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YEA launches initiative to upskill 5,000 Kayayeis

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the Kayayei Empowerment Programme, an initiative of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), to upskill head porters provide them with transitional job avenues, and improve their socio-economic well-being.

Kayayeis

Dr. Bawumia in launching the initiative and commissioning the skills training centers, said the centers will help empower the Kayayes and bring a gradual end to the Kayayei phenomenon.

According to him, the Kayayei phenomenon is not new in Ghana and the Akufo-Addo government, when it took over, looked at the plight of the Kayayes in 2019.

He averred that during his visit to Agbogbloshie in 2019, he was hit by the struggles of Kayayes hence, a promise he made on behalf of the government to look into addressing the Kayayei phenomenon.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said, the government then decided to build hostels and give alternative training and livelihoods to the Kayayes.

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He said: When we promised to do all these for the Kayayes, many thought it was not possible, but I knew that it was possible to do.

"We have promised in 2020 and we have to recover the promise. A society that does not take care of its poor and vulnerable is not good."

According to him, the government has been thinking about how to take care of the poor and the vulnerable so, sought the support of other institutions to roll out different programs including the introduction of the Zongo Development Fund, Assistance for Sickle Cell sufferers, Leppers, and Persons with Disabilities among others.

He averred that the government has built accommodation facilities, located in Madina and Ashaiman, suburbs of the capital city Accra to serve as hostels for Kayayei but these will also function as training centers for the head porters.

This initiative aligns with the government’s efforts to address the challenges faced by vulnerable groups in society and provides a positive outlook for the future of Kayayei in terms of both shelter and skill development.

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He mentioned the government's commitment to the program and urged Kayayes to take advantage of the training to change their lives.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Kofi Adjei Agyepong revealed that the program is being made possible through partnerships with the YEA, GEA, CTVET, TVET, Father Campbell Foundation, GetFund, and Common Fund.

He said head potters across the country are faced with numerous problems including lack of shelter, harassment, depression, lack of good quality medical care, and inadequate source of income hence the initiative is designed to empower and provide solutions for them and provide decent accommodation and job training skills.

According to him, through the Kayayei Empowerment Programme, the government through the YEA will provide decent accommodation and equip these women with vital skills, enabling them to secure dignified jobs and support their families.

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Our programme adopts a rigorous recruitment process, offering training in crucial skills such as baking, beading, soap making, and more. Additionally, we cover essential soft skills like personal health care and financial literacy to ensure holistic development.

He said the initial training phase aims to empower 5,000 head porters, starting with batches of 600 at our dedicated residential facilities in Madina and Ashaiman. Participants will receive stipends during their training to offset any loss of income from their usual trade, ensuring they can fully commit to their new journey without financial strain.

"The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) will be committed to the payment of these monthly stipends of GHS 1,000 per month for every Kayeyei trainee. Trust YEA, that as of today, May 21, 2024, we do not owe any of our beneficiaries, and each of them has been duly and fully paid and is regularly paid," he said.

Also, upon successful completion of the training, participants will receive starter packs, enabling them to venture into new economic opportunities.

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He said their commitment does not end there as they would continuously monitor and evaluate the programme, providing ongoing support as these women explore further educational and business opportunities.

The government's resolve to empower young people through skills training has been phenomenal. Sincerely, for we at YEA, we find skills training as the best antidote to the never-ending unemployment challenges we find ourselves in as a country.

Kofi Agyepong also mentioned that the Kayayes will be registered and undergo training in entrepreneurial skills towards skilled jobs and employment whilst they grasp the opportunities for life-changing skills.

According to him, the training comes along with some incentives as the registered trainees will be given a monthly allowance of GHC500.00 and after the program, receive starter packs, and product specifications to guide them set up businesses on their own.

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