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“They said it was a man’s job”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 16:13

For Vida Badu, 27 years, she knew exactly what she wanted to do when the training options came up.

Training options under the European Union-funded, Sustainable Livelihoods and Transparent Local Authorities (SLATLA) Project being implemented by ActionAid Ghana in partnership with two local assemblies; the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMMA) in the Greater Accra Region and the Sunyani West District Assembly (SWDA) in the Brong Ahafo Region.

When the LaNMMA team visited the Kweiman community where Vida lives, she attended the community meeting where the Assembly representatives presented the various trainings the project would be offering to beneficiaries.

Plumbing

she says with a wide smile on her face, her eyes bright and assured.

My big brother was a plumber and I used to follow him around every time I was on vacation. I would help him by bringing tools or hold a bolt in place as he worked. I absolutely loved it and knew immediately I heard about all the trainings being offered that it was what I wanted to specialise in. I signed up that very day.

The three-month training, provided by the National Vocational and Training Institute (NVTI), helped Vida obtain a practical understanding of the craft of plumbing but in a society where gender roles are hard to break, she faced her equal share of disapproval

A woman learning plumbing?

she asks, laughing out loud

A lot of people who heard what I was doing condemned it, including my friends and even some family members. They said it was a man’s job and that I should take up sewing or cooking. But my mother was very supportive. She gave me vim

Vida remained undeterred and on Thursday, 19th July 2018, she, along with other beneficiaries of the project who had successfully undergone the training, received starter packs from the European Union.

Divided into groups, Vida’s team, comprising of five other beneficiaries, were handed their starter packs consisting of chisels, a portable hand drilling machine, sledge hammers, spanners etc.

I love the packages they have given to us! It shows that a lot of thought went into it and I will do well to use it effectively with my group members.

File 40254Vida Badu, 27 years, and Margaret Okoe, 30 years, during practical training sessions in plumbing under the SLATLA project

Overall, 14 beneficiaries of the plumbing training were put into groups and provided with the starter packs to register as cooperatives and kickstart their businesses.

The SLATLA project, launched in 2017 with the objective of supporting growth in the informal economy in the two regions, has been working with local artisans, agribusiness entrepreneurs, ICT professionals and many others to promote sustainable livelihoods, decent work and positive employable options for women and youth groups.