Apprenticeship program in Ghana

This project is a good example of how you can achieve much with little. In 2015, C4H set up an internship program for a small group of young adults with the financial support of the Van Doorn Foundation.

Thanks to this apprenticeship system, these young adults are able to learn a trade (eg hairdresser, dressmaker / tailor, electrician or welder) during the internship. With the tools that were made available for the internship, they could subsequently set up their own small businesses.

Project has been executed successfully!

Amount donated: € 860.- (pilot) en € 2,300.-

Sponsor: KWA Bedrijfsadviseurs

Project information
The situation

The Eastern Region of Ghana is the sixth largest region in the country with 2.5 million inhabitants. The population belongs to the Akans, the largest ethnic group (approximately 20 million people) in the south of both Ivory Coast and Ghana. They speak the Akan language, also known as Twi and Fante. Ashanti is a well known tribe of this ethnic group.

The construction of the hydroelectric dam on the Volta River in 1965 created one of the largest artificial lakes in the world and changed forever the lives of the people of the Eastern Region.

The importance of the project

Many young people in the Eastern Region of Ghana are unemployed. According to government statistics, more than 10% of the population and that are for more than half young people. According to the Ghanaian MDG report unemployment is rising due to a lack of jobs. Young people with good education are not able to find a job, and want to increase their chances by learning a craft skill.

In addition 30.6 percent of the 1.7 million young people aged six years and older has never been to school. As many as 55.5% of the teenage girls drop out because of pregnancy and HIV / AIDS cases are estimated to be no less than 37.3%.

The implementing organisation

Compassion for Humanity (C4H) is a community-based organization that mediates in finding internships for young adults who are enthusiastic and talented. Thanks to these internships they can learn a trade, and – with the aid of microcredit – set up their own businesses. So they can eventually earn their living.

The envisaged project results

In 2015, C4H, with financial support (€ 860) from the Van Doorn Foundation set up an apprenticeship program for a small group of young adults. C4H identified seven internships with small companies and made learning aids / tools available (e.g. sewing machines, electrical equipment and all kinds of tools and instruments) on a microcredit lending basis. Thanks to this apprenticeship program, these young adults were given the opportunity to learn a trade (e.g. hairdresser, dressmaker / tailor, electrician or welder) during the internship and using the same tools they could then set up their own small businesses.

The chance of sustainability

At the end of 2016 a workshop was organised to allow the interns to share their experiences (including challenges), learn from those experiences and further encourage / motivate each other. During the workshop, it was decided to repeat this approach in other small cities in the region. Discussions have taken place with local authorities and local businesses and it has been decided to appoint the young people who previously followed the apprenticeship program (and successfully set up their own business) as coach for future trainees. Furthermore, it has been decided to make a documentary to allow faster replication among a large group of unemployed young people.

The progress of the project

The project started with an internship and microcredit (in the form of the provision of tools) for just seven young people. After the training period, they started their own business and they were able to repay their microcredit in an average period of five months. This made it possible to replicate this successful approach ultimately for eighteen young people.

After the apprenticeship program has proven successful, C4H wanted to double the number of young people that can benefit from the program. To search for internships for an additional thirteen young people and to give them a micro-credit (in the form of tools) € 3,100 was needed. C4H could contribute € 800 itself and VDS contributed in 2015 – thanks to a donation from KWA Business Consultants in The Netherlands – the remaining € 2300.

The result

The project became a great success, both the apprenticeships followed by the young people, the tools made available on a micro-credit basis, the start-up of their own businesses as the coaching of skilled but less “commercial” among the young people (buddy system). The micro-credits made available has to be repaid in one year and the progress reports revealed that in general, 93% of the micro credit has been repaid within nine months, a fantastic achievement!

A great example of a project where you can achieve great results with relatively few resources!