PAMGAD Mentorship Project

Ghana has many communities that experience high drop-out of young girls from High Schools due to teenage pregnancy, poor academic performance, and financial challenges. Parents also pull girls out of schools to assist with family economic activities. The PAMGAD Club project mentors High School Girls and supports them extra tuition to enable them to stay in school and excel in their academic work.

The project beneficiaries participate in:

  • Monthly mentoring sessions
  • Extra classes in core subjects
  • Counseling sessions
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Leadership development sessions
  • Health, personal hygiene, and etiquette education

 

Girls’ Summer Boot Camp Project

Most schools in rural Ghana and marginalized communities are not endowed with resources for the study of Science, Technology, English, and Mathematics (STEM). Girls in such schools are at a double disadvantage. The result is that they perform poorly in these core subjects and are unable to pursue higher education. The OAK Summer Boot Camp is a 1-week residential event that brought together girls from low income communities and poorly endowed schools to participate in STEM training and workshops.

The project beneficiaries participate in:

  • General IT and Computer clinics
  • Tuition in STEM courses
  • Counseling sessions
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Leadership development sessions
  • Health, personal hygiene, and etiquette education

 

 

ADD-Vance Scholarship Project

The ADD-VANCE scholarship scheme is OAK Foundation’s flagship education empowerment support fund. Even though it was introduced in 2016, it was officially launched in early 2017 with a seed capital of US$5000. Our target is to grow the fund through sponsorships and quality fund management into an annual revolving fund of circa GHS1million and to award full bursaries to 25 female beneficiaries drawn from selected social profiles year-on-year. The scholarships are awarded to teenage mothers or victims of substance abuse who are adjudged to have potential to pursue basic education and progress to tertiary levels.

In 2017, 2 full scholarships were awarded to Ms. Nana Akua Brobbey, a teenage mother and former substance abuser, to enable her to enroll at the CHRISEC Secondary School in Kumasi; and Ms. Hannah Adjei Snr to enable her to enroll for a University top-up at the Heritage Christian University College in Accra.

In 2018, OAK Foundation awarded 5 ADD-VANCE Scholarships, bringing the total number of scholarship beneficiaries to 7

 

Connecting Friends PEN-PAL Project

The Connecting Friends Pen-Pal Project was launched in 2018 with 500 members in Ghana and Germany. The project seeks to connect young Ghanaian students with their foreign counterparts through the medium of letter writing and sharing of cultural experiences. The objectives are to promote intercultural understanding and relationships, while improving on literacy skills of the participating students. The project also seeks to connect schools in the respective countries to facilitate skills transfer in teaching and school management.

Programme successfully started in 2018 with 5 Ghanaian-German school partnerships (3 schools and 1 church Sunday school).  100 young girls participated in the pen-pal project in Firm Foundation School, Ejuraman SHS, and Church of Christ SHS.

EAGLES Club Project

The Eagle’s Clubs are platforms that OAK uses to enhance the professional and career prospects of young ladies from disadvantaged backgrounds who are enrolled in various tertiary institutions. The Clubs organize professional skills training, job fairs, internships and seminars with HR Managers of reputable firms in the regions. 

The project beneficiaries participate in:

  • Professional and career development training
  • Civic and leadership training seminars
  • Volunteer activities and opportunities to mentor and coach PAMGAD Girls Club members
  • Local and international exchange programmes
  • Leadership development training projects

 

OAK Graduate Internship Project

The OAK Graduate Internship Project works with state and non-state institutions to find summer and post-degree internships for its female members. The objective is to support these young students and graduates secure internships devoid of harassment in any form. OAK has partnered with the National Service Authority to secure internship placements for final year EC members.  The post-internship reports provided by the host organizations lend credence to the effectiveness of the Employable Skills training organized for EC members.

