Women’s Vocational Training in Ghana


The aim of this one-year education project was to equip 100 young women aged 15-35 from 15 communities in the impoverished Northern Region of Ghana with skills which enabled them to earn a living in their local area and so remove the need for them to travel south in search of work.


Through the support of Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Feed the Minds and its local partner YDRC achieved this aim by delivering a course which combined training in vocational skills for which there is local demand (hairdressing, dressmaking, weaving and textile printing) with training in literacy, business skills and life skills. The trainees learnt not only how to practise a trade, but also how to read, write and perform calculations, how to interact with customers and service providers and how to manage business and household finances.

As a result of the project, the beneficiaries have earned steady incomes by practising a trade

in their northern communities and enjoyed a much better quality of life than they would have done

if they had been forced to work as street-porters or ‘kayaye’ (deemed a form of child slave labour) in the southern cities of Kumasi and Accra. Their families have benefitted from increased household income; their communities have benefitted from improved access to skilled tradespeople. Moreover, the beneficiaries increased income- earning power and improved literacy and numeracy skills enables them to participate more actively in decision-making inside and outside the home.