Mariam Issaka's New Entry

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Mariam Issaka's New Entry: Project Hope: Instilling entrepreneurial skills in young women

Kumasi, GhanaAccra, Ghana
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Project hope targets the training of young street girls who move from the less privileged northern to the southern part of the country to do menial jobs. The project seeks to equip these young girls with entrepreneurial skills to make them economically independent.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if young vulnerable girls could be empowered with entrepreneurial skills to take charge of their lives.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our Study revealed that, the Kayayei girls (head porter largely women) constitutes one of the most vulnerable people in our major cities. Most of them struggle to find themselves in slums with bad accommodation and sanitation facilities. In most cases, they are forced to sleep in the open subjecting them to bad weather conditions and all sorts of sexual violence. Their safety however is also at risk.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Project Hope seeks to present the Kayayei girls other avenues for earning income. Also to present them with vocational skills to be self- employed even with minimal start- up capital such as mobile salon, dress making, liquid soap production, etc. Reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies through capacity building sessions like counselling and peer education.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The training of a target of over 500 girls annually in entrepreneurial skills. With partnership with micro finance and other supports, we intend to support the young girls with micro loans to help them jump start their businesses. We will also incorporate health training specifically in the area of reproductive health as one of their core problems is unplanned parenthood with mares their future prospects. Project Hope has been in touch with successful young women who would serve as mentors to these girls and young women.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The training of over 300 girls in reproductive health and family planning in the suburb of Kumasi, in Ghana. The training of over 20 street girls in production and sales of paper bags as well as search and ensuring the gainful employment of 5 girls who have kids. A projected training of over 500 street girls in the production of liquid soap and tie and dye fabric to ensure economic independence. We intend to spread this impact to other major cities in the country where female head pottering is rampant

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Project hope is an initiative that seeks to empower the young Kayayei with the needed skills and knowledge to be able to cause a positive change in their lives. It will provide them with the platform to acquire vocational skills which will contribute to their economic empowerment ultimately improving upon their quality of life and living standards. It seeks to encourage them to seize educational opportunities as a lasting solution for their problems.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Sourcing for partnership from NGO's involved in girl child education as well as Micro Finance institution who are ready to support these young trainees with flexible payback loans. The project seeks to raise fund from the public, by creating a donations platform to support the project. We will also appeal to the cooperate social responsibility department of companies within the country. We in the future intend to rely on crowd-funding

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Marie Stopes international is addressing the health problems and does nothing to alleviate the standard of living and quality of life of the young Ghanaian female head porter. Our unique introduction of skills development to make these girls self-reliant and economically empowered is our core difference with most organization that are into addressing the numerous problems facing the female head porter in Ghana.

Founding Story

For over a decade now southern Ghana has witnessed a growing influx of young women and teenage girls whose sole business is to engage in the head portage of goods. Most of the woman porters, made up of the teenage girls and young women between the ages of 9-40 hail from the northern part of the country. From discussions and interviews with these girls, we realized it was due to lack of education and better economic alternatives to forced them into such poor life choices. As time passed, we decided to develop this initiative to help solve the problems associated with these class of ladies. We set out to educate and instill entrepreneurial skills to better the lives of these young women.


Mariam Issaka - Media and Communications Director Sefakor Ahiave - Project Officer Samira Mamah - Projects Coordinator Baasit Sommed - Monitoring and Evaluation