Five women, aged 18-35, have undergone a five-day training programme in baking (pastry and confectionery) to equip them to become economically self-reliant in the face of increasing poverty caused dwindling fisheries livelihoods along the coastal-fishing belt of the country.
The beneficiaries who were selected from amongst a total of twelve applicants from Ketu-South, Keta and Anloga Districts in the Volta Region, were also presented with equipment to enable them to practice their newly acquired vocational skills.
The programme forms part of initiatives to empower coastal-belt inhabitants to become resilient in the global pandemic COVID-19 and the social challenges it has brought vulnerable families and individuals.
This is being implemented in the Volta Region by Friends of the Nation (FoN), a local Sustainable and Equitable Environment Management Advocacy organisation, working in natural resource endowed and climate change vulnerability-prone areas, and communities challenged by food insecurity.
Mr Kwesi Randolph Johnson, Community Development Coordinator and the Project Officer for the programme said FoN aims at facilitating livelihood diversification for coastal-fishing communities so as to reduce pressure on marine fishing which is basically the only source of employment for inhabitants.
He cited the parable of the talent in the Bible to admonish the beneficiaries not to put the acquired skills on the shelf but put them into practice to benefit themselves, their families and their communities.
One of the beneficiaries speaking on behalf of her co-beneficiaries, Ms. Precious Fafali Sosu,, expressed gratitude to FoN for the support, saying the baking skills would help them to improve her finances.
Madam Saho Mokpi said the programme was a great relief to her and her family because it would help put food on the table.
“In recent times, nothing happens at the beach because of the low catch our fishermen encounter when they take their dragnets to sea,” she said.
“I’m, therefore, happy that now I have these skills and equipment to practice… business starts tomorrow.”