In Ghana’s rural Upper East Region, 1 in 5 people live in extreme poverty. For a young adult growing up in this deprived area of the world there are few promising opportunities but AfriKids is working to change this.
The UK-based child rights charity believes that skills training, and education as a whole, will empower northern Ghana’s next generation. Skills help them to secure their own livelihoods and provide them and their families with brighter futures that are free of poverty.
AfriKids are investing time and resources in the area’s next generation and laying foundations for future generations to come through a programme they call Transforming Futures.
They’re providing young people in the Upper East Region with skills training, giving them the opportunity to break free of the vicious cycle of poverty that many in the area find themselves trapped in, so they can take control of their lives and are supported to reach their economic potential.
AfriKids hope to drive the development of the region’s economy by lifting young people out of poverty and into employment, whilst creating opportunities for future generations that are not dependent on aid. With support from partners, they’re helping young people to develop skills in a number of different professions such as nursing, dressmaking, teaching, carpentry and welding.
At the core of all AfriKids’ work is the belief that aid should be a temporary helping hand when it is needed, never breeding dependence, and Transforming Futures is a clear example of their philosophy to Listen, Empower and Sustain.
Not only are young people empowered both financially and socially to take charge of their lives, the programme is working to achieve a sustainable funding model, recycling loans for future generations to receive the same valuable skills training. It will also strengthen the education services in the region, which desperately lack resources and capacity.
Overcoming the odds to be a nurse
Vivian is in her final year of training at nursing college – a huge achievement for a young woman who was left to fend for herself at the tender age of 12, following the death of both her parents.
Vivian struggled to see herself through schooling; forced to work alongside her studies to cover educational costs, even taking part in physically tough manual labour and mentally exhausting work for a girl of such a young age.
With determination Vivian pursued her dream of becoming a nurse however she was confronted by one last hurdle - her final year costs – which seemed too difficult to overcome, even for someone as strongminded as her.
At this point Vivian sought AfriKids’ support in the form of a loan which would allow her to complete her final year of skills training and achieve her ambition. This support has given her the chance to build her own financially secure future and she pledges to help similarly disadvantaged young people who need support once she has completed her studies.
Education drives development
Speaking about their work, AfriKids Chief Executive Amy Parker says, ‘AfriKids is empowering the next generation in northern Ghana to lead their families and communities out of poverty and into a brighter future for everyone.’
Armed with valuable skills and more economic power, young adults who are supported through the programme are able to pioneer and drive the development of the disadvantaged northern regions. This will help to close the social and economic divide between Ghana’s north and south.
The City & Guilds Group supports AfriKids through its Skills Development Fund.