Kayayeis (head-porters), are mostly young women and men – sometimes below 18 years, who carry loads for fellow Ghanaians, after they have finished shopping in our various markets to their destinations or, to where they can pick vehicles to their destinations.
It is sad when you walk through town and see these young men and women carry backbreaking loads only to receive peanuts at the end of the day.
Many Ghanaians were hoping to hear more about employment when the NDC Manifesto was launched a few weeks back.
It is a fact that the President Mahama led Government has embarked on massive infrastructural development, which is the vehicle for job creation.
It was indeed refreshing to hear the President talk about the fact that 10,000 kayayes will be absorbed into the youth employment program.
This is a hit and the government must be given the thumbs-up for this great vision.
Though Kayaye work is a source of livelihood for many, some are not in the business because they dreamed of it, rather it is because of lack of better opportunities.
It becomes more disheartening when the political parties who are supposed to come up with policies to improve the lives of these kayayes, end up exploiting them. A typical example is the opposition party, taking donations from kayayes in Kumasi in the name of fundraising,somewhere last year.
Already, The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection under President Mahama’s government has 1000 kayayei in a pilot scheme, offering training in batik and soap making, sewing and more. These kayayei were also registered on the NHIS free of charge.
The Ministry has also launched a Family and Child Welfare Policy to address the safety and wellbeing of these kayayei. The policy was developed by the ministry, supported by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund UNICEF and other local and international organisations and civil societies. It seeks to more effectively prevent and protect them from all forms of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation which the northern girls who come to the southern part of Ghana usually become prey to.
It does not come as a surprise therefore, that the NDC in its manifesto, has indicated its quest to take it some notches higher; by absorbing some 10,000 of these kayayes into the youth employment program,in their next term.
Rome was not built in a day, but a political party that has already taken initial steps by training some of these kayayes in its quest to advance and dignify their lives, really gives us hope and positivity as a nation.
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