YouthImpact in Oduman -Soup Making Project
This report provides an overview of all the activities undertaken during the YOUTHIMPACT project held on the 19th and 20th of August 2016 in Oduman, Accra. It highlights key activities, achievements, challenges and quotes.
As part of our core values and objectives as social changers driven by the aim of creating an enabling environment to facilitate economic growth by exploring practical alternatives to solving social, cultural and economic problems through mentorship, skill training and capacity building, FireflyAidGroup embarked on a youth empowerment project targeting the unemployed women in the Oduman community.
Prior to the set date, several announcements were made at the community information center that serves Oduman and some surrounding communities, about the program. Interested participants were served with a registration form to collect personal information and some details of their living conditions.
Participants started to gather at 8am on Friday morning with their forms and helped with the set up. The day started with a prayer from Mrs. Frimpong, a participant who was very enthusiastic about the whole event. Next was an introductory speech by Amanda Hughes and orientation which was aimed at informing them about the organisation and the purpose for the project facilitated by Abigail Marku. As expected the participants had several questions and contributions which guided the next sessions and prepared them for training on Saturday. A one-on-one talk session followed, purposefully to get to know them more intimately and establish a relationship with each of the 28 women present.
The main topics discussed were time management, strategic savings, learning new skills and how to turn every skill or idea into a “money-fetching” activity. Participants and volunteers were given the chance to share their ideas and experiences providing several practical illustrations to drive home the message of taking initiative and taking opportunities. The session was led by Emmanuella Hammah, one of our volunteers. The assembly man Mr.isaac Sackey was present to encourage the women to give life their best shot so that their children can have a more comfortable life than they had.
The day ended with a closing prayer after which snacks were served and a group photo taken. Participants socialised with each other and also with volunteers present.
At the end of the day, Ella Hammah had this to say, “This is a really good initiative, I am so glad I got to meet all these women especially the teenage mothers. Am really fortunate to have had such an opportunity to experience this side of life and share my experience…”
Day 2 had an even more exciting start. Again the day started with a prayer and then we zoomed right into action with Goal setting and principles of savings which was facilitated by Eric Seyram from LIGA and assisted by Mr. George, a teacher from the Anglican School who helped with the translation into Twi and Ga. The team received and addressed all the concerns raised by participants. Some concerns raised were about working together and how to make savings more applicable to their circumstances.
Following the discussion was a 45 minute lunch break where participants deliberated in groups about how to manage the enterprise that would be formed and how to apply all they had learnt.
Practical skill training started right after lunch break with energy and excitement.
Participants were first introduced to the chemicals and materials needed to make liquid soap. At a slow pace Robert Quaye demonstrated the process while answering questions about soap production. Next, the participants took turns in making the next production with guidance from Robert. While waiting for the soap to “set” and setting up for the next activity, Abigail took participants through a quiz to ensure that they understood the process and also address questions that did not come up during the process.
Participants were also taken through the process of making flavoured drinks with particular emphasis on making the drinks filled with vitamins and minerals by using oranges and other dry herbs. Participants also learnt how to make soy drink from soya beans. The learning process was made very simple and easy to grasp to ensure that quality of product is consistent.
As we waited for the hot drinks to cool, we discussed the way forward for the team. Participants were allowed to choose and commit to one enterprise either soap making, flavoured drink or soya milk drink to work in the group. It was decided to meet after 3 weeks to further discuss the details of working together, roles and responsibilities. The products were neatly packaged in bottles and group photos were taken. The closing prayer was said by a volunteer and then departure.
The following are some of the achievements that we are proud of as an organization especially with regards to Youth Impact;
- We reached out to more people than we had budgeted for. Originally we sought to work with a maximum of 15 participants but had almost double the number (28 on day 1 and 26 on day 2) which shows the approval and support of the community leaders and also affirms the relevance of this project.
- Successfully delivered a training program for 28 women, 48% of which were single mothers. We believe that the knowledge they have acquired will go a long way in helping them make good financial choices and also serve as an employment opportunity for them. These women now have a skill and soon a job.
- Established a lasting relationship with the community leaders and the members of the community.
- Successfully implemented a mentorship program for 19 interested participants who will have personal mentors assigned to them to ensure that they implement what they have learned and also to serve as life coaches especially for the teenagers on our list. We hope to extend the mentorship program to reach more people and more males as we currently have no males on board.
- One major challenge was the language barrier. We had to deliver sessions in Ga and Twi which was a bit of a challenge and learning process for our volunteers.
- We had to postpone the intended health talk session because of the unavailability of the health worker we had invited.
- Timing; there was a funeral in the community on Saturday and that was a distraction for some of our participants.
In all it has been a great experience. Our participants and volunteers had knowledge impacted into them is well as significant skills. The focus now is to get the working groups actively functioning and producing enough to serve Oduman and her neighbours. We also hope to engage them in more activities to encourage active citizenship among the youth.
We are grateful to Latitude for the support and advice.
“Exploring opportunities”…one community at a time!Live Preview
August 14, 2015