Basic Needs Ghana, a Non-Governmental advocacy mental health organization with funding support from the Department For the International Development (DFID) of the UKaid had organised Train-the-trainers workshop for the leaders of Self-Help Groups (SHG) made up of people with mental illness and epilepsy and their caregivers in the Upper East Region.
The Train-the-trainers programme which was aimed at building the capacity of the participants on how to start and manage their small scale businesses, as well as livelihood activities, was also meant for those who benefited from the training to also train others from their respective communities.
In all about 85 beneficiaries made up of 37 from the Bawku Municipal, Binduri and Bawku West District and 48 from the Bolgatanga and Kassena-Nankana Municipals , Talensi and the Bongo District Assemblies attended the programme.
The Programmes Manager, Basic Needs-Ghana, Mr Dokurugu Adam Yahaya, who facilitated the training sessions on Saturday stated that Basic Needs –Ghana and its partners viewed the acquisition of livelihoods skills of mental illness and epilepsy and their caregivers as very essential tool to the economic and social empowerment of them.
Mr Yahaya who schooled the participants on the various types of small scale businesses, resources needed for a small scale business, skills needed to manage a small scale business, marketing of small scale business, good record keeping among others, explained that it was against this background Basic Needs Ghana with funding support from DFID was building the capacity of the beneficiaries to intend train others.
He explained that the objectives of the training among others included equipping SHG leaders, particularly pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers with livelihoods skills and confidence to train their group members.
It was also to build the capacity of participants to support their group members to set up and run small scale businesses and to enhance the knowledge of participants on resource mobilisation and management
He also indicated that the goal of the training was to ensure the improved income among poor and vulnerable pregnant women, girls and breastfeeding mothers, SHG members and their families.
Among some of the types of small scale businesses and livelihoods and marketing strategies the participants were schooled on included Land-based livelihoods (Agriculture, Livestock) , Forest Resource based livelihoods, advertising, developing Information Management Systems including good record keeping and good savings culture
Apart from them taken through Non-farm Options including new skilled based, traditional skilled based Handicrafts such as bead making, weave on making, flower and decorations, processing of produce and collective trading, individual and group enterprises, service provision, they were also empowered with the means of looking for resources within their localities and other micro financial institutions to commence their small scale businesses.
The beneficiaries who thanked the DFID the donor organization and the Basic Needs Ghana, one of the implementing partners, pledged to also train their colleagues in their respective jurisdictions and to also put the training acquired at the door steeps of the communities to make positive change.