The Advocacy for Social Inclusion and Education of Girls (ASIGE), a non-governmental organization, has helped 20 girls from the Upper East region to acquire vocational skills, as part of an empowerment project .
The gesture also aimed to reduce unemployment among teenage mothers and out-of-school girls.
With funding from the American Serving Abroad Project, a US-based organization, sewing (stitching) and smock weaving machines, uniforms, books and other learning materials were provided to beneficiaries .
The full cost of training covering a period of three years has also been paid.
One of the teenage mothers who dropped out of school when she became pregnant while in middle school, opted to return to the formal school system and received learning materials including textbooks for all materials, notebooks and exercise books, pens, uniforms, shoes among others.
Ms. Dorcas Apoore, Executive Director of ASIGE, speaking to Ghana News Agency at a presentation ceremony in Sumbrungu, Upper East Region, said the beneficiaries were selected from six communities in Bongo District and Bolgatanga Municipality, where ASIGE had helped women weave and sell straw baskets in national and international markets.
According to Ms. Apoore, six and 24 girls were enrolled in vocational training in 2020 and 2021 respectively and the aim was to help equip them with useful economic skills to prevent rural-urban migration and reduce poverty.
She said unemployment and poverty had driven many young girls into pregnancy, forced marriage and dropping out of school, and the support would enable recipients to gain gainful employment and help employ their colleagues. .
It would also enable young girls who cannot obtain a formal education to be self-reliant and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Established in 2014, ASIGE has carried out several economic empowerment activities aimed at addressing the challenges facing the growth and development of women and girls in the Upper Eastern Region of Ghana.
In addition to undertaking awareness programs on sexual and reproductive health education and introducing more than 2,000 sanitary pads to schools in the Upper East and Upper West regions, another 429 women have been empowered weaving internationally demanding straw baskets for a living.
The executive director said the baskets were exported to Australia, Japan, France, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, which had empowered women on the economically and contributed to reducing poverty and migration to the south of the country.
“These are the daughters of our weavers whom we support who are unable to gain formal education due to teenage pregnancy, to help them collectively create a positive impact in the communities in which they live,” he said. -she adds.
Madam Rita Abamah, Bongo District Girls Officer, Ghana Education Service, said that teenage pregnancy was one of the biggest challenges faced by adolescents, especially girls in the region, and advised parents to support their teenage girls who became pregnant and dropped out of school to learn a trade.
This, she said, would allow them to make up for missing out on achieving their dreams in the formal learning system.
Madame Rose Akuribire, leader of the Women Basket Weaving group, expressed her gratitude to ASIGE and its partners for their support over the years.