Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC)
Context: Northern Ghana is the third poorest region in the country and recent research shows that only 60% of young people under 15 years of age living in the north qualified to enter secondary school. Regional education disparities have health impacts: 23% of young women age 15-19 with no education in Ghana’s Central and Northern regions have begun childbearing compared with 7% in the Western and Greater Accra regions. There is an unemployment rate of 42-46% among out of school youth in these areas. While 70% of the population relies on bicycles for transport; bike repair services are only available in cities.
Organization: The Northern Sector Action on Awareness Center (NORSAAC) was founded in 2002 as a gender focused community-based advocacy organisation mobilizing youth to discuss and find ways of addressing sexual and reproductive health issues in schools. Since then, NORSAAC has taken a greater interest in sustainable livelihoods for youth and women, while integrating reproductive health issues and women’s rights and participation.
Current Grant: With EMpower’s third grant, NORSAAC will provide market-appropriate vocational training and business management skills for underemployed rural youth. Illiterate, out of school youth will receive financial literacy & small business training to become profit-generating entrepreneurs, a cohort of youth will receive training in bicycle repairs, and young women will participate in leadership training and develop action plans to help them move from being underemployed to more productive means of employment.