Story by: Ishmael Barfi
To mark this year International day of the Girl Child, an organisation made up of female professionals in the mining sector has embarked on a Career sensitization program for young girls in the Obuasi East District in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The organisation, Women in Mining (WiM) Ghana saw the need to encourage more girls to take up careers in the mining sector.
And as part of activities to commemorate the 2022 International Day of the Girl Child, WiM Ghana provided technical support to the LEAP Sikapa for Girls Initiative to encourage school girls to aspire towards careers in the mining sector.
The goal of the 5th edition of the annual LEAP Sikapa for Girls Initiative was to help shape the career path of girls at the Basic and Senior High Schools in the Obuasi East District.
At the event, the WiM Ghana team mounted an exhibition stand showcasing various mining tools, PPEs and other learning materials to display the mining profession to the Young girls.
This was also to spark the interest of the female gender to pursue a career in the mining sector.
To that effect, the young girls where taken through a basic introduction to mining and geology presentation.
Whiles Rolls Asiedu and Emma Thompson-Appiah, members of WiM took the girls through the rudiments of mining and encouraged them to apply the knowledge acquired fully in their STEM and TVET subjects in order to facilitate their pursuit of professions in the mining sector.
The school girls who were selected from mining communities in the Obuasi East District appreciated the session and thanked WiM for the carrier sensitization which have enlightened them.
According to them, the session had dispelled many myths and misconceptions they previously had about mining.
Speaking in an interview, a student participant, Ama Adoma explained that, she has come to understand that, the mining is not all about ‘Galamsy’ in wit illegal mining which destroys the water bodies and farmlands of residents.
“I have learnt that mining is not only for men and that if I take my subjects in Maths, Science and Geography seriously, I can become the mining professional I desire to be” one other student said.
Madam Rosina Fosu, a teacher who accompanied her class to the WiM Ghana session, thanked the group for taking the girls through the basics in mining.
Recounting that, “Coming from ‘galamsey’ areas, most of the girls believe that mining is all about being in the mud or in pits, which are not safe jobs for them and so their interest in that area is low”.
However was quick to add that, “Today, we are grateful that you have taken them through this and if this is done continuously, we will have more girls taking up professions in the mining sector here in Obuasi.”
At the end of the programme, each student was presented with books, pens and other educational materials.
The LEAP Sikapa for Girls Initiative was introduced in Obuasi in 2017 to train school girls in vocational skills to make them self-dependent.
It was founded by the late Nana Akua Ohene Adu, who was the Team Lead for WiM Ghana’s Obuasi chapter.
WiM Ghana comprises of female mining professionals who offers training, mentorship networking and research projects among others to women in the mining sector and also encourages more girls to take up jobs in the sector.
The organization has provided technical partnership for the LEAP Initiative in the Obuasi District of Ghana over the past few years hence helping make girls self-dependent.