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General News of Monday, 24 October 2016

Source: Daily Guide

Let’s show compassion to ‘kayayei’ – Rebecca Akufo-Addo

The wife of the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has appealed to Ghanaians to show compassion and love to women and girls working as head porters popularly (Kayayei).

Mrs. Akufo Addo made the appeal in Accra, when officials of Care for Kayayei paid a courtesy call on her. She donated an amount of five thousand Ghana cedis to the non-governmental organization which provides care and support to head porters in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Takoradi.

"The kayayei are as human as any other person and the love and compassion that we show to our families and friends should also be shown to the girls since they are our sisters and children" she said.

She said Ghanaians are known outside the country as hospitable and caring and it is important that these positive attitudes are not only directed at foreigners but fellow Ghanaians as well, such as head porters.

Mrs. Akufo Addo pleaded with the well-to-do in the country to fund the education of at least one head porter of school going age to give them a better and brighter future that will make the girls better citizens.

"Education is the only means by which we can empower the hard working girls to make them productive to their families and the country as a whole" she added.

She also pleaded with market women to consider generously donating baby diapers to kayayei nursing mothers to reduce the financial burden on these mothers, some of whom are single handedly faring for their children.

On ensuring the safety and security of the head porters, she advocated for the setting up of a national taskforce to provide protection to kayayei who use the verandahs of shops in the major cities as shelter, where they fall victims to unscrupulous men, who steal and rape the head porters.

"Providing security to head porters to make them feel safe is as important as providing protection to any person in privileged position since they are equal citizens with equal right" she said.

The communications officer of Care for Kayayei, Hajia Fati Mohammed , who received the donation on behalf of her organization thanked Mrs. Rebecca Akufo Addo for her kind gesture and show of concern for the welfare of the head porters.

"We thank mama for her warm reception and kind support of our ideals and programs to reach out to the kayayei to provide them with welfare" she said.

She appealed to other Ghanaian women and men to join the efforts to show compassion to the head porters, especially the young women and girls amongst them who could be resettled to pursue education or vocational skills training to make them self-sufficient in their life.

Hajia Fati noted that "we cannot build a prosperous nation whiles we neglect a critical segment of our society since the kayayei can play an important role in our development if they are better resettled".