In order to empower vulnerable and marginalized youth, Trax Ghana in partnership with Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR), UK provides them with vocational and livelihood training in different skills or trades including tailoring, welding, tailoring, auto mechanics, electronic and bicycle repairs, carpentry and masonry. The current project focuses on twenty-four (24) marginalised youth who are school drop-outs, single parents, those living with HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities. They live in rural areas of the Nabdam and Bongo districts in the Upper East region of Ghana where few formal job opportunities exist.
The partnership project which started in 2007 is successfully helping to reduce youth unemployment through promotion of self-employment enterprises by approaching the problems of youths holistically so as to ensure self-recovery and enable them to develop confidence in themselves and a belief in their own future. It is working effectively to mitigate the negative impact of economic challenges faced by youths in the local community and it has successfully started to improve the quality of life among young people through skills generating ventures which improve real incomes.
Trax Ghana Director (front –left) opens the 6-day training session
Behavioural change among the youths has been noted both in terms of attitude to their work and to their personal lives. Following, two professional social workers provided a 6-day training for the project beneficiaries in life skills with particular focus on health issues including HIV/AIDS, STIs, reproductive health, nutrition, peer-counselling, drug and alcohol (substance) abuse.
Facilitator (Social worker) taking participants through health issues
Beneficiaries were also trained on entrepreneurial skills including type of businesses, business management skills, credit management, marketing, records keeping, costing and pricing and Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). The VSLA is a village banking methodology, which offers the productive poor mostly in the rural communities, the opportunity to purchase shares and lend to themselves with agreed interest rate on group basis. The activities of the VSLA run in cycles of about one year, after which the accumulated savings and the loan profits are shared among the members according to the amount they saved.
Facilitator (Social worker) taking participants through business management skills
Following successful 6-day training, project beneficiaries are currently attached to well resource master tradesman in various communities for ten (10) months intensive vocational training in their area of interest.