On Sunday, December 29, 2019, The Ink Ghana with support from Unilever Ghana Limited together with other youth-led groups distributed care packages to about 50 kayayei in Nima, a suburb of Accra, during an outreach activity, which forms part of a larger project dubbed #1K_Kayaye_Care_Package_Drive.
The activity took place at the Nima market, where volunteers converged and interacted with the kayayei, before distributing the care packages to about 50 of them. It was a brief activity, as the organizers were determined not to engage the girls for too long on their rest day.
The Ink Ghana is embarking on the Care Package Drive, with the aim of distributing care packages including sanitary pads, toothpastes, toothbrushes, deodorants, laundry soaps, and toilet soaps, to street girls in Accra, popularly known as kayayei who are mostly head porters.
Each care package contained one pack of sanitary pads, one toothpaste, two toothbrushes, one deodorant, two bars of laundry soap, and two bars of toilet soap.
Some of the kayayei expressed delight at the gesture. Rahina was particularly thankful as she shared her excitement that she would not have to spend from the meagre amount she earns daily, on any of the products contained in each package. She said “I am happy that this month I won’t buy pad, and toothpaste. Our money is not enough to be buying all of these things every day, especially deodorant.”
Karima also complained about their poor sleeping places in front of shops, and asked for help with that saying, “we don’t have any proper sleeping place, and so we sleep outside near the gutter. So, when it rains we suffer”.
Various individuals and organizations have contributed their kind support in cash and in items, to make this project a success
Save The Red Days, one of the partners for the project led by Fatima Bintah provided sanitary pads, in a bid to increase awareness on the need for personal hygiene among girls.
Other partners include Recycling For Hope, Social Youth Drive, Hope For the Street Child Foundation and El Jay Creatives.
One of the volunteers, Grace East expressed excitement at the opportunity to participate in the initiative. Grace who is a Fulbright Scholar currently conducting her research work in Accra said, “it’s amazing to be part of this outreach, and interact with the kayaye”. She commended the team for embarking on such a positive project.
The poor living conditions of young females in the streets, who are mostly head porters lead to severe health and personal hygiene challenges. Their inability to regularly afford basic welfare needs like sanitary pads, toothpaste and toothbrushes, bathing soap and more makes them vulnerable to exploitation, extortion and various forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV). These expose them to maltreatments that constitute GBV; negatively impacting society, especially girls and women, and pose serious challenges to women empowerment and consequently socioeconomic progress in Ghana. For these reasons and more The Ink Ghana, which is a youth-led Non-Profit Organization has teamed up with some organizations to embark on a Care Package Distribution Drive targeting 1,000 kayaye in Accra.
The project aims to distribute welfare packages to 1,000 kayaye in Accra, promote hygiene and personal care habits among street girls, as well as create mentorship, life coaching and career guidance opportunities for kayaye.
Last Sunday’s distribution brings the total number of packages and beneficiaries so far to 100, in addition to a similar activity at the Mamobi market, in November, 2019.
Ink Ghana welcomes individuals and corporate organizations alike to support the initiative with kind donations in cash or items.
Source: Ijahra Larry Chibara