The HATCH Initiative (THI)

The HATCH is OAK Foundation’s entrepreneurship development project. We use this project to develop women entrepreneurs in selected sectors. The programme trains and supports female graduates to set up and manage enterprises. THI is OAK Foundation’s Young Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme. The Objective is to support 25 female graduates to initiate and grow commercial entities and social enterprises over the next 3 years.

Through the THI, OAK Foundation seeks to develop professional women entrepreneurs in productive sectors of the Ghanaian economy. In 2017, the THI was initiated with 5 female graduates from 3 Universities in Accra. The 5 participants were sponsored by OAK to undergo enterprise start-up clinics, internships, and mentor shadowing. In addition, the participants received sponsored advisory services and facilitated funding applications to various business assistance funds. The programme was organized in partnership with creative arts & vocational training institutes

The project components of the HATCH project are:

  • Entrepreneurship internships and shadowing
  • Advisory services and facilitated funding applications to business assistance funds
  • Linkages with creative arts and vocational training institutes

 

The Women & Youth in Agribusiness Incubator

The Women & Youth in Agribusiness project is an agribusiness incubator that benefits young persons, particularly women. It grooms women to initiate micro enterprises in agriculture and agri-value chain. The project has 3 modules targeting various communities and segments of beneficiaries – female graduates: female small-holder farmers and unemployed youth.

Women-in-Agribusiness Incubator

OAK provided support for small-holding women farmers in Ejura – Ashanti. The support came in the form of land allocation, provision of farm mechanization services and improved seeds and seedlings. The focus crops for this project were cassava, maize and beans. The programme enabled the small-holder farmers to achieve security in access-to-land and increase their yields. As a result, their earnings and livelihoods improved significantly. The programme covered 200 women farmers in Ejura. With the support of GIZ and Deng, OAK provided the beneficiaries of the programme as well as the settler community of Sunkwae with solar-pump borehole and irrigation systems.

Youth-in-Agribusiness Incubator

The YiA Incubator targeted 200 youth in Ejura – Ashanti. Programme dynamics were similar to that of WiA but focused on young persons who were interested in developing careers in agriculture and agribusiness. In addition to the services provided under the WiA, beneficiaries of the YiA received farm skills training and extension support. 20 young persons were assisted to start 5-10-acre farms on a 100-acre lot secured by OAK from the Ejuraman Traditional Council.

The project beneficiaries receive:

  • Land allocation
  • Technical support and extension services
  • Farm mechanization equipment support
  • Sales, marketing, and distribution services
  • Business management advisory services
  • Value addition capabilities
  • Land clearance services
  • Development of outgrower and co-operative schemes

 

Agro-Process Incubator

In 2017, OAK expanded the enterprise development programmes to include the AgroProcess Incubator. This incubation project supports young women to set up small-scale value addition enterprises in the agriculture value chain. The AgroProcess project links directly with the WYiA projects, providing ready market for the output of the WyiA incubators. The AgroProcess project supports the objective of the farm-to-table objective of the programme. The components of the programme that are in preparatory stages involves:

Set-up of preparatory processor-supply chain partnerships with existing agro-food processors, for e.g. Ayensu Starch Factory, Breweries: GGBL, FMCGs: Nestle, etc.

Bulk packaging for supply chain partnerships with suppliers of fresh farm produce to retail and hospitality industry. Partners are Whytebage Limited and Tayiba African Restaurant.

Ten (10) young persons who registered to participate in this project were taken through screening and induction processes in October 2017. The next phase will commence in Quarter 1, 2018.

Graduate-in-Agribusiness Horticulture

OAK launched the Graduate-in-Agribusiness Horticulture Project (GiA-Horticulture) under the aegis of the broader Youth-in-Agribusiness programme. The GiA-Horticulture initiative aims to promote opportunities in the fruit and vegetable value chain to university graduates, as an avenue for sustainable employment. By way of direct impact, the programme seeks to incubate micro-enterprises in the horticulture sector that are owned and managed by university graduates.

