Friends of the Nation (FoN), a Non-Governmental Organization based in the Western Region has collaborated with the Australian Aid to train 65 youths in vocational skills to make them self- sufficient.
The training is to also help stop the youth from engaging in illegal mining popularly known as galamsey
Mr. Donkris Mevuta, Chief Executive of the FoN, said the 15 months project which had many phases was introduced in the Mpohor District as an intervention to improve the lives of the people who were mainly engaged in illegal mining business.
He was speaking at an exhibition of skills and livelihood products organized by the NGO under the theme; “Improving Livelihoods for Youths Involved in Illegal Mining in Mpohor District of Ghana”.
Mr Mevuta said the practice was illegal, hazardous to the health of the youths involved and not sustainable.
He was therefore grateful to the Australian government for the support to provide the alternative livelihoods programme.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the skills acquired to change their fortunes as well as impact the skills on others.
Mr. Albert Abrefo Awotwe, District Chief Executive of Mpohor said the ‘craze’ for galamsey business was widely driven by poverty and the lack of jobs for the youths in the area.
Whilst commending the NGO for the contribution, he mentioned that the Social Welfare Department was also working at providing skills training and financial support to such vulnerable groups in society.
Ms Iona Roy, Second Secretary of the Australian High Commission, who represented Commissioner Andrew Barnes, said the Australian government was committed to human-centred developments initiatives.
“Initiatives that seek to empower people and create opportunities for them to make wealth, what FoN has done is a great opportunity to diversify livelihoods and lift people out of poverty”, She added.
Ms Roy asked the beneficiaries to make good use of the investment of time, effort and financial resources and leverage on them to improve their lives.
Mrs Esther Adusu, one of the beneficiaries who learnt soap making noted how the new skill acquired had enabled her gain some financial freedom.