Twenty-six young women in Ho have received skills and entrepreneurial empowerment under the Young Urban Women Movement initiative by ActionAid, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
The three-month training was made possible through partnership with the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI), which currently directs and implements the bulk of government’s skills empowerment, and micro industrial development initiatives.
Beneficiaries received training in batik cloth manufacturing, advanced beads-work, and shoe making.
They also worked with established industries in the region, including Coyata Batik, Debies Beads and Bridals, and Martmero School of Shoe Making and Design.
The Volta Centre for National Culture also supported, providing the space for the training.
ActionAid would provide startup packages for the graduates as it moved to transform young women in the Volta Region under the empowerment campaign.
Madam She-Vera Anzagira, the Programme Manager for the NGO for Greater Accra, Volta, and Oti regions, said the initiative fit into its social justice orientation and efforts to eradicate poverty, which plagued even urban populations.
She said the training would support the growth of the local manufacturing industries and help promote the patronage of locally manufactured goods.
Madam Anzagira called on the Government to prioritised the needs of local producers in procurement provisions to promote entrepreneurship.
Action Aid has over 4600 women under the Young Urban Women Movement in six regions of the country, with the Volta chapters, which started a year ago, counting more than 800 members.
She told the Ghana News Agency that the Organisation would follow through with monitoring to realise the long-term sustainability of the women’s businesses.
“ActionAid took this step because we know that the youth have challenges but especially the young girls who are in the cities. So, this project is targeted at young girls. The objective is to ensure that the girls have some skills to be economically empowered, so all 26 graduates have already been given their startups. They have been given their funding,” Madam Anzagira said.
“What is important for ActionAid is that we shall intensify monitoring. We have noticed that most often when you train and they graduate, they go to relax because of a few challenges. So, we have made agreements with the trainers who will begin hands on continuous training and monitoring but we ourselves would always be on the field to monitor them onsite.”
Plans had been made to connect the entrepreneurs to supplies and others within the broader market, including the various state and non-state institutions, she said.
the Young Urban Women Movement also provides base for promoting and securing the rights of women in society and contributes to the ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 190 on workplace sexual harassment.
Madam Selase Donudenu, the Head of the Ho Business Advisory Centre, chaired the graduation ceremony, and challenged beneficiaries to endeavour to excel and enhance their knowledge and quality of production.
The graduates displayed some of their products at the event as exhibits of the quality of the training programme.
They were presented with certificates and expressed appreciation for the initiative, counting the livelihood improvement opportunities offered.