MTN Foundation, in collaboration with the St Theresa Vocational Training Centre for the Physically Challenged, have equipped 47 young boys and girls in Abor in the Ketu South District of the Volta Region with employable skills to enable them to earn their own incomes.
MTN Foundation sponsored 20 out of the number who are physically challenged and supported them with start-up working tools such as sewing machines, hair dressing machine and accessories and shoe making tools to enable them start their own businesses after their three years training.
The beneficiaries were trained in fashion design, leather works, electronics, textiles and hand weaving among others.
Addressing the graduation ceremony in Abor on Saturday, the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Protection, Ms Cynthia Mamle Morrison, called on the youth to stop looking for jobs in the public sector since jobs were limited in that sector to meet the demands of all the youth.
According to her, people with skills could quickly employ themselves and others compared to those with paper qualifications, urging people to disabuse their minds that those who acquired entrepreneurial skills were school dropouts.
The minister advised the youth to acquire such skills and try to initiate their own projects that would bring about employment for themselves and their peers.
She said the government would continue to support groups and churches in the training of the youth in employable skills.
The minister further said despite all the laws and good policies that sought to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities, they still suffer inhuman and discriminatory treatments.
The main challenge and barrier to reaching out to people with disabilities include discrimination and stigma.
She commended MTN Foundation and the Catholic Church for their immense contribution towards the education sector.
Mr Ebenezer Tekpeh, MTN Foundation Education Advisor, noted that the Foundation had supported many projects across the country, delivering results through partnership and brightening lives through the implementation of sustainable projects.
He appealed to the graduating students, especially the physically challenged, to become more confident and self-reliant, by utilising the skills they had acquired to improve their livelihoods.
Rev Fr Johnson Emmanuel, Director of St Theresa Centre for the Physically Challenged, noted with a parable that the school has not given the graduands fish that they may be hungry again but it had taught them to fish by providing them with canoe, net and hook to go into the river and fish.
He appealed to parents in the catchment area to send their children who completed junior high school to acquire employable skills for a brighter future.
FROM KAFUI GATI, ABOR