A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Nneka Youth Foundation, has trained 20 teen mothers in alternative ways of processing cassava in Mafi Sasekpe of the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region.
The training formed part of the foundation’s Vococational and Entrepreneurial Pathway programme which aims to give young women the necessary skills to become self-dependent.
The young women were taught how to process the root tuber into flour, which could be used to produce a wide variety of cassava-based recipes including chips, doughnuts, and other pastries.
Founder of the NGO, Cecilia Fiaka, said cassava flour is organic, purer, contained less starch, has a longer shelf life and could supplement gari and the regular cassava dough.
She said preparing cassava flour saved time and eliminated the use of strong heat which poses a threat to the health of women involved in the making of gari.
Fiaka told this portal that the community, Mafi Sasekpe was selected for the programme because of the booming cassava processing industry in the town.
The training will add value to the lives of young women by empowering them to seek out alternative livelihoods that would help end the destitution that came with dropping out of school.
The entrepreneurial pathway programme also provides out-of-school girls and teen mothers with psychosocial support to mitigate the negative effects of their life experiences.
Mama Klebetesi III, Queenmother of Mafi Sasekpe, commended Nneka Youth Foundation for the support, and urged the beneficiaries to take it up and create for themselves sustainable livelihoods.
Mama Klebetesi mentioned that the community has initiated the construction of a warehouse to store cassava and other farm produce, but said the project had stalled due to lack of finance.
Fiaka said the foundation sought to give opportunities to young women and children, and was supporting brilliant teen mothers to reintegrate into school, whilst availing skills and vocational training for others.