Business News of 2014-04-05

Woman devotes skills to train girls in weaving

The dream of Annacleta Dugle is to see every young lady working, earning money, living independently and taking care of herself and her immediate relatives.

That is why in spite of all the opportunities to clinch to the monopoly of being the only one producing the local cloth, which is used for making the popular traditional dress 'fugu' at Maame Krobo, she decided to open her doors to interested young girls in Maame Krobo in the Kwahu South District in the Eastern Region, who are without any skills.

Qualification

Since her desire is to offer skills training to young girls, educational qualification is not a prerequisite to be trained by Annacleta. For her, the requirement is that the young lady shows interest in the training.

Her only regret is that most parents do not see the importance of enrolling their daughters in skills training centres.

For some parents, skills development is not a priority for the girl-child as they would prefer to engage their daughters on the farm or sell farm products on market days.

Cost of training

To make an impact, Annacleta has drastically reduced the cost of apprenticeship to attract potential apprentices. Even though similar training can attract between GH¢500 and GH¢1,500 in the cities, Annacleta has offered to remain in Maame Krobo, where she charges far lower than GH¢500. The training takes three years.

“Even with this, most parents complain that it is still too expensive and that explains why so far only seven girls have made themselves available for the training, with two others currently undergoing the training,” Annacleta told the Daily Graphic.

Asked why she prefered staying at Maame Krobo and not in the city, she said she felt her services were needed there, where most of the girls married at tender ages with no skills and ended up depending entirely on their husbands.

Plight of girl-child

"Most of the girls here are either dropouts or have never been to the classroom before, so as they grow up, the only thing they think about is marriage, with no clue as to how to run their families,” she said.

Annacleta explained that only nine girls had been trained since 2006, a pointer to the fact that young girls were not too eager to acquire skills, especially in weaving, “yet this is a trade I have been in since 1989 and that is what has kept me going.”

She said anytime she got the opportunity, she often would advise parents to help their children, especially the girl-child, to acquire some skills since they never had the opportunity to go to school or further their education to any appreciable level. “I have always advised parents that anyone who misses out on education and does not have any form of skills is doomed. He or she will not even get a cleaning job in the near future,” she said.

Dream

Annacleta, who has had a very successful weaving business spanning over two decades, completed the St Clare Vocational Centre at Tumu in the Upper West Region. She worked in her hometown, Liero, also in the Upper West Region, for about five years before relocating to Maame Krobo.

She dreams of expanding her training centre to become a fully-fledged vocational training institute where young girls could learn weaving, batik, tie-dye making, as well as graphic designing.

Annacleta appealed to non-governmental organisations that are interested in the welfare of the girl-child to encourage and support them to acquire skills to enable them to live independent lives.