Global Reach: Ghana

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EMpower in GHANA

EMpower focuses primarily on Livelihoods and Education and supports organizations based in the Upper East, Central, Volta and Northern regions of Ghana. Ghana has a population of 25.8 million people. Young people ages 10-24 represent 32% of the population, with just over half of the population living in urban areas.

Issues affecting Youth

Youth Unemployment and Limited Opportunities

Livelihoods opportunities are vital to address poverty in Ghana. The lack of decent livelihoods opportunities is recognized as an important driver of other threats facing at-risk youth such as trafficking. Many of the livelihoods opportunities or formal skills-training programs that the government has instituted are failing to reach many Ghanaian communities. 88% of the working population is employed in the informal sector in small and medium-sized businesses, many times earning less and lacking the stability and protections of formal sector jobs.

Child labor and trafficking

14% of all 5-17 year olds in Ghana are earning money in some way, with the vast majority already employed in jobs. Although the rate of working children in the census seems to be dropping, it continues to exclude additional hidden forms of child labor such as in domestic service or illegal industries, which are reportedly rife in Ghana. Many of the children involved in this work are doing so as a result of trafficking and in conditions of modern slavery. The 2014 Global Index states that human trafficking in Ghana does not occur through networks of organized crime and across national borders. Rather, it often occurs through small, family related networks, whereby parents and family members knowingly or unknowingly facilitate the process. Boys and girls are moved within the country and subjected to conditions of forced labor in the sex industry, fishing, mining, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering or agriculture.

Our Approach to tackling the Issues

EMpower supports local organizations that:

  • Provide vocational training beyond traditional skills, combined with life skills education including gender awareness and sexual reproductive health.
  • Incorporate business management and financial literacy in livelihoods programming.

Other countries in Africa:

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.