year old underprivileged girl, Constance Eyram Amenu, who completed her secondary school in Mawuko Girls Senior High School in 2019 and had the opportunity to participate in the programme and learned hairdressing told journalists that " We got employment and we will not be vulnerable in the society, I'll not beg at the end of the day, after all I can start doing something out of this to get some money for myself ".
Another facilitator who taught beads craft, Mrs Diana Mensah also reiterated that, it was difficult to teach them but she is grateful that, "majority of them, those that are the fast leaners were able to picked it up, the slow learners too are trying". She then advised the girls to make use of whatever they have gotten from the training to changed their lives for good, charging them to desist from actions and inactions that had led them to become teenage mothers and be of good moral in their societies.
The third facilitator, a male fashion stylist who took some of participants through Pedicure, eye lashes and tattoos making, Sammuel Koku Anane Gbidi, praised the beneficiaries of showing good moral and enthusiasm during the training and encouraged them to make a good use of the knowledge and skills acquired.
Mr Yao Semorde emphasized that, NYA will be considering tracking of the beneficiaries to make sure that, they (the beneficiaries) put the skills into practice in thei various communities, adding that more of such vulnerable ones will be engaged in the region in the subsequent times.
All the fifty participants were also given un disclosed amount of start-up token including working tools and equipment to enable them establishe themselves.
A 20 year old Junior High School leaver, Patricia Mawunyo who learnt Pedicure at the programme was full of joy and thanked the organizers. She said, with the skills acquired, she will be able to earn money for a living and also take care of her child.
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