In efforts to empower young people to be responsible and have control over their reproductive health and sexual life, the Kakayei Assistance Project (KASPRO) has trained five hundred (500) head porters known in the local dialect, ‘kakayei’.
The kakayei Assistance Project with financial support from the United Nations Population Fund trained the young girls in various vocational skills such as pastries, beads, production of bags and sandals, cream making, yogort production as well as soap production.
The Kakayei Assistance Project (KASPRO), a six (6) months project was instituted during the outbreak of the pandemic, Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 as a way of supporting these girls (kayayei) to live a dignified life.
During the six (6) months capacity and skills training, the five hundred (500) kayayei had the opportunity to learn and be empowered on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
They were also taken through knowledged on sexual and gender violence in order to make decisive and informed decisions, hence improve their standard of living and depend themselves from sexual violence and abuses.
To climax the project,a closing ceremony and an Expo of products produced by these girls during the period was held and displayed on Friday (December, 4th 2020), at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, (AMA) premises.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape speaking at the event revealed that, the project was designed and implemented to demonstrate effective, efficient and workable approaches in addressing the numerous diverse needs of vulnerable populations in society especially head porters (Kayayei) during and after a critical crisis such as COVID-19 pandemic.
Noting that, these head porters (kayayeis) are the most poorest people in the society because of lack of shelter, financial support among others.
Emphasizing that, “The conditions that kayayei live and work in, they generally do not seek medical care from public health facilities and usually do practice self-medication.”
Mr. Niyi Ojuolape admitted that, there is the need for a system that can ensure these girls get dignified lives as well the power to be able to make decisive and informed decision regarding to their sexual reproductive rights and health.
However he called on the beneficiaries to put the skills and and knowledge acquired into good use to enhance and improve their standard of living, hence reduce their vulnerability.
Meanwhile the Kayayei Assistance Project (KASPRO) had some support from the Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, National Health Insurance Scheme as well the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
Meanwhile, the UNFPA Honary Ambassador, Madam Cloudia acknowledged that, the project depicts the objective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “Leaving no one behind”.
“Am so humble and proud as an Ambassador to be part of it”, she noted
Adding that, this project has truly touched these girls’ lives and their family that, she commended the United Nations (UN) for supporting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to implement the Kayayei Assistance Project (KASPRO).
She also used the ocassion to call on Corporate Ghana to come on board to support the UNFPA as they work tirelessly to impact the lives of vulnerable young girls in communities.
To the girls, she urged them to put whatever they have been taught into practice to improve ther lives and their families.
Giving National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) solidarity message, the Public Relations Officer, Madam Mabel Yemofi acknowledged that, effective participarion of women in economic and social life is key to reducing poverty and increasing the well-being of women and girls, their families and society as a whole.
To her, the NHIA will continue to play a key role in providing a realistic services that will protect Ghanaian residents from the financial burdens whilst accessing quality healthcare needs as Ghana strives towards the attainment of the universal coverage.
With regards to the poor and vulnerable in the scoiety, She disclosed that, NHIA have policies targeted this category.
Citing the free maternal care and the indigent registrations unto the Scheme and therefore encouraged all subscribers and beneficiaries to annually renew their membership with the short code (*929#), whenever it expires.
Madam Mabel Yemofi also commended and thanked UNFPA for the live changing project embarked on for the last six-months and beyond, and assured them of NHIA future partnership as they work enhance the lives of the poor and vulnerable in our society.
Other partners, Unicef and the other UN system and Prudential Life Insurance Ghana also gave their Solidarity messages at the ceremony.
The beneficiaries on their part expressed their heart felt feelings to UNFPA for the great opportunity given them. Saying, “We pray that Almighty Alla shower his blessings upon you for your good initiative to help the poor and needy in various communities.”
Outstanding beneficiatries where awarded and appreciated for their committment, punctuality and resilence at the closing ceremony.