OISL holds 7th graduation for Kayayei girls


Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL), a leading Savings and Loans company in Ghana, has organised the 7th graduation ceremony for street porters (Kayayei) after they underwent a vocational skills training.

35 girls participated in the company’s flagship social investment programme which is expected to leverage their newly acquired skills to transform the lives of those who live and labour in the markets and streets to make ends meet.

These girls underwent an intensive four-week training on practical vocational skills, such as beading, baking and soap-making. Since its inception, this programme has successfully taken 202 young women through this impactful programme with the sole aim of supporting these girls to establish businesses of their own after graduation. As part of the graduation, the girls were equipped with start-up kits and issued with certificates as well.

The graduation event was to celebrate the lives of these girls who had completed the four-week intensive programme, showcasing their dedication to endure to the end against all obstacles.

The occasion was graced by Katey Assem, Board Chairman of OISL; Hajia Azara Abukari-Haroun, Chairperson for the Board Transformation Committee of OISL; Dr. Francis Takyi, Ag. Deputy CEO and Chief Risk Officer of OISL; Bishop Emmanuel Victor Adjei Owiredu, Overseer of Jewels of God Church; Nachinaa Isah Abass, the Dagomba Chief of Accra; and other management staff of OISL.

Hajia Abukari-Haroun, who was the guest speaker for the occasion, emphasised on OISL’s commitment to creating a positive impact in the lives of people. She motivated the recipients to embrace their new-found skills gained through the programme and to maximise their potentials.

Mr. Assem, in a heartfelt message, expressed his gratitude to the Kayayei community and the donors, Medicor Foundation, for the programme. He appreciated the ladies for taking this transformative step forward, which is a symbol of letting go of their past struggles as kayayei and never to return again. He urged them to embrace the brighter future of hope and success, which is not for themselves alone but also for their families.

The Kayayei Project is a collaborative effort between Opportunity International Savings and Loans Ltd. and Medicor Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering and educating these marginalised kayayei girls.

The Medicor Foundation is an independent and charitable foundation that focuses on education, health and social care to contribute to the sustainable improvement of the well-being and empowerment of the vulnerable and disadvantaged people in countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Eastern Europe.

Out of the 202 ladies who have been trained since the inception of the programme, 175 of them – representing 87 percent – are currently utilising the skills acquired to fend for themselves and their families, and 95 of them – representing 48 percent – have relocated back to the Northern region for resettlement. These ladies now serve as a living proof of the inherent capabilities present in every marginalised person, showcasing the remarkable possibilities that can be unlocked through appropriate opportunities and support.

Opportunity International Savings and Loans currently has 38 branches serving over 640,500 clients across the country, advancing financial inclusion and bringing clients at the base of the pyramid into the mainstream financial services using innovative range of products and services. Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited is a subsidiary of Opportunity International Global Operations, with its Head Office in Chicago, USA.

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