According to 2010 Census figures, South Tongu district has a population of 87,950 where females make up 54.5%, and males 45.5%. Out of the female percentage, 64% have access to education as compared to 86% for the male percentage. 71% of the female population aged 15 years and above are economically active, of which 95% are employed mainly in the agriculture, craft fishing and trade sectors. 67% of people employed are in the informal sectors, self-employed, and without employees; this section of the population contribute to family workers and domestic workers. They stay in indefensible settings and labor in precarious work environment. Some of the dangers associated with this lifestyle can be clearly observed in the streets of ECOWAS highway and Volta Lake; young women are seen with their children toiling to earn the next day’s meal.
Growing up in such a community that offered very little life opportunity for women and the youth, and having experienced same deprivation himself, he, together with three other youth from the community were challenged to establish Tongu Youth Agenda for Development (TYAD) in 2013. The Foundation was to solve most of the pressing social issues in the community with regards to youth education and women economic empowerment.
Selassie Tay, is a development finance expert and social entrepreneur with a strong passion to proffer solutions to some of the challenges of his society. He is the founder and Executive Director of TYAD and also a successful entrepreneur.
TYAD as an organization trains young women (15 to 25 years) in vocational and entrepreneurial skills as well as provide them with microfinance to start micro enterprises. The training which runs for a year provides start up kits for participants upon completion.
“The goal of our vocational and entrepreneurship program is to get young women started in decent jobs by training and resourcing them to create enterprises”.
According to him, plans are far advanced to build a center to widen access to the program by many young women. The goal, he says, is to build 200 female entrepreneurs by 2021. “Education must impact people with real skills that can result in real economic empowerment and growth. This is what we try to achieve with this program at our community training center. We run the full loop of what we believe education for young people in Africa should be like; skills training, resource provision and mentorship to help them get started in income generating ventures, thereby reducing unemployment” the financial whiz has said.
The organization also runs two other programs: the ‘career, academic counseling and mentorship program,’ and the ‘scholarship program,’ for high school seniors. The career, academic and mentoring program has far impacted lives of over 1,500 students from three senior high schools in the South Tongu districts. The scholarship program is offering 2 young girls an opportunity to access education at the secondary level.
The NGO, since its inception, have relied on the benevolence of management, board of directors, friends and family to run their programs. They wish to call on the public to lend them a helping hand to be well capacitated and financially sound to provide more youth the opportunity to be self-actualized.
Rising Africa together with Coke celebrates Selassie Tay for restoring hope to the hopeless and for being awarded as one of the 60 young Achievers in Ghana.
Africa is Proud of you.