MTN Ghana has commissioned a 'Youth Employment and Empowerment Project' (YEEP) at Suhum in the Eastern Region to equip out of school young people with skills in mobile phone repairs.
The Project, carried out in collaboration with Plan International, also graduated 42 young men and eight ladies after taking them through 15 days of intensive training.
The beneficiaries received certificates of participation, start-up tools and kiosks to start work and improve their livelihoods.
Areas covered under the training programme included Repair and Rectification of faults of mobile phones, how to maintain a safe and secure work environment, introduction to Mobile Phone Technology, Basic Customer Service, and Front End Repairs.
Mr Samuel Koranteng, Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN expressed appreciation to Plan Ghana for partnering MTN to successfully implement the Project.
He also thanked the Suhum Municipal Assembly for supporting the initiative.
Mr Koranteng said the Project was important to MTN Ghana Foundation and formed part of its commitment to brightening lives and expressed appreciation to the beneficiary communities for the loyalty to the MTN brand and its sustenance.
He announced that MTN had offered GHC445,000 to support the training of 100 young people in Suhum and Nsawam as appreciation for the loyalty.
Mr Koranteng noted that COVID-19 had led to a heavy dependence on mobile phones for work, school, sales and marketing, religious activities, family affairs, streaming of events and in everyday conversations.
"With this level of dependence, the phones or devices will definitely develop some faults, wear and tear at some point in time. Once in a while, there may be software and hardware problems which users cannot fix on their own. This is where the services of our graduates will become more useful to mobile phone users in Suhum and its surrounding communities. Now mobile phone users can have their phones and devices repaired at their convenience," he said.
Mr Koranteng said the training would also reduce youth unemployment in the community because the Project had equipped trainees with ready employable skills.
He urged beneficiaries to adopt good maintenance culture to preserve equipment and workstations (Kiosks) handed over to them.
Madam Margaret Darko Darkwa, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Suhum, thanked MTN and Plan International for the foresight to improve the lives of young people in Suhum and its environs.
She said various programmes such as the Nation Builder's Corps (NABCO), Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) among others, were all being run by Government to improve the livelihoods of the youth in Ghana.
The MCE urged the trainees not to let the skills acquired go waste, but use them for the development of society, adding that, they should become agents of change by training other out of school youth.
"If the institutions that carried out these training programmes for you realise that you are making good use of the skills acquired, it will encourage them to extend the Project to touch more lives. Let us not disappoint them," she said.
Madam Darkwa assured MTN and Plan International that they would ensure that beneficiaries kept the start-up kits in good shape to serve its intended purpose.
Madam Maud Tsagli, the Country IT Manager of Plan International Ghana, said she was confident that the efforts of both MTN and Plan International would pay off and encouraged the beneficiaries to do their best to excel in all they did.
"On your path to success, you will encounter disappointments and challenges but they all form part of your growing up process. All these experiences are needed to shoot you to greater heights," she said.