GHANA: Youth gain employment with new courses, internships
Salesian Technical School in Tatale starts new courses in construction, catering and electricity
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Technical School, located in Tatale, Ghana, has started new courses in construction, catering and electricity. The courses last three months, and the first students to take the courses have already graduated. A second group of students is attending classes now while classrooms are still under construction.
The new courses provide both classroom learning and hands-on experience in the field. The hands-on part of the catering course takes place in the kitchen of the Salesian community. This gives youth an opportunity to apply the skills they have learned and allows them to have practical experience when they are applying for work. Many youth gain employment from the internships they have as part of their education. This makes the transition from school to work easier.
Salesian missionaries in Ghana focus on education and the growing demand for skills training to help youth find and retain stable employment. Salesian missionaries operate four centers across Ghana that serve poor youth who are at risk of exploitation, child labor and human trafficking. There are two centers in the urban area of Accra, a center in Tatale and one in the city of Sunyani, the first place Salesian missionaries launched programs in the country more than 25 years ago.
“Youth at these Salesian centers are provided social services, including shelter and nutrition, and also have access to education and skills training so they are able to find and retain stable employment and become self-sufficient,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Part of the goal of providing education in employment sectors that are hiring is to discourage youth from leaving Ghana and seeking employment in other countries where they often fall victim to human trafficking and other risks.”
While Ghana’s economy continues to improve, nearly 45 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, according to UNICEF. Ghana ranks 139 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Program’s 2017 Human Development Index. Rural poverty remains widespread in the dry savanna region that covers roughly two thirds of Ghana’s northern territory.
Small-scale farms suffer from a lack of infrastructure and equipment, both of which are needed to shift from subsistence farming to more modern commercial farming. Modern methods would yield greater incomes and a chance to escape poverty.
Special Salesian programs are bridging cultural differences between Christians and Muslims and the gender inequities between boys and girls. Efforts are also underway to reduce class sizes which are typically 100 students for every teacher.
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Salesian Missions – Ghana
UNICEF – Ghana