With the onset of COVID-19, the Kayayei have had to live their realities with the added effects of the pandemic on trade, income and health.
We can only imagine what the pandemic means for their livelihoods, welfare and that of their families. These women and girls who migrate from rural communities especially from Northern Ghana to urban centres, in search of greener pastures have to endure so many unfortunate experiences. Most of them do not have adequate shelter and have to sleep in the open at fuel filling stations, in front of shops or in open market spaces. This exposes them to a number of security threats and human rights abuses including sexual and gender-based violence, specifically, rape, sexual assault, harassment among others. Such experiences, leave them traumatized, but more than that, this exposes them to various negative reproductive health outcomes, like teenage and unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and maternal and newborn health complications.
The Kayayei Assistance Project (KASPRO) was designed to address some of these challenges and provide assistance to a cohort of 500 Kayayei during this pandemic. Through the project 500 kayayei have been provided with sexual and reproductive health education and sexual and gender-based violence information, nourishment and essential items such as hygiene products, face masks and hand sanitizers. They have also received mentorship and business advisory training courtesy the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and skills training. With support from the National Health Insurance Scheme, we have also enrolled 500 Kayayei unto the scheme.
This Expo was organized to show the benefits we can reap when we make the right investments into the lives of the people, especially the vulnerable, in Ghana. Thanks to the Prudential Life Insurance Limited for supporting this project.