Solving Youth Unemployment in Ghana One Business at a Time

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Youth unemployment has become one of the most serious problems confronting Ghana. Consequently, women are being pushed to engage in illegal activity such as drug trafficking and prostitution. I founded Heritage Charity Foundation to change that.

My passion for social good developed throughout my childhood. Born to a very poor family 30 years ago, I joined some friends on the streets at the age of eight after I lost my dad. I spent about five years on the streets before a good samaritan rescued me and took me through formal education until I graduated from the University. After graduation, I decided to render selfless services to humanity especially to children and youth out there who require some support that can transform their life.

Unfortunately most training programs run by the Ghanaian government and NGOs to address the huge unemployment rate of young women are not tailored to local community resources, talents and  needs. Rather, the training is given in particular vocations which are already saturated, for example tailoring, cake baking, beads stringing and interior decoration.

These programs do not facilitate the transformation of unemployed youth into individuals who see a new perspective for their future and into people who can harness their creativity. The unsolved unemployment rate has also contributed to the migration of large numbers of rural unemployed youths to the cities, where they also become more frustrated as they are unable to secure jobs upon arrival in the cities.

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78% of Ghanaian youths are very talented and full of potential, according to The Potentials of Ghanaian Youths Statistics. But such talents are unfortunately wasted. These potentials can be channeled towards individual and national development. Lack of competencies, entrepreneurial skills and disconnection from societal and economic mainstreams have kept them from living meaningful and productive lives.

This is where Heritage Charity Foundation comes in. The organization will combine organic farming and entrepreneurship training to create a practical and integrated learning experience for unemployed young women. And this will equip them with relevant skills to start their own businesses after completion of the training. Participants will go through a six months non-residential training in the following structures: Farm Adventure, Business Idea Development, Apprenticeship and Graduation and Business Launch.

My dream is to create a platform where children and women from very poor families, school dropouts and unemployed youth are given free basic formal education and entrepreneurship skills training. Mentorship, working tools and start-up funding will enable them to embrace the opportunity and develop the spirit of self-employment. This will not only be useful to themselves, but to their families and society.

 

Richmond Smith currently holds an MBA in project management with National Institute of Business Management in Chennai, India. He was also awarded a full scholarship by Westerwelle Foundation as one of the Young Founders and participated in the Young Founders conference in Berlin, Germany in the year 2016. Currently, Richmond is constructing six classrooms with office and toilet facilities respectively for the Tagadzi community to provide free basic education for children from very poor families. This entrepreneurship program won him the scholarship to undergo a ten-week entrepreneurship training using the innovative organic method in Brazil from 5th March to 13th May 2017, a program organized by The DO School in Berlin, Germany. Furthermore, since 2014 he is Country-Manager for Ampion in Ghana. Ampion aims at supporting entrepreneurship in Africa and is already active in over 15 countries. For inquiries or further information on the Heritage Charity Foundation, contact hcfghana@hotmail.com.