Over 600 girls graduate under Samira Bawumia Foundation project
A total of 654 girls graduated from the Network for Enterprise Development Learning Through Sewing (NEEDLES) for Girls project under the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Project (SEHP).
The project aims to equip girls with the job skills needed to end unemployment.
“NEEDLES for Girls (N4G)”, which began in 2021, aimed to provide employment to disadvantaged young girls in the country.
It is in collaboration with the Ghana Export and Import Bank (EXIMBANK) and supported by Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Mrs. Samira Bawumia, the second lady, speaking at the event, said that the economic empowerment of women was valuable, especially through skills development and capacity building, and its importance for the advancement of society, hence the N4G project.
She said the problem of youth unemployment had become critical since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and was worsened today by the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Ms Bawumia said the fashion industry provided significant opportunities for women and was one of the most important industries in the world, driving a large chunk of the global economy .
She added that it offered huge untapped potential for Ghanaian fashion companies and the expansion of the “Made in Ghana” label to compete in local and international markets.
The second lady thanked the partners for their commitment and determination to make a difference in the lives of young women and for choosing to support women’s economic empowerment.
She said graduation was the start of a career for the girls, not the end and urged them to maximize the opportunities and knowledge they had gained and create new ones as they went. .
Ms. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Managing Director of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), assured the graduates of technical and vocational training support where needed and asked them to have “sub-skills”, customer service, patience, creativity, passion, and delivering on time.
She urged them to always keep a good and pure heart saying, “You are the movers and shakers of the economy.”
Mr. Bright Darko, Deputy Director, EXIMBANK, encouraged the graduates to take advantage of the two programs offered by the Bank; “Tuesday Market” which served as a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to advertise their businesses and the “SME clinic” which helps capacity development of SMEs.
Mr. John Duti, Team Leader for Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, GIZ Ghana, said that the project was funded to promote partnerships and improve the capacities of small and medium enterprises focused on growth.
He said that to ensure qualified and well-trained personnel in the fashion sector in Ghana and to increase the number of jobs available for young women, the project was extending to Takoradi and Bolgatanga and would eventually be extended to all 16 regions of the country.
Mr. Duti hoped for strong cooperation with private fashion companies who accepted the challenge to partner with them to improve the lives of girls.
The 654 girls were trained in three categories of trades, namely clothing making, aesthetics (makeup, braiding and hairdressing) and accessory making (beading and headwear).
A total of four fashion houses, including PISTIS limited, Strokes and lines, Africa Fashion Incubator (AFI) and Sustainability Lab supported the girls throughout the training.
Ms. Benedicta Odonkor, Sewing Trainer and Managing Director of PISTIS Limited congratulated the girls on the journey they have come and urged them to go out into the world, impact society and change the lives of others.
Madame Alberta James, Director of the Africa Fashion Incubator (AFI), said the girls had exceeded their expectations and believed that a better future awaited them.
She however indicated that the proximity of the trainees to the training centers should be taken into consideration as this was a challenge they faced.
Mrs. Seida Aremeyaw, CEO of Strokes and Lines, and hairdressing trainer encouraged the girls to excel in the skills they had learned and was optimistic about the positive impact of their skills in helping to reduce unemployment in the country.
Ms. Jenny Laryea and Ms. Jennifer Laryea, prop trainers with Sustainability Lab, said the girls went there with little or no skill, but excelled and succeeded with constant training, supervision, assistance and perseverance. .