Sumbrungu (U/E), Oct 25, GNA - Mrs Betty Ayagiba, Director of the Widows and Orphans Ministry (WOM), has appealed to traditional rulers to discourage the practice of widows being compelled to marry the brothers of their late husbands since it contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS. She called for the reform of cultural practices, which had serious repercussions on widows and orphans.
Mrs Ayagiba was speaking at the passing out on Monday of 20 widows and orphans after a year's training in weaving at Sumbrungu in the Upper East Region.
Out of the 20, 10 were children intercepted by the WOM on their way to practice kayaye.
They were presented with weaving equipment valued at about 30 million cedis while each of them was presented with 600,000 cedis seed money to establish their own shops.
The Director of WOM said the training was to reduce the economic trauma of vulnerable groups and empower them to generate income for their upkeep and that of their families. She urged them to put the equipment and the seed money to good use.
Mrs Rosaline Schulze of the Canadian University Service Overseas attached to WOM, said the training would enable the widows and orphans to establish their businesses instead of trooping to the urban centres in search of non-existent jobs.
The Chief of Sumbrungu, Naaba Clement Aberese, commended WOM for the training and appealed for a permanent building for the programme. The beneficiaries were from Bolgatanga, Kandiga and Navrongo. A spokeswoman for the trainees, Miss Janet Apana, thanked WOM for the training and promised that they would put the knowledge acquired to good use, saying it would help them improve upon their economic status and that of their families.
The Ghana Aids Commission sponsored the programme.