Fifty-three (53) beneficiaries being the first batch of the Cash for Work (CfW) Scheme under the GrEEn Project have been graduated in Yabiw, a community in the Ahanta West Municipal Assembly (AWMA) in the Western Region after being oriented on the modalities of the CfW training.
The CfW training consisted of fourteen (14) sessions with beneficiaries receiving training on how to identify green opportunities in their communities, set goals towards a green job and understand what it takes to be employed or be an entrepreneur in the green sector.
Other skills that were imparted to beneficiaries included how to manage their finances, communicate effectively, deal with conflicts, critically solve and avoid problems, and work together effectively to achieve their goals.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mr Shaibu Fuseini, Coordinator for the SOS GrEEn Project explained that the SOS Green team was delighted with the effort and contribution of its partners on the project who conducted needs assessment survey in collaboration with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) which identified the needs and skills gaps prevalent in the municipality, the findings of which formed the basis for the development of the GrEEn Training Manual.
He said the ‘Boosting Green Employment and Entrepreneurship Project dubbed, Green Project seeks to equip CfW beneficiaries with Life Employability skills and Orientational Technical Skills which are geared towards empowering 4,000 CfW beneficiaries in 10 MMDAs in the Western and Ashanti regions with employability and entrepreneurship skills for the fledgling local green economy.
He added that key partners from United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), SNV and SOS youth development workers and trainers were then trained on the newly developed Green Training Manual while participants were trained on how to deliver the content of the manual to ensure effective delivery during CfW training.
He opined that graduating the first cohorts of beneficiaries under the CfW scheme marks a watershed moment in the implementation of the GrEEn project for SOS CV and commended the collective efforts of partners and beneficiaries for this very important stage in the transformational journey of beneficiaries through the project.
He congratulated the graduands for making themselves and their community proud and encouraged them to be at the forefront of the green revolution in Ghana by using the skills they have acquired through the training to transform their lives and impact positively on the lives of others in the community, as they move on to the next phase of the project.
Mr Alexander Mar Kekula, National Director of SOS Children’s Village said undeniably, the effects of climate change on our lives was real as many who try to secure livelihood and cater for their basic needs have been engaged in economic activities that have dire effects on our lives, environment and future generations.
He said activities such as illegal mining commonly referred to as “galamsey”, sand wining, indiscriminate felling of trees and hunting for animals among others were notable economic activities within the community and Ghana at large that are destroying the environment.
The effects of these unhealthy economic activities are so glaring in our communities. Our colourless water bodies are now turning brown and yellow due to these activities. Sand wining without reclamation of the land has exposed a lot of communities to flood activities. A lot have lost their lives and properties due to these activities. It is in this light that, the GrEEn Project remains a timely intervention to addressing these ills in the society”, he stressed.
He indicated that the Project was being implemented at a very crucial time when all stakeholders who are mindful of the environment and sustenance of the world were promoting climate-resilient and environmentally friendly innovations.
Mr Kekula enumerated the core mandate of the SOS Children’s Villages as building families for children, helping children and the youth to shape their future and contribute their quota in the development of their communities, and with a mandate which directly falls in line with the objectives of the GrEEn Project reasons why they are excited to be a partner on the project.
He congratulated the graduands for their commitment and dedication to the program and expressed the hope that the learnt and acquired skills will shape their thoughts about the environment and give them a good conscience to protect the environment.
He further urged them to put into good use the skills and knowledge acquired and embark on their quest to secure sustainable livelihoods within the green economy while being mindful of the common quote, “the day the last tree on earth dies, the last man also dies”.