Due to COVID-19 restrictions, 22 million people in Ghana have experienced declines in income. According to local reports, people whose existence depends on daily wages, especially in urban Ghana, are the most affected.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Ghana and local Seventh-day Adventist churches, in collaboration with Ghana’s National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP), trained more than 2,700 youth in key areas such as catering, phone repairs, cosmetics, and “climate-smart” farming as part of the government’s initiative to reduce the economic impact of COVID-19.
“ADRA is implementing technical and vocational educational training sessions to help young people acquire skills for employment,” Samuel Allotey, ADRA’s communications officer in Ghana, said. “The individuals who excel will receive start-up tokens to break into the market scene and train others.”
Allotey added that ADRA will use real-time monitoring and evaluation systems to track data points and improve performance. The youth who received the training will gather and transmit data on outputs and outcome indicators for analysis and reporting. The training will facilitate virtual monitoring and prompt decision-making. Periodic field visits to the project beneficiaries will be undertaken to monitor progress and share impact stories.
“Development and food security is a top priority right now,” Allotey said. “Tourism and travel are at a minimum, creating a domino effect on the food market, motels, and restaurant businesses.”
To combat the lack of food security, ADRA partnered with local Adventist churches to train 199 women in climate-smart vegetable production. Not only did the beneficiaries receive educational classes in gardening and nutrition, but they also received free seeds.
“This project was so well received that ADRA plans to coordinate another program with an additional 100 persons,” Allotey said.
Allotey said that ADRA is focusing on additional efforts in Ghana to help combat COVID-19.
According to local officials, Ghana’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests has more than doubled since last year. In Accra, the capital city, the B.1.1.7 variant now constitutes 88 percent of all infections. To reduce the risk of the virus, equipment for essential health workers is needed.
“ADRA is providing personal protective equipment [PPE] to 31 Adventist health facilities. There are about 4,000 Ghana Adventist Health Service [GAHS] workers who need to be protected. Many of them have not received a second dose of the vaccine, and yet they are frontline workers,” Allotey said.
“ADRA will also collaborate with the GAHS facilities to provide appropriate cold storage systems to store and conduct the vaccinations to the community level when necessary.”
GAHS facilities will be assisted to acquire basic equipment to disseminate COVID-19 prevention messages and vaccine information at their outpatient departments, according to Allotey. In addition, more than 200 Adventist churches will participate in the COVID-19 prevention protocols and vaccination awareness campaign.
Allotey added that pastors and church leaders will use their podiums and digital platforms to engage communities for change, with the aim of reaching 10,000 people.
According to Ghana Health Service (GHS), there are reportedly more than 128,000 COVID-19 cases as of October 13, with 1,158 deaths.