Opportunity International Savings and Loans (Opportunity International), the multiple award winning savings and Loans Company organized a graduation ceremony for head porters (Kayayei) after successful completion of livelihood and skill training program at WAG-SEVICO Skills Training Institute in Accra. The occasion was graced by the Naa Alhaji Chackson Osman, the Mamprusi Community Chief of Accra and other high profile dignitaries.
Twenty four (24) young girls who were working as kayayei (head porters) in Accra were taken through three weeks intensive residential training on vocational skills such as bead making, soap making and bakery. They were allowed to choose a trade out of the various vocations to enable them earn some income to fend for themselves and their families. Upon successful graduation, they were provided with their business start-up kits for the chosen trade. As part of the project, some of the girls will also receive startup capital for their businesses.
Fifteen (15) of the girls who currently reside in Maamobi, Accra have indicated their readiness to relocate back home to the North and ply their chosen trade in and around the Gambaga Market near Tamale, whilst the remaining nine want to stay in Accra due to family and other commitments.
Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng, the CEO of Opportunity International Savings and loans in his opening address encouraged the participants to make good use of the skills they have acquired and promised to support other girls if this become successful. He said, supporting such vulnerable persons and groups is at the heart of what Opportunity International exist to do as part of its mission of transforming lives.
Naa Alhaji Chackson Osman, the Special Guest of Honour and Chairman for the occasion thanked Opportunity International for such an intervention and said, “I have seen several interventions for Kayayei but this one is very exceptional”. He prayed that the girls will make use of the opportunity given them by going home with a profession that can impact their lives and their families. “You are now no more a Kayayei but a professional in your chosen trade”, he said.
The girls were overwhelmed and expressed gratitude to the funders of this project for the great opportunity they have received. They were optimistic about the success of the trade they have chosen and would also welcome the opportunity to train other girls who may need to learn from them.
The project of empowering these young ladies with livelihood skills and get them out of the streets as porters was funded by CarVal Investors Foundation in the UK. CarVal Investors Foundation supports organisations that help the most vulnerable of the world’s people. The Foundation’s focus is primarily on education and leadership, poverty relief, and health and research. They work with Opportunity International in The UK who are represented in Ghana by Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited.
The Next cohort will be funded by the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust. The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust promotes and supports international friendship and understanding, world peace, development and education.