The YiA-Horticulture Module involves the incubation of agri-business enterprises by beneficiaries of the project in the horticulture sub-sector. The scheme features micro-enterprise incubation based on 2-3 acre lots dedicated to the cultivation of a variety of vegetables and fruits. The YiA Horticulture module is implemented as a reality TV competition featuring graduates and final-year student teams from selected tertiary institutions.

The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. Use Reality TV show to showcase to young persons the opportunities in the horticulture value chain using the platform of the GiA-Horticulture Module Incubator project.
  2. Educate 200,000 young people about the opportunities presented by the horticulture value chain and demonstrate how these opportunities could be leveraged to derive sustainable employment and economic livelihoods.
  3. Enable 50 graduates and students to develop skills and competencies in vegetable and fruit farming, value-addition, and marketing.
  4. Ensure the start-up of 25 horticultural enterprises by individuals and/or teams of university graduates and final year students.

The WIVE Project

The WIVE Project has been initiated as an adjunct to the GIA-Horticulture project to address the acute levels of unemployment and economic marginalization faced by young women with no formal education residing in rural and slum communities in Ghana. The project is a cooperative vegetable cultivation initiative that focuses on identifying unemployed females in rural and slum communities who are susceptible to prolonged periods of unemployment and supporting these persons to establish and grow micro-enterprises in the vegetable value-chain. The choice of the vegetable sector for this project is due to the low investment required and its relatively short maturity period. This means that beneficiaries will be able to earn quickly. The project is a 3-month intensive enterprise development comprised of formal workshops and practical on-field training and advisory service by experienced facilitators. The focus of the training will be on organic and vertical farming methods.

Mechanics of the WIVE Training Project

The WIVE Training and Incubation project will comprise of three main components.

  1. Component 1: Enterprise set-up and management skills training:
  • General awareness seminars to educate beneficiaries of the numerous opportunities in horticulture.
  • Horticulture enterprise set-up and management training workshop for 20 screened/pre-selected females.
  1. Component 2: Practical horticulture skills training:
  • Practical farm skills training in vegetable farming using organic and vertical farming systems.
  • Knowledge and skills in vegetable value addition, processing, and marketing.
  • Innovative & Modern skills in farming, i.e. training for beneficiaries in hydroponics & vertical farming
  • Application of new thinking, innovation, and technology in modern vegetable farming.
  1. Component 3: On-site farm/enterprise supervision and advisory:
  • The beneficiaries will be supported to start micro-enterprises in their respective towns of residence.
  • The foundation of these micro-enterprises will be at least 1-acre vegetable farms that beneficiaries will set up.
  • Facilitators and consultants will provide beneficiaries with on-going technical and advisory services.

Women in Mechanization Training Project

To address the challenges faced by women small-holder farmers during pre-season land preparation which include unavailability of tractor operators and exorbitant tractor hiring fees. To create avenues and new opportunities for youth employment:

  • OAK invested in a range of mechanized farm equipment, including a tractor which it hires out to women farmers in two communities at subsidized rates.
  • The equipment is hired out to the women farmers using a ROTA system to allow for wide coverage. The equipment supported farmers in 4 regions in Ghana in 2018.
  • Many of the young persons trained in tractor operation have secured full-time employment

Smallholder Farmer Cooperative(s)

OAK formed has facilitated the formation of women farmer cooperatives in Asutsuare (Rice farmers) and Ejura (Maize and beans farmers) and supports the groups. Women small-holder farmers face a host of challenges that keep them in a cycle of poverty. OAK intends to break this cycle of poverty by implementing a few interventions using the platform of the cooperatives. When rural women are empowered economically, they educate their children. OAK has secured and allotted parcels of farmlands to members of the cooperative in Ejura (100 acres) and Asustuare (50 hectares). We are supporting the members of the Cooperative with mechanized farm equipment, value addition, and access to market interventions. Earnings of cooperative members have improved significantly because of these interventions.