Empowering head porters in communities
This week, 260 female porters, in the West Mamprusi Municipality in the North East Region, were equipped with entrepreneurial skills and start-up kits to establish themselves in their localities to prevent their migration down south and ending up in the big cities.
The project, dubbed: Providing Livelihood Opportunities and Support for Kayayei Porters(KAYAPORT), is initiated by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Navrongo Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese (NABOCADO). The three-year effort has a funding of $334,446.12.
The Daily Graphic congratulates CSR and its implementing partner, the NABOCADO, on the effort. Over the past decades, the Daily Graphic has been aware of several of such efforts in the northern regions of Ghana to halt the migration of young girls to the south to engage in the carriage of heavy burdens for a pittance.
Head porters face several risks and problems with sheltering, proper feeding, and clothing themselves, as well as protection from assault from vagabonds, among other major risks.
Thus, intermittently, non-governmental organisations like the CRS scale up the capacity of female porters and equip them to return to their local communities to contribute to the local development efforts.
Over the years, the noble effort of economically empowering young vulnerable girls has been the preserve of non-governmental organisations and private individuals.
Indeed, empowering them and establishing them in their local communities with the skills of tiling, weaving, hairdressing and fashion designing directly grows economies in localities.
As these girls provide services in their localities, communities thrive and grow gradually.
The Daily Graphic agrees with what was said by the National Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Rev. Dr Comfort Asare, at the graduation of the 260 girls at Walewale, that “the intervention would impact the national development process in the aspect of entrepreneurship skills in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Sector,” which duty bearers must ensure that it comes into fruition.
They can do that by ensuring that every district or region from time to time enrols these young girls for refresher courses to upgrade their skills.
Additionally, the Daily Graphic holds the view that it is time, after several decades of efforts by NGOs, for the government to institutionalise such a project.
Thus the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection must engage and decide on institutionalising such a programme for head porters in cities across the country.
It must be the goal of the Ministry, through its agency, the Social Welfare Department, to ensure that all young head porters are skilled and economically empowered for their localities.
By now, Ghana ought to have a register of all head porters in cities, and the progress of those who have benefited from such initiatives that upgraded their skills and established them in their communities.
The local assemblies must stepped in fully, ensuring that young girls in communities are empowered to prevent their migration into cities for risky jobs. The assemblies have to be innovative in this effort, as that contributes to the growth and development of local economies.
We need the head porters skilled and established for the development of local economies and ultimately end internal migration