Trax Ghana builds Youth Empowerment and Community Center

In collaboration with Trax Norway (Bergen, Norway), Trax Ghana with funding from Engineers without Boarders (EwB, Norway) has built a Youth Empowerment and Community Center at Kabusgo, Bongo district – UER. 

The construction started in November 2022 and took 3 months to complete. The building that contains a – conference hall; library, computer lab, server room and office space is intended to serve multiple roles:

We aim at providing supplementary curricular education to deprived students primarily in the age-group 12-16 years, to increase their chances of completing Junior High School (JHS) thus, gaining access to higher education and wider career options. We have partnered with SmileCharity to acquire computer servers and tablets for this purpose to help improve the quality of education using state-of-the-art computer infrastructure developed by the charity. This infrastructure has been used with success in other areas in Africa (e.g. Kenya).   

The Center will re-engage students who had dropped out of Junior High School (JHS) to help them either complete the level or educate them in alternative sets of livelihood and markets to become self-reliant.

We will liaise with local health authorities to provide tuition in reproductive health education, as a step to minimizing the risk of school drop-out due to teen pregnancy.

The center will also serve as a tool to strengthen social networks and community mobilization and participation

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In collaboration with Trax Norway (Bergen, Norway) and Engineers without Boarders (EwB, Norway), Trax Ghana play host to two students from Norway for their respective fieldwork.

Helene Bergo Nygårdsvik is a Master student at the University of Agder (UiA) who is writing a thesis on optimizing productivity and value chains for greenhouses. A component of her research involves field work and she used the Trax Ghana-EwB, Norway partnership greenhouse located in Kabusgo, Bongo district (UER) as a specific example. 

Erik Kim Storrønning is a Master student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His thesis is on methods for improving drinking water quality and accessibility in rural communities which he carried out in rural farming communities where Trax Ghana operates.

The theses of the students were carried under the auspices of the EwB (Norway) ‘Meaningful Masters’ (Master med Mening— program and fully funded and supported by EwB (Norway). Trax Ghana supported the field works in granting access to the greenhouse, facilitating surveys and interviews, and other necessary courtesies.

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Trax Ghana Greenhouse Farming Project

In collaboration with Trax Norway (Bergen, Norway) and Engineers without Boarders (EwB, Norway), Trax Ghana has acquired a 300sqM greenhouse, located in Kabusgo, Bongo district (UER). With the greenhouse, Trax aims at creating a vegetable commodity value chain to support an existing youth scholarship scheme, provide youth education and part-time jobs, and to promote the technology as a viable approach to sustainable vegetable production.

The ambitious project will use proceeds from the sale of vegetables to support the education of especially adolescent girls from the poorest households with financial incentives in the form of scholarships to ensure retention and completion of basic and secondary levels of education thus gaining access to higher education and wider career options. The expected results of the project include bringing about long-lasting socio-economic impact in the lives of the beneficiaries through education. In collaboration with the school head and teachers, the project selected ten girls of St. Luke Junior High School (JHS), Kabusgo as the first batch to benefit from the project. The girls receive training on agronomic practices from the greenhouse manager, Barikisu Iddrisu and work in the greenhouse in their leisure time. The premise is that they benefit by partnering in the project as ultimate beneficiaries as opposed to being passive recipients.

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Trax Ghana Contribute to Addressing Youth Unemployment and Poverty in the Upper East Region

Trax Ghana in partnership with Tools for Self Reliance, UK have started a new project,  providing formal training opportunities for young people in the Upper East region of Ghana.  The aim of the project is to support the development of sustainable livelihoods and income diversification for the youth. During the project, young adults will be trained in a trade skill and equipped and supported to set up own business. The first part of the project covers literacy and numeracy, and an intensive life skills and functional business management training.

Following, each participant is attached to a master craftsperson for twelve-month intensive vocational training. The project will train 26 young people in welding, carpentry, tailoring, masonry, appliance repair and auto mechanics. In addition, 130 local women who are already working with Shea trees to produce Shea butter will be equipped with skills to increase cultivation techniques as well as the picking and packing process which will ensure they are meeting the highest environmental standards and produce good quality products for the market. Significant of the project is that, apprentices identified to commute longer distances to learn their trade were provided with bicycles to travel back and forth regularly.

Trainees of the project will be issued a certificate of apprenticeship and equipped with high-quality tools kit and seed money to get started when they graduate.

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Trax Ghana is placing host to two (2) Level 300 female students, Badani Belinda and Bediako Happy who are offering B.A. Development Education Studies in the Department of Development Management and Policy Studies, Faculty of Sustainable Development Studies, University for Development Studies (UDS).

The four-week internship placement from Monday 2nd August to Tuesday 31st August, 2021 is intended to equip the students with practical skills to compliment what they learn in the classroom.

 As part of their field work at Trax Ghana, the students will review Trax Ghana and Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR), UK partnership project.

