Olam holds graduation ceremony for students


Twenty three young girls and two boys who underwent a- one- training in various vocational modules, organized by the Our Lady of Mercy Community Services (OLAM) in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, have successfully passed out.

Most of the beneficiaries who were dropouts of school and past students of Junior and Senior High Schools and could not continue their education as result of financial challenges were trained in batik, tie and dye, soap making, beads making, dressing making and Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Apart from the training, the beneficiaries received start-up capitals in the forms of equipment and also took home certificates all provided by the training centre.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Navrongo, the Project Director of OLAM, Mr Emmanuel Atiiga, explained that OLAM, which is a registered NGO, has been operating in Northern Ghana since 2005 with the aim of empowering the underprivileged communities, women and children towards poverty reduction and community development.

Mr Atiiga indicated the main activities of the NGO include vocational and skills training (batik, tie & dye, beads making, soap making, dressmaking, fashion and designing, weaving), Basic Computing and internet application training, entrepreneurship development and financial literacy training.

He stated that this was not the first time his outfit had provided support to the vulnerable but had done that over the years in many communities in the District.

“Over the years, we have done a lot in our operational areas and have achieved great results. We have extended micro credit to women groups in communities such as Nakolo, vunania, Nogsenia, Saka and surrounding communities in 2006/7 and not less than150 women benefited; we have trained over 300 young girls, SHS, and JHS students in basic computing and internet application. We have given skills training to another 350 women and girls in the various vocational courses and entrepreneurship development with support from COTVET-SDF, Ghanaman Trust Fund, OSIWA- SENEGAL and Associated Country Women of the World, ACWW-UK”, he revealed.

He stated many of the products who had passed out of the vocational training centre had set up their own shops and producing standards products to lot of people including institutions and entreated the graduands to put into good use the knowledge acquired to fend for themselves and their families.

The Project Director who entreated them to eschew laziness, told the graduands that perseverance and determination was the hallmark to successes and admonished them to emulate their predecessors who were excelling in their businesses.

Given her testimony, one of the past students of the training centre, Mrs Fautina Mayila who is a 42 year -old woman, explained that before she joined the centre to be trained , she was selling sachet and floor water and use to trek long distances to schools in the Municipality to sell, making it difficult for her.

“After the training I set up my own shop with the assistance from the training institution and now produces batik, tie and dye, soap , beads and dresses on contract basis to institutions such as the Ghana Health Service and the Community Health Nursing Training College in Navrongo here. I am now economically empowered and support my husband to pay the children school fees and I am also into rice farming “, she recounted.

Mr James Brown Fankey, the Kassena Nankana Municipal Director of Social Welfare and Community Development, told the graduands to see the opportunity created by OLAM as golden opportunity and reminded them to be mindful of customer care and to avoid acts such as backbiting and gossiping at their work places.

Dr Stanislaus Alu Kandingdi , the Municipal Chief Executive for the area, commended the NGO for complementing the efforts of Government in training and empowering the youth in the area of employment creation , promoting peace , climate change as well as addressing issues relating to women and children.

By Samuel Akapule


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