YACAN Holds Dialogue with Local Businesses

By Joe Tucker
The Youth and Child advocacy Network (YACAN-SL) and its implementing partners–Plan International under the Girls Advocacy Alliance Project (GAA) has on Friday,7th February 2020 organised a meeting with about 20 local organisation and businesses within the Kanikay Community.
The meeting was held to help create internship and apprenticeship opportunities for young women living in various communities.
The meeting had attracted locals representing different works of life like tailors, carpenters, hair dressers, business owners, welders, cobblers.
The rationale was for them to understand the bottlenecks associated with internship and apprenticeships from hindsight.
Head of Operations ,YACAN, Mrs. Ya Marie Jah Bah in her presentation noted that they have organised the meeting as part of their activities under the GAA Project.
She disclosed that they started the process at different levels in 2011 and concluded in 2015 before eventually starting the GAA project.
The project according to her aims at addressing some of the challenges deterring girls and young women from actualizing their dreams or aspirations in life.
She underscored the point that the issues around early child marriage age, early pregnancy and the economic empowerment of the girl child are critical.
She also encouraged the young women and local business not to indulge in complacency.
Project Officer, Plan International,Paulyanna H. Kanu –Kobby said some have already learnt skills but lacked the requisite work experience to help them get jobs.
This according to him is the reason for hosting the dialogue which he noted was to encourage those who have developed skills to be gainfully employed in small businesses and factories.
She urged community people to come together to advocate for their children to be able to work as interns in the various factories around them.
Responding some local stakeholders like Madam Rugiatu Bangura, a hair dressing shop noted that the idea is laudable.
She recounted that she has supported many women with skills that are now doing well in their respective business.
Mr. Alieu Sow, a cobbler who owns a training centre and a shop that produces locally made bags and other items said many young people have benefited from his initiative.
At the end of the meeting some stakeholder promised to do more to ensure young women are empowered in the community.Thirty (30) young women show interest to start meaningful engagements in various apprenticeship programs.

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