KUMASI: The Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP), an NGO dedicated to the rights of young people, has organized a three-day Business and Leadership fair for head porters, known as Kayayei, in Kumasi. The event, funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is part of the End Child Marriage Programme under the Global Programme targeting to end child marriage.
According to Ghana News Agency, Executive Director of PAYDP, the initiative aims to empower vulnerable adolescent Kayayei, enabling them to make informed decisions, improve their economic status, and reduce vulnerabilities that lead to forced marriages and cohabitation. This year’s fair, themed ‘Empowering Kayayei for a Sustainable Future: Unleashing Potentials and Building Resilience’, attracted about 2,000 girls and provided them access to educational resources, scholarship opportunities, and stakeholder support.
Madam Kevi emphasized the fair’s objectives to create an inclusive platform for Kayayeis to display their entrepreneurial skills and access education. The fair also focused on fostering leadership development and economic empowerment. She revealed that PAYDP had reached over 50,000 Kayayeis in Accra, Ashanti, Bono, and Ahafo Regions, addressing their challenges and risks.
The fair introduced the girls to an integrated model offering sexual and reproductive health information, sensitization on preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence, and harmful practices. It also aimed to equip them with tools to enhance their economic stability and independence.
Madam Esther Nyarko Apraku, Metro Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, advised the girls to report any sexual abuse to the Social Welfare office. A beneficiary, Ms. Salah Abudu, shared her transformation from a Kayayei to a student nurse at the University of Ghana through the PAYDP programme.