LEAP To Be Expanded

Mrs Della Sowah,Deputy Minister of Gender,Children and Social ProtectionThe Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) is to be expanded to provide financial support for 15,000 extremely poor and vulnerable families, as part of measures to curb head porterage, popularly known as “Kayayei”

The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Ms Della Sowah, who announced this in Parliament yesterday, said the decision to expand the LEAP was to provide livelihood for vulnerable families, especially those in the northern part of the country, to reduce rural – urban migration.

The deputy minister was in the House to represent the substantive minister and respond to questions on the ministry’s efforts to address the “kayayei” menace.

The term “kayayei” refers to female porters or bearers, usually migrants from the northern part of Ghana, to the southern part in search of better living conditions.

The term consists of two words put together. “Kaya” means load, luggage or burden in Hausa language and “Yei”, meaning women or females in the Ga languge.

Ms. Sowah said the expansion of the LEAP would help to reduce the financial burden of families in the north, to enable them cater for their children, especially adolescents.

Mrs Sowah said the ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Christian Council and the Christian Child-ren’s Fund of Canada would organise a forum to discuss solutions to challenges facing “Kayayei”.

According to her, the ministry’s immediate interventions would be to set up centres to offer humanitarian support for the girls in Agblobloshie, and Mallam Atta Market in Accra, and Oforikrom Market in Kumasi, in order to provide their healthcare and social needs.

She indicated that the Department of Children at the Ministry conducted sensitisation fora on “Kayayei”, as part of its Child Protection Programme in each regional capital, and 20 districts and communities, to discourage young people from migrating to the south for non-existent jobs.

By Yaw Kyei

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