19.03.2005 Regional News

65 vocational trainees pass out

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Accra, March 19, GNA - Sixty-five (65) trainees within the Mallam Electoral area in Accra on Saturday passed out after a three-month free skills training programme to enhance their living conditions. The programme was sponsored by the Missions Aid International, an NGO based in Nigeria and the Charismatic Renewal Ministry.

The trainees, most of them unemployed and within the ages of 18 and 35 underwent training in dressmaking, soap, pomade, batik, tie and dye making, barbering, bakery, photography and computer training.

They were given certificates and ten of them who distinguished themselves in the areas of their training received special awards. The graduates also mounted an exhibition to display some of the handiworks and products of the skills acquired.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at Chantan in Accra, Mr Emmanuel Nwachukwu, Executive Director of the NGO, said the focus of the programme was to demonstrate the love of God and extend a helping hand to those in need.

"There are many people out there with no vocation who are finding life difficult which as a result make them think no one loves them but we want to tell them that God loves them"

He said, at the beginning of last year, the NGO posted bills to advertise for applications for the free training programme and in October same year the programme started with 150 students but at the end only 65 were able to graduate as some of them dropped in the course of the programme.

Mr Nwachukwu said the NGO would begin another programme with Liberian refugees at the Buduburam camp and some Ghanaians in the area before the end of the year, adding that discussions were underway to undertake similar programmes in Togo, Botswana and Cameroon.

He said the NGO had plans to solicit for funds for the trainees, who are the first to benefit from the programme to assist them set up small- scale businesses.

He also asked the trainees to form cooperative groups, categorising themselves under their fields of training in order to have access to loans and credit facilities from banks and other institutions. Mr. Andrews Ofori Kwateng, Assemblyman of the area, advised the young people to utilise the skill, they have acquired for the development of the community.

"Consider the training and skills you have gained as a tool for national development as that is the only way you can contribute to the improvement of the lives of the people in the community and your own lives."

Mr Kwateng also asked the trainees to try and train other young people in the community to help reduce poverty.

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