A number of disadvantaged girls in Bongo, a district in the Upper East Region, have received training in pastry production so they can set up their own businesses.

The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) provided the training free of charge for the girls under an initiative dubbed “Adolescent Girls Empowerment Project”.

The beneficiaries of the training programme, which was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), are members of a PPAG-initiated adolescent association called “Young and Wise Club”.

“We have six communities. We chose three girls from each of the communities in the district. You observed that we involved them in the whole process. Our expectation is that when they go back to their various communities, they should be able to do it on their own. That is why we shared out some of the materials among them after the training.

“Those we have trained will go back to the communities and train those who were not at the training programme. We have advised them to save the proceeds realised as they sell the products they make when they start on their own until it becomes big,” the PPAG’s Project Officer in the district, Lydia Asampana, told Starr News after the workshop.

She added: “Some of the girls are in school whilst some of them are out of school. Those that are out of school due to maybe childbirth or something else, if they are able to do some of these things, can become independent and help themselves. Even those that are in school can do it in their free time. We empower them with knowledge as to how to handle themselves in terms of their sexual reproductive rights and we empower them with a skill so that they don’t depend on men or boys who would just abuse them.”

“Put quality first and maintain the brand”— Resource person to trainees

The training had Felicity Sibiri, a teacher from the Home Economics Department of the Zamse Senior High/Technical School (ZAMSTECH), a second-cycle institution in the Upper East Regional Capital, Bolgatanga, as a resource person.

Whilst telling the trainees they could start up the pastry business with a little capital, the Food and Nutrition teacher also laid emphasis on the need for them to place premium on quality and maintain a good brand.

“When quality is your priority, no matter your location, people will look for you. You don’t need to wait to get much before you start a business. Start with little, continue and you will make progress. Maintain quality to capture the market. The quality of your product and the customer should be your priority always. Packaging is also very, very important; it must be attractive,” she affirmed.

The assisted girls expressed gratitude to the PPAG and the UNFPA and promised to make good use of all the resources invested in their future by their benefactors.

“My parents are jobless. I’m happy about the training. I can do my own business and buy whatever I need in school,” Philippa Agunwaa said.

Another beneficiary, Clementina Ayandor, described the training as very useful “because as a teenager you need to have something doing so that you don’t depend on people so much”.

“It was difficult for my parents to raise money for me when I was in school. I offered science. I could not buy textbooks, practical books and laboratory coats. I had to beg from friends. We have learned new things. The training has added value to my life. It will help me when I start my own business,” Olivia Anamsakiya stated.



Source : Ghana/Starrfm.com.ghEdward Adeti