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25.02.2005 Regional News

Women trainees pass out

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Accra, Feb. 25, GNA - Twenty-two young women from the Odododiodio Constituency in Accra on Friday passed out after a three-year free skills training sponsored by the Centre for Community Studies, Action and Development (CENCOSAD) and UNICEF. The trainees most of them school dropouts and single mothers underwent training in either hairdressing or dressmaking and home management and personal hygiene. They were provided with dryers, sewing machines and many other tools to set up.

Professor James Annorbah-Sarpie, Director of the Centre, said the focus of the programme was on women because they were vulnerable and more susceptible to the HIV/AIDS menace. He said in 1996 a survey conducted by CENCOSAD revealed that 12 to 15 women with an average of two to four children each largely depended on gifts from friends and relatives and most often could not afford a single meal a day.

"In the course of soliciting for gifts these mothers expose themselves to sexual exploitation with its attendant risks of contacting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. He said it was this problem, which prompted CENCOSAD to undertake the programme to provide training in income-generating skills for young women in the society.

Madame Josephine Agbo, Trainer, advised the young women to also train other young people in the community since they were the last batch to be trained under the programme. She said for poverty to be reduced in the community they as members had to help each other.