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EMpower Visits Ghana!

Posted 04 October 2016 in EMpower News   |   Share

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During a recent trip to Ghana 13-23rd September, EMpower’s Cynthia Steele and Theodoros Chronopoulos visited all 8 of EMpower’s Ghanaian grantee partners, located in Accra and across the northern part of the country.

Cynthia and Theodoros witnessed some of the immense challenges young people face in Ghana, especially in rural communities. Ghana ranks 122 out of 155 on UNDP’s gender inequality index, highlighting the continued need for progress on girls’ and women’s equity.

From Cynthia’s perspective, our grantee partners are making fantastic inroads into the lives of at-risk youth in their communities:

“Our investments in Ghana are truly a crucible in innovation to open up different, ‘traditionally male’ livelihoods opportunities for girls and young women. EMpower is supporting female beekeepers, poultry farmers, mobile phone repairers, sewing machine repairers, and we discussed possibilities for females in welding, silk screening and other fields. Accra-based partner, NEWIG, which is launching a female driver program and visited grantee partner Azad in Delhi to learn from its experience, has already gotten great media coverage and is retooling its organizational plans to expand in this area. I also had not appreciated how young people are using profits from their new micro-enterprises to strategically invest in other assets – a poultry farmer using egg profits to buy 2 sheep which then became 10, or the bicycle repairer and farmer who saved rather than immediately sold his farm’s vegetable harvest so as to fetch a higher price when items are scarce in coming months. These small measures of re-investment will grow their ability to grow their income, provide for their families and create a bulwark against future emergencies.”

Cynthia and Theodoros noted where EMpower can continue having an impact; from encouraging and assisting grantee partners to explore how to diversity services and products, to seeing if apprenticeship programs can be accelerated so that apprentices earn their trade mastery and start earning more quickly. It is great to see how professional and effective our EMpower’s Ghanaian grantee partners are, and how we can continue supporting them to open up opportunities for young people and to challenge gender-based restrictions.

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