The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has donated 15,000 dollars (GH¢75,000) to support the establishment of an Integrated Support Centre for female head porters (Kayayei) at Agbobloshie in Accra.
The Centre is to be established by Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP), a Non-Governmental Organisation that empowers girls through formal and informal education.
Ms Christine Lagarde, the IMF Director, during her recent visit to Ghana, interacted with some of the Kayayies at the Centre and expressed the hope that the donation would help address their needs.
She said the visit had helped her to understand the work of the PAYDP and praised the girls for their bravery as Kayayie.
The IMF Director watched a short documentary on the daily lives of the girls during which she heard testimonies of how PAYDP had helped some of them to go back to school. “I really hope that many of you can re-access education and be able to get yourselves jobs that will not be hard, dangerous and will not make you vulnerable as described in the film…,” she said.
Ms Lagarde encouraged the girls to be focused so they could attain a bright future with support from individuals and groups like the IMF. “I just want to tell you my warmth, my sympathy and my affection. We’re all girls, we’re all in many ways vulnerable, we have to be proud of what we’ve got, which is ourselves and we’ve got to nurture and do the best we can with the help of God or whoever you pray to,” she added.
She commended Madam Aku Xornam Kevi, the Executive Director of PAYDP, for helping to improve the situation of the girls.
Mr Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, hinted that about 10,000 young people would be given skills training beginning 2019 in various modules. The programmes, which target the informal sector, would give specific skills to the young people.
“Together with other partners, they would be put in livelihood empowerment skills after sensitization and education on the need to be part of the programmes,” he said.
After the training they would also be given start-up tools and equipment, he said. Madam Kevi, on her part, said the PAYDP was not only operating in Accra but the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions and had, so far, empowered more than 3,000 girls.
Currently more than 100 girls are benefitting from the training including soap making, traditionally designed slippers and hair shampoo.
Ms Jennifer Adu Kwarteng told the audience how they were picked from the streets by PAYDP and helped to go back to school. She expressed gratitude, on behalf of her colleagues, to the NGO for the empowerment and to the IMF for the support.