Youth who migrate from the Northern parts of Ghana to the South have mostly embarked on this journey not just for the sake of relocation but due to push factors such as to poverty, to evade early marriages, lack of jobs and continuous neglect of their regions by government in its developmental agenda.
The North including some other parts of the country has seen a number of these girls trooping into the city due to child marriage. A canker, both public and Non-governmental organizations resort to fighting without an end.
In view of this, an NGO, Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP) with support from the UNFPA have reiterated their commitment to champion the course and make life easy for these young unfortunate girls who have traveled down south to port goods of people to and from their destinations.
The organization, known for the provision of Livelihood Skills Training, Adolescent Sexual, and Reproductive Health, Integrated Legal Literacy and Rights Services for Female Head Porters (Kayayei) in selected Urban Markets in Ghana, has established it’s office at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. During the week, they brought together stakeholders including the media in the Techiman Municipality to deliberate on the best way to help Kayayei in the municipality.
Calling on government and corporate organizations to offer more support, PAYDP has, through local districts of the country build hostel facilities for the itinerant female load carriers (Kayayei) in the Ashanti Region.
Addressing the participants, Mrs. Aku Xornam Kevi, Executive Director of PAYDP outlined her outfit’s plans towards their second annual project which is targeted at rescuing and supporting Kayayei, in the Techiman municipal and beyond.
The NGO with support of UNFPA is undertaking a project to register not less than 400 Kayayei in the Region where counseling and integrations programs will be offered them.
Mrs. Aku Xornam Kevi observed that lack of proper accommodation for Kayayei is a hurdle that is highly challenging to surmount. She therefore appealed to all and sundry to support the initiative to help build hostel facilities which can accommodate the Kayayei to lessen their plight.
Speaking in interview, Mrs, Xornam Kevi revealed her prime aim of engaging Kayayei is to help place them properly in the society.
She averred that child marriage especially, is rife among these young girls not because they desire to, but due to their inability to integrate into the system of hardship at the south.
“We’ve realized that some of these Kayayei migrate to Accra and other big cities just to evade being pushed into child marriage. Therefore, we are addressing the issue of child marriage, cohabitation, sexual and gender-based violence, and their economic status” She said.
She further hinted that men on several occasions have taken undue advantages of these young girls, even to the point of rape.
Mrs. Kevi added that her organization has started systems to aid the Kayayei by accommodating them in hostels in Accra where they can enjoy proper hygienic conditions.
In a related development, PAYDP with support from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is also championing an initiative to help a group of Kayayei to launch a cosmetic product.
The hair product which has been piloted by the group is being screened by the Food and Drugs Authority pending certification.
According to the representative of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mawuli Adzraku, the product is a good one but must go through the stages of certification so as not to put doubt on the minds of people.
“Usually people assume Kayayes are dirty and may have challenges using their products. That’s why we from the FDA are determined to make their product look good in terms of quality and brand”, he noted.
PAYDP’s activities on its calendar are to continue the Justice for all programs which bring together members of the Judiciary to mentor the young girls.
“There’s something we call chief justice mentoring program. And this year, the intention is to still have that interaction with the judges about the Kayayei”, he concluded.
Source: Ghana Dinpafm.com/91.3