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Youth Skills & Enterprise Development Update

Project Code: GHPT1200009 | Project Location: Navrongo-Bolgatanga, Ghana

About the project

The Youth Skills and Enterprise Development (YSED) Centre seeks to empower youth, creating jobs and enabling young people to contribute meaningfully to the growth of society in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese.

“We aim to reduce poverty by developing the youth’s skills for self-employment and widen their employability, improving their income situation to enable them to cater for themselves and members of their households.”

Dr Joseph Ayembilla, Director

The projects main objectives include:

  • Establishing a functional Youth Skills and Enterprise Centre (Completed).
  • Improving the skills of 150 youth in agri-based and hospitality services.
  • Adding to the knowledge and entrepreneurial skills of 570 youth in the region to improve their career choices and enable them to gain meaningful employment.

Facts and figures

  1. percent of the population live remotely in rural areas.
    80
  2. percent of youth in Navrongo-Bolgatanga are unemployed.
    33
  3. percent of the population is aged between 18 and 24 years.
    45

Front of YSED centre

Important updates

  • Renovations of the original building are now complete with the updated building also furnished while construction of a new perimeter fence will begin soon. Construction of the dormitories is taking longer than expected, due to a number of factors including some local events beyond the control of Catholic
    Mission.
  • Construction of the restaurant is complete and is now in operation. Restaurant equipment such as gas cylinders, burners, bowls, cooking utensils, a deep freezer, pots have been stocked in the kitchen.
  • A 4500L polytank for water storage was constructed and is now in use.
  • One borehole has been drilled and mechanised and now provides water for activities in the Centre.
  • Three concrete fishponds were constructed and are being used to rear fish and for practical demonstrations for students.
  • Skilled teachers from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture including a crop expert, livestock experts, a fishery commission and business consultant were recruited to facilitate the training of the youth at the Centre.
  • Training equipment and resources including a projector, projector screen, markers, notebooks and flip charts were purchased.
  • Students have received training in a variety of skills including crop production, fishery, caring for livestock, poultry and important foundational entrepreneurship principles.
  • Ten pigsties, a poultry farm and some rabbit pens have been constructed and stocked. The animals provide students with practical, hands-on experience.

Classes and student distribution:

So far, the Centre has facilitated the training of 38 youths (21 females and 17 males) from a variety of and backgrounds and ability. In all, 119 young people from 18 parishes in the Diocese have received training.

Subject focus areasNumber of students interested
Piggery38
Guinea fowl rearing39
Rabbitry6
Small reminants rearing21
Crop management20
Fish farming18
Vegetables11
Weaving15
Basketry22

Presentation

Stories from the ground

Perpetual Asampana Atule

“The most important thing of the training that changed my life was the entrepreneurship training where we were encouraged that we can start a business and grow it without having to start with physical cash if we are willing to sacrifice our time in learning and helping those who are already in such businesses.

I decided that I would pursue my dream of becoming a teacher, following that I made efforts and gained admission to study my diploma in education with support from my father.

After 6 months of study I realized I was only busy during the weekend and idling during the weekdays. I now study my diploma on weekends and learn sewing skills throughout the week.

I am very thankful to this project for giving me the encouragement and zeal to pursue my dreams and know the future now looks bright. I have been sharing my story with my friends to encourage them too."

Perpetual

Adongo Esther Talata

“I first heard of the youth project from Mr. Asoke Aganawini Douglas (disable person’s chairperson) who invited me to attend training at the Centre.

I started a Pito malt processing business four years ago with the help of the disability support fund under the district common fund. I was not seeing my business grow, but the training I received at the Centre helped change that. Through my training, I learnt impulse buying was stopping me succeeding and that in order to grow my business I needed to learn to save and diversify my income sources.

I quickly went and opened a bank account where I save some proceeds from my business every week. This has helped me to stop buying anything I see just because there was money on me. Due to the savings, I had been able to buy a bicycle which I use to go to the other markets to buy my raw materials.

I am very happy of the training and am also planning to start buying fish from the center for processing and sale very soon.”

Esther

Challenges

COVID-19

The pandemic’s resulting lockdown has created extensive challenges with bans of social gatherings, restricted movement to Acrra and Kumasi, and closures of the hospitality sectors.

COVID-19 has had many knock-on effects including falls in acceptable prices for pigs and poultry products which has reduced the available income for the Centre.

Mortalities of animals

Unfortunately, the Centre has faced challenges regarding mortalities of 464 fish and 15 piglets. These mortalities have obvious impact of reducing the quantities of production.

The Centre has acknowledged an over dependence on distant fingerling suppliers and has begun liaising with other producers in the region to find feed producers and fingerling suppliers closer to home. Unfortunately, due to overcrowding and an algae forming in the water there were 464 mortalities. To address this, the farm has reduced stock numbers and cleaned the tanks of the algae.

Additional pens have been constructed to address the mortalities of pigs. The Centre has also engaged both the veterinary and fisheries department to help with addressing this issue.

Restaurant

What does the future hold?

This project continues to produce good results, empowering youth, equipping them with vital work skills and enabling them to successfully enter the workforce and in some cases create their own businesses. Catholic Mission is excited to see what the YSED Centre and its students achieve in the future.

Pigs eating

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