Mr Oswald Oduro, the President of Rotary Club of Accra Ring Road Central, has advised the public to observe all COVID-19 protocols as directed by the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service.
He said COVID-19 was real and must not be taken for granted, adding; “always wear your face mask, use hand sanitisers or wash your hands with soap under running water to keep safe from getting infected”.
Mr Oduro said this at a graduation ceremony at Bortianor near Accra to certify and empower 41 ladies who had benefitted from the Club’s Community Economic Empowerment Project.
The project trains the ladies in beads, soap and wig-cup making, hair braiding, interior decoration and baking, while offering them start-up packages to enable them to start their own businesses to support themselves, their families and communities.
The project was in partnership with the Opportunities Industrialization Centre, Ghana (OICG).
The graduation ceremony was held in two sessions in compliance with social distancing and all COVID-19 protocols.
Mr Oduro said the Club would continue to monitor and evaluate the progress of the beneficiaries and give them the needed support and guidance to make sure their businesses succeeded.
Mr Samuel Debrah, the Executive Director, OICG, said the training formed part of an outreach programme where participants were taken through apprenticeship within three to 14 months depending on the choice of programme, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Training Masters.
He said the apprentices were also made to take National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) Proficiency Certificate One to give them the needed professional certification for their trade.
Mr Paakow Sam, the Project Director, Rotary Club, said the idea to support the ladies was conceived about two years ago when Rotary Club Accra-Ring Road and Accra Industrial Area came together to finance the project.
He said the Club consulted opinion leaders in the community for their approval and commenced with the training process in December, 2019, adding that beneficiaries should have graduated in March but for the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Madam Joyce Afua Ackon, Programmes Coordinator, OICG, advised the beneficiaries to be persistent when faced with challenges and never give up but work hard to succeed in their business.
“Be mindful of time and keep to good personal hygiene practices to enhance your interpersonal relationship with your customers,” she said.
Ms Rosemary Wilson, a beneficiary, expressed gratitude to the organisers and trainers and pledged to put the skills to practice to enhance their livelihoods.