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Regional News of Sunday, 30 May 2021

Source: Albert Futukpor, Contributor

RAINS supports over 500 girls with start-up kits, cash

A photograph taken during the presentation of the items A photograph taken during the presentation of the items

About 554 out-of-school girls including eight girls with disabilities in 23 communities of the Nanumba South and Kpandai Districts of Northern Region have received start-up kits including materials and cash to start their own businesses from the Regional Advisory Information and Network System (RAINS).

The start-up kits and materials included assorted combs, assorted hair extensions, scissors, hair food (for hairdressers), different kinds of beads, needles, sandals, pliers, fishing lines (for beads makers), chemicals for making bar soap and liquid soap, cutting boards for bar soap, hydrometers amongst others (for soap producers).

This followed their completion of a six-month-long training from craftspersons in trades of their choice such as beads, soap, and sandals making, and hair braiding.

The girls formed part of the first batch of beneficiaries, who graduated from the Strategic Approaches to Girls Education (STAGE) project after receiving training in functional literacy and vocational skills over a period of 12 months.

They also received life and business management skills in the areas of money management, financial literacy, managing cooperatives, branding as well as marketing their products.

This intervention formed part of the STAGE project being implemented by the Regional Advisory Information and Network System (RAINS), a non-governmental organisation, in partnership with World Education Inc and funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The STAGE project seeks to support educationally marginalised girls to improve their lives through education by achieving and acquiring literacy and numeracy skills, relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for life and work.

RAINS held separate ceremonies in the 23 communities to distribute the start-up kits, materials and cash to the girls comprising 262 in soap production, 166 in hair braiding and 126 in sandals and beads making to begin their income-generating activities.

The communities included Tampuaya, Monyindo, Tinageria, Wamoldo, Danaayili, Takundo, Dodope, Gimam, Bisando, Nanjuro, and the ceremonies were monitored by chiefs in some of the communities, community oversight committee members, Team from RAINS, and representatives of National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) from the two districts.

Ragadahu Abdul Wahab, Coordinator of the STAGE Project, who spoke at the ceremonies in the communities to distribute the items to the beneficiaries, was optimistic that the support would help to economically empower the girls.

Madam Abdul Wahab threw more light on the STAGE project saying it started in 2019 to lower the barriers and challenges highly vulnerable girls faced in their communities by the use of strategies covering functional literacy, vocational and life skills to providing pathways to the world of work and therefore empowerment for the girls.

She urged the girls to work in cooperatives since it was their first time to handle businesses emphasising “I encourage you to put your start-ups to good use. I also call on the parents and spouses to support their wards by providing guidance to them towards the efficient use of the materials as well as the cash.”

Mr Issah Safian, Officer-in-charge of the NBSSI in the Kpandai District advised the beneficiaries to ensure they fairly priced their products to ensure that they took control of their local community markets.

He said this would give them a comparative advantage over those, who bought from the district capitals to sell.

Ms Nyinaligun Npoamo, a beneficiary from the Wamoldo community in the Kpandai District, expressed gratitude to the project partners for the support, which would help them earn decent incomes to support themselves and their families.

The items and cash were received amidst joy, excitement and gratitude from girls, their family members and other community members.

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