The Ashanti Regional Department of Children, operating under the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, has initiated a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at addressing the pressing issues affecting the livelihoods of street porters, locally known as ‘Kayayie’.
These individuals, who endure challenging conditions to make a living, have long been in need of urgent attention and assistance.
In a pivotal stakeholders’ meeting held in Kumasi, organized by the Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP) in collaboration with the Department of Children, Department of Gender, and Department of Social Welfare, and generously funded by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), it became evident that the challenges facing the ‘Kayayie’ extend beyond financial difficulties and shelter concerns.
They also face alarming issues such as sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and numerous other factors that profoundly impact their lives.
Rev. Mrs. Akoanam Kevi, the Executive Director of the Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP), underscored the magnitude of challenges confronting the ‘Kayayie’ community in Ghana.
“We are poised for action in organizing business, leadership and mentorship fairs for the transformation of the street porters, and I am further pleading with various policy makers, especially the government to make life changing policies that can transform the life of the ‘Kayayies’ as we also do our part,” she added.
She further revealed that PAYDP, with the support of UNFPA, is currently implementing programs under the Ending Child Marriage and Empowering Adolescent Girls initiatives.
These programs are designed to empower vulnerable adolescents and ‘Kayayie’ enabling them to make informed decisions, enhance their economic status, and reduce their vulnerability to Gender-Based Violence (GBV), including forced marriages and co-habitation.
The forthcoming Kayayie Business, Leadership, and Mentorship Fair is scheduled to take place from November 8th to November 10th, 2023. This event holds the promise of transforming the lives of thousands of ‘Kayayie’ individuals in the Ashanti Region and beyond.
It represents a significant step forward in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by this marginalized community, fostering their empowerment and resilience.
Story by Emmanuel Agbley Oteng