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29.11.2005 Regional News

UNICEF presents equipment to 95 apprentices

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Accra, Nov. 29 GNA - The United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday presented equipment and materials valued at 27,000 dollars to 95 apprentices, who had undergone three years of training in various vocations. The trainees, who enrolled in the livelihood skills training programme in 2002 successfully completed their training in carpentry, auto-mechanic, dressmaking, hairdressing and batik and tie and dye making.

Youngsters Peer Education Project (YPEP), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that promotes Adolescent Reproductive Health and Youth Development facilitated the training the programme for the 95 apprentices made up of 54 females and 41 males selected from Chorkor and its surrounding communities.

The graduates received certificates, equipment and materials, which included carpentry tools, mechanical tools, sowing machines, hairdryers, clothes and dye for the batik and tie and dye. Mr Robert Laryea, Executive Director of YPEP, said as part of its contribution to complement the national AIDS campaign, YPEP in 2001 received funds from UNICEF to implement an integrated HIV/AIDS prevention project in Chorkor, Accra. He said the Chorkor Project, which had three main components included HIV/AIDS Peer to Peer Education, vocational skills training and early childhood development as means of realising behaviour change in the people.

Mr Laryea said the acquisition of livelihood skills by the youth would build their confidence; reshape their perspective of life from one of despair and recklessness to one of hope and aspiration to improve upon their socio-economic circumstances as well as enhance their capacity to negotiate for safer sex. Mr Andrew Osei, UNICEF HIV/AIDS Officer, urged the graduates to take good care of the equipment and materials given to them to enhance their livelihood. He commended the various workshop owners, who helped YPEP in the training of the apprentices.