The Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project is a four-year action from the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, the SNV Netherlands Development Organization and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). The project aims at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable green businesses in two selected regions in Ghana; Ashanti and Western. In Western Region, the project is being implemented in four (4) Municipal Assemblies; Ahanta West, Wassa Amenfi East, Jomoro and Nzema East. GrEEn is implemented under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa with a funding of EUR 20M from the EU and co-funding from SNV and UNCDF.
As part of the project arrangement, for every infrastructure investment to be implemented with Labour Intensive Cash for Work (CfW) component, corresponding beneficiary labours in the communities are to be selected and sensitized on the project. In view of this, a community engagement was held on 19th and 20th July, 2023 at Fisheries in Axim to sensitize beneficiaries on the cash for work component. Representations at the hearing were Municipal Works Engineer, Assistant Development Planning Officer, Municipal Internal Auditor, Municipal Budget Analyst, Municipal Finance Officer, GrEEn project team, a team from Fidelity Bank and community members. The community members were invited through announcement which was made at the Community Information Center. The language used at the hearing were Fante and Twi. The turnout for the hearing was great with the youth and women forming majority of the numbers.
2.0 CASH FOR WORK (CfW)
A brief presentation on the cash for work component was done by Nana Serwaa, a team member from GrEEn project desk. According to Nana Serwaa, Cash for Work is basically a sum of money determined in a project implementation manual to be paid to an eligible Cash for Work beneficiary in remuneration of labour. The project is looking for 200 beneficiaries from Axim and priority will be given to the youth and women although the men are not left out. The duration for the GrEEn project is 3 months. When the project starts, beneficiaries will work 5 days in a week that is from Monday to Friday and 3 hours per day. There will be 3 shifts in a day so beneficiaries can choose a shift which is suitable to them. A clocking system will be used to monitor the attendance of beneficiaries and anyone found not been serious will be taken out from the programme. In addition, beneficiaries will be trained by SOS-Children’s Villages Ghana on identifying green opportunities in their communities and how to secure green employment or start a green business. The beneficiaries will be paid a daily minimum wage of GH₵14.88 to help create their green businesses. Bank accounts will be opened for each beneficiary at Fidelity Bank where the monies will be paid.
2.1 SOS CHILDREN VILLAGES GHANA
A representative from the SOS team, Mr. Moses also made a brief presentation on the SOS training that beneficiaries will receive during the commencement of the programme. The SOS Children’s Villages Netherlands was contracted by UNCDF to enroll interested and eligible Ghanaians in a Cash for Work (CfW) programme that includes life and employability skills training and provide them with coaching and mentoring support. This support is been implemented through SOS Children’s Villages Ghana. Participants will receive coaching on how to identify possible green businesses, create a sustainable savings habit and finding effective ways to seek available funding for their future businesses. A graduation ceremony will be held to award CfW participants who will successfully complete the training with certificates.
3.0 REGISTRATION OF PARTICIPANTS
After engaging the community members in the discussions and answering to their concerns, the next activity was the registration of participants. The Ghana card was the only accepted national identification tool used for the process of registration. The target beneficiaries were the youth and women. Data entry officers were given some training on how to input the data onto the system. The registration per person took about 10-15 minutes and covered topics like your nationality, education, occupation, if you have lived outside Ghana before and basic household information. At the end of the 2 days, a total of 200 participants were registered unto the App (SurveyCTO Collect v2.80) with accounts opened for 174 participants. The remaining 26 participants couldn’t meet the requirements for the account registration so they were asked to come back with the remaining information. The deadline for Cash for Work registration is 28th July, 2023.