MTN Ghana Foundation has supported girls liberated from Trokosi shrines in parts of the Volta Region with vocational skill training at Baptist Vocational Training Institute.
Baptist Vocational Institute located at Frankadua in Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region was established by Ghana Baptist Convention in 1998 after the practice was abolished, to provide vocational skills training to trokosi girls liberated from various shrines.
The center offers catering, dressmaking/tailoring, Kente-weaving, hairdressing, Batik tie and die, beads designing and entrepreneurial skills among others.
MTN Ghana Foundation sponsored the 15th graduation ceremony of Baptist Vocational Institute which saw 42 students including 17 trokosi liberated girls and 25 private girls who successfully passed their May/June 2021 NVTI examination.
MTN provided start-up equipment such as hair dryers, standing washing base, sewing machines, local ovens, rubber tube cylinders among others as well as seed capitals to the graduates at total cost of over GH₵23,000.
This follows an appeal by the institution to the telecom giant.
MTN Area sales manager for Eastern, Volta, and Oti Regions, Steven Asare said since the inception of the MTN Foundation in 2007, the Foundation has invested over GHC 55.3 million into impacting and life brightening 157 projects across the country.
“With the same commitment, the Foundation committed resources to support students of the Baptist Vocational Training Center. The Foundation Board approved a total of Gh¢20,000 to acquire start-up equipment and seed capital for all 15 beneficiaries who are part of the graduands”.
He continued that “Today, we are happy we had a reason to believe in you from the beginning. We see the fruits of our investment and we are pleased to witness this graduation. We are also proud you have empowered yourselves by acquiring new skills and discovered your individual areas of interest in catering, dress making and hairdressing.”
He urged the beneficiaries to be focused so as to improve their lives.
“As you step out of this institution, remember today’s graduation marks a new beginning in your life. It is our hope that you will become self-reliant by employing the skills you have acquired to improve your livelihood and that of your community.
“Do not allow your past to deter you from succeeding in your career. Remember, you have been well-equipped with the skills necessary to thrive”.
A total of 410 victims of the outlawed cultural practice have been trained by the vocational institute since its establishment. Currently, enrollment at the center stands at 74 comprising 30 ex-trokosi girls and 48 private students.
Despite these successes, Head of Baptist Vocational Training Institute. Mrs Grace Akunor, said the center is facing challenges such as lack of funds, limited workshops for practicals, lack of school bus and inadequate classrooms.
She, therefore, commended MTN Ghana Foundation for the sponsorship package for the graduated students.
She prayed for a sustainable partnership with Ghana’s leading Telecom Company, MTN, to help ameliorate the plight of the school.
The exhibition was conducted by the school to showcase a variety of the products produced by the graduates..