Empowered head potters charged to be pace setters for other Women – Madam Sophia Kudjodji

"Orange Girls" (Kayayei), at a 2-day follow-up session under the CJ Mentoring Programme.

Over 30 Kayayei Girls have been taken through the laws on child marriage, sexual and genderbased violence, the constitutional provisions protecting girls and women, leadership and mentorship session, effective leadership, personal branding and career growth for young women, goal setting and networking.

In line with the objectives of the Global Programme to End Child Marriage, UNFPA has partnered with the Chief Justice’s Mentoring Programme with support from the Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP), to provide the female head porters known as “kayayei” with the opportunity to build their self-resilience and shape laudable career goals in life.

This will largely urge them to take advantage of the second chance given them through the mentorship programme to make life a success, as they (Kayayei) have been continuously marginalized over the year.

However, having expanded the beneficiaries of the mentoring programme to include “kayayei”, each year since 2016, at least 20 girls are selected to form part of the beneficiaries.
These “kayayei” beneficiaries are referred to as “Orange Girls” under the programme.

There have been many success stories of Orange Girls who have returned to school and have successfully completed second cycle as well as tertiary institutions. And there are others who have found their feet in businesses and other career paths causing them to quit working as “Kayayei”.

Madam Kudjordji Sophia-Lisa, Chief Corporate Communication Officer for Jospon Group of Companies, in her interaction with the “Orange Girls” (Kayayei), at a 2-day follow-up session under the CJ Mentoring Programme, on 7th-8th October, 2021 at Erata Hotel, Accra, She challenged them to be great pace setters for Ghana’s development and future with humility and respect. Saying, “You should be ready to learn from people. Learn to respect yourselves and especially others. In this world, know that people matter. It is only humility that can get people to respect their fellows. Know yourself enough to be yourself.”

“Remember that in the journey of success, there are a lot of challenges. But you need to be brave enough to face your fears and conquer them all,” Madam Sophia reiterated.

She admonished that, “the work you do matters. It matters to you, because you’re building self-discipline. You’re developing character and new skills that will help you in all areas of your life, both professional and personal. It matters because you care enough about yourself to challenge yourself, to refuse mediocrity and go after what you want in life. It matters to the customers and other people you bring into your business.

You are an entrepreneur, and entrepreneurs are the people that drive the free enterprise system, create innovations, build value, and create wealth.

So take a minute today, glance at your dream board and remember why you do what you do. Then get in front of a mirror, look at yourself in the eyes and say, congratulations! Thanks for being amazing. Because you truly are!”

Madam Kudjordji Sophia-Lisa, interactive session with the Orange Girls
Madam Kudjordji Sophia-Lisa, interactive session with the Orange Girls

Madam Sophia Kudjordji, commended the UNFPA, PAYDP and their implementing partners for such a transformative initiative for the Orange Girls. She further urged the Girls to also work hard enough to build a strong future for themselves and the generations unborn.
Madam Tina Offei Yirenkyi, ​interactive session with the Orange Girls
Madam Tina Offei Yirenkyi, ​interactive session with the Orange Girls

During her session with the Orange Girls, the National President for Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association (GHABA), Madam Tina Offei Yirenkyi, also commended the Girls for putting up the courage to take advantage of this great opportunity in order to turn their lives around.

She said, “Women have the capacity of doing things that no one can even think of doing.”

Madam Tina, again advised the Girls to begin their own businesses after getting the training and also practice proper financial management culture. Adding that, “set goals and targets for yourselves and work to achieve them. Also do your best to register your businesses in order to honour your tax obligations towards national development.”

She intimated that, anything in this world that they will do with your hands and intellect, genuinely in this world can never let them down by Grace.

Giving them the assurance that, “today, anything that you want to do around the hairdressing or beauty industry, I encourage you to take up that challenge, and we as an association and even individuals will be ever ready to offer any help and support you will need. You are the future of this country and you have what it takes to change your life, your environment, your community and the society at large.”

The over 30 beneficiaries who were drawn from across the length and breath of the country, express gratitude to the UNFPA/PAYDP and the Chief Justice for the mentoring programme, and promised not to let the market be their last stop but would rather work hard to leave that comfort zones and achieve greater heights through the initiative.

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