25 young people, 15 females and 10 males between the ages of 16 and 24 have graduated from a six-week course in mushroom cultivation and snail rearing.
The youth who all live in Dansoman, a suburb of Accra also received training in bookkeeping, small business management and social media marketing.
All the beneficiaries of the training are youth who have completed Junior High School but for various reasons were unable to enter Senior High School.
One of the beneficiaries, Juliet Oppong said that the training has been very beneficial to her. “Apart from the specific training I got in mushroom growing, I also learnt a lot about how to run a business and market my products. That is knowledge I can apply in any other business I choose to pursue”.
The training was organized by Educational Resources, a local NGO which specializes in education and youth development issues. Paul Mensah, the training coordinator, congratulated the trainees for the hard work they put in over the six weeks and encouraged them to put their newly gained knowledge into practice immediately.
He assured them that Educational Resources would continue to monitor their progress and provide them with technical support to ensure that they are successful.
Speaking to the media after the graduation ceremony, Mr. Mensah said that Educational Resources intends to roll out similar short training programmes to equip the youth with skills that would assist them to earn a decent living. “For many young people, skills training is their only ticket out of poverty” he said.
According to Mr. Mensah the NGO chose mushroom rearing and snail cultivation because they are both delicacies that are in high demand and the training period does not have to be long. “More importantly, the entry barriers to starting a business in these areas are not high at all” he said.