SOS Children’s Villages Ghana empowers youth in Abuakwa North

Akyem Tafo (E/R), GNA – May 15, GNA – SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, has equipped nine youth with start-up kits under its “Strengthening Families programme” at Akyem Tafo in the Abuakwa North Municipality of the Eastern Region.

The beneficiaries, who were made up of eight females and a male, were given start-up kits in their fields of skills training such as dress making, welding, auto electrician, auto mechanics, hair dressing and welding.

The event, which took place at Akyem Tafo, was chaired by Osabarima Adusei Peasah IV, Akyem Tafohene.

The SOS Children’s Villages Ghana started implementing the Family Strengthening intervention programme over the past two and half years in Akyem Tafo and Kukurantumi in the Abuakwa North Municipality of the Eastern Region.

It seeks to build the capacity of 300 vulnerable families to sustainably care for 1,000 children, empower existing community structures to advocate for the rights of children, work with existing community structures for improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and support 120 youth to acquire skills and resources for sustainable jobs.

Mr Alexander Mar Kekula, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, said under the programme, 1,013 vulnerable children from 303 families were being supported in terms of care, education and health.

He said 91 caregivers had been supported with a total grants of GH¢ 109,100.00 through 10 Village Savings and Loans Associations formed, adding that individual caregivers had also benefitted from GH¢ 50,000.00 grants to engage in income generating activities.

He said three child protection committees had been established within the Tafo and Kukurantumi communities and that 135 caregivers had been equipped with good parenting skills through training.

He said through the programme they were able enrol 136 children in school, who were hitherto not in school but were of school going age at the beginning of 2021, saying “these children were supported with books, school bags, footwears and uniforms. These children now attend school regularly.”

In addition, 81 children and 23 caregivers were registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to enable them access healthcare.

He said they’ve been able to support caregivers to acquire legal documents (birth certificates) for 109 children.

Mr Daniel Baani, Programme Director, SOS Children’s Village Asiakwa, said their Families Strengthening programme was meant to support families so that they would be able to avoid child abandonment.

He said under the programme, 122 youth were currently being supported to acquire various skills and start their business to earn decent living and create jobs in the Municipality.

The breakdown includes youth in agriculture (rabbitry, organic tomato, taro and vegetable production), dress making including apprentices 43, hairdressing 19, auto electrician two, welding five, electricals three and other vocations 14, while six youth were being supported to attain tertiary education.

Mr Baani said during the COVID-19 (lockdown period), SOS Children’s Villages Ghana supported 26 families with cash transfers for three months, distributed 5,000 nose masks, and also distributed 50 veronica buckets, carbolic soaps and paper towels at vantage points including lorry parks.

He indicated that 25 families were also given grants to expand their businesses to enable them go through the shocks of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Osabarima Adusei Peasah expressed gratitude to SOS Children’s Villages Ghana for transforming the lives of the youth in his traditional area.

He further appealed to the beneficiaries to put the equipment to good use.

A visibly elated Mr Seidu Zembo, a beneficiary of the programme, on behalf of his colleagues thanked SOS Children’s Villages Ghana for giving them the needed support to enable them earn a living.

This, he noted, would go a long way to help to take care of themselves and their families.