The project started in 2007 and was intended to reduce youth unemployment in local communities through skills development training that will translate into sustainable jobs, incomes and improved livelihoods.  The first phase of the project covers business and entrepreneurship training, life skills, literacy and numeracy trainings. Following the first phase, project beneficiaries were attached to well-resourced master craftsperson in various communities for intensive vocational training in their area of interest. Upon graduation, each trainee receives a certificate for participation, refurbished tools kit and seed money to establish a workshop for income generation. Each graduate then recruits at least two apprentices for transfer of skills and knowledge leading to the creation of more job opportunities and expansion of the local economy.

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Trax Ghana participated in CAOF AGM

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Trax Ghana staff undergo training in Irrigation and Greenhouse Technology

Trax Ghana Gender officer, Miss Barikisu Iddrisu completed a 3-month practical training in Akomadan in the Ashanti region on the use of greenhouse technology for farming.

One of the major challenges facing agriculture in Ghana is attracting young people to the profession, who are deterred by the outdated farming methods. Greenhouse technology, which is a fast-developing system of vegetable production, seeks to stem the flow of graduates from the sector. The course is intended to equip beneficiaries with hands-on techniques on how to use agro-technology for sustainable farming and as part of the government’s larger plan to train entrepreneurs in agriculture especially the high value end of production; mainly fruits and vegetables to support the development of the sector and the transformation of the economy. The training programme is collaboration between the government of Ghana under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Agritop Ghana, an Israeli company and operators of the greenhouse villages in the country.

The training equipped participants with the knowledge, attitude, practice and skills needed to manage a farm business efficiently. The well-structured curriculum covers: land preparation, nursery management, transplanting, irrigation, fertilization, crop protection, agro-techniques and post-harvest among others. Special emphasis was placed on the production of high-value vegetables like tomato, cucumber and sweet pepper. A certificate was issued after successful completion of the part-theoretical/part-practical program.

According to Barikisu, the 3-month course has changed her mind-set on the concept of farming. She is currently looking for suitable production area and logistics support to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the value end commercial production of organic healthy vegetables with the involvement of women for local employment generation, stable source of income and poverty alleviation.

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Trax Ghana donates start-up Kits to trained artisans

At least 22 artisans trained in various forms of vocational skills in the Talensi and Nabdam districts, received start-up kits and certificates after completing a one-year vocational training at a brief ceremony in Bolgatanga. The training was organized by a local NGO Trax Ghana in partnership with Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR), UK.

The graduates who included young women and men, were trained in various vocational skills such as welding and fabrication, carpentry, seamstress, masonry, shoe making and repairs and auto mechanics

Trax Ghana and TFSR, UK partnership project started in 2007 and was intended to reduce youth unemployment in local communities through skills development training and support that will translate into sustainable jobs, incomes and improved livelihoods. 

The project beneficiaries were first taken through a 5-day training in life skills with focus on HIV/AIDS, STIs, reproductive health, nutrition, peer-counselling, drug and alcohol abuse. They were also trained on entrepreneurial skills including business management, marketing, records keeping, costing and pricing and Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA).

Following the 5-day training, project beneficiaries were attached to well-resourced master craftsperson in various communities for one year intensive vocational training in their area of interest. Present at the presentation ceremony were master craftsperson, graduates, community representatives, Media, Trax Ghana staff and board members.

The director of Trax Ghana, Vincent Subbey admonished the graduates to use the start-up kits judiciously to expand their businesses so as to earn income for improved livelihoods. He also requested from each graduate to recruit at least two apprentices and pass on acquired skills and knowledge in other to create more job opportunities and expand the local economy.

The artisans were grateful to Trax Ghana and TFSR for the immense support extended to them and pledged that the knowledge and skills acquired will be put into good use not only for their benefit but also for the benefit of their local communities.

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Workshop to finalize draft proposals

Trax Ghana staff and Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR) UK team, Clare (Head of Africa Programme) and Shanna (Africa Programme intern) had a workshop to finalize Trax Ghana draft proposals for fundraising. A Theory of Change (ToC) following a thoughtful conversation about how to strengthen, monitor and evaluate the intended programme was also developed. We considered what we intend to do, who we are targeting for results, why and how we intend to do it, what we expect to achieve and associated risk and mitigation strategies among others.

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Trax-Kavli Scholarships Farm now runs on solar power

The mechanized borehole that supplies water to the farm runs on the national electricity grid, which is both expensive and unreliable due to intermittent power cuts. As a long term solution to the problem, the project explored installation of solarpanels on the farm as cost effective and sustainable source of renewal energy.

Trax Norway shipment of solar panels for cheap, green electricity finally arrived on the scholarships farm in July, 2019. Two experts, Torstein and Truls of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Norway arrived in Ghana, involved and trained six selected local youth (4 males and 2 females) and two Trax Ghana field staff in the installation and maintenance of 30 solar panels on the farm. Following the completion of the installation with current excess capacity, the farm is now off the national grid and this will drastically lower the running cost of the farm and make it much more profitable. The youth who were trained, can also render external services to the general public as a source of livelihood.

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