EMPOWERING THE VULNERABLE TO HAVE AN INDEPENDENT LIFE
Half of Ghanas population is under 16 years, due to extreme poverty and a high HIV infection rate, many children grow up as orphans. With their 18th birthday, all care programs end and the young adults are left by themselves, struggling with poverty and lacking social support. The Academy for Competence and Entrepreneurial Spirit (ACES) program is focused on young adults in difficult living circumstances, e.g. leaving orphanages or other care programs, lack of family support. Often these social challenges are accompanied with further problems, such as HIV infection or illiteracy. ACES offers educational, psychological and financial support. This continues until the young adult is able to secure a job, or three months after leaving full time education, whichever is sooner.
Participants receive counseling and benefit from financial support, mostly for education but also for housing, health care and insurances. Currently, there are 66 young adults fully supported through ACES program and up to 80 that attend weekly meetings.
Achievements ACES in 2012
- 36 female and 30 male young adults directly supported by TSSI
- Main age of beneficiaries between 16 and 24
- Beneficiaries either orphans, disabled, former child soldiers or otherwise traumatized
- TSSI covers school fees, text books, national health service, transportation, housing support, peer support groups, cash transfer, special medical treatment and resettlement packages
Education & Empowerment
- Overall 16 in Junior High, 37 in Senior High, 10 in University and 3 in vocational training
- 14 graduates from Junior High School to either continue school or start vocational training
- 10 graduates from High School to either go to university or start their own business
- 3 graduates from vocational training to either start their own business or continue work
Community & Life Skills
- TSSI facilitates weekly Peer Support Groups with external speakers (e.g. on HIV prevention)
- TSSI Youth Conference in April with panel discussion on empowerment and life persuasion