OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Empowering Kayaye Girls with ICT skills

This project aim to empower Kayaye girls (female porters) with ICT skills to run sustainable tourism programs in Ghana.

Photo of Ibrahim
5 1

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Northern Ghana is beautiful with spectacular game parks where hundreds come to visit and admire the majestic and brilliant animals and the surrounding environment. On the hand, Northern Ghana has one of the highest number of Kayaye girls - these are girls who migrate from villages to cities to work as porters. By girls leaving their home areas in big numbers reduce the labor force in these areas as most of the activity done in these areas is agriculture, this reduce food production and bring scarcity of food, high food price and family separation. The girls who migrate from their home are unskilled, have no qualification nor formal education, this leaves them with a few options for jobs other than working as porters or casual laborers. To make ends meet with these jobs is hard, the pay is very low and require girls to work long hours. Many girls end up being abused, taken advantage of including rape, others face problem of lack of housing and end up sleeping on the street. The project aim to empower Kayaye girls with Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Tourism skills that will enable them to earn qualification and employable opportunities. Girls will learn Microsoft Application Office, HTML, CSS, Digital Marketing, WordPress, Tourism and Sustainable Development. After completion of the course, girls will be able to design Tourism programs, start projects, enterprises or organisations that have a positive impact on tourism. Kayaye girls will design websites that market tourism products, use digital tools to promote tourism, start up tourist adventures, work as tour guides, use multimedia production to promote sustainable tourism, link products and services, develop apps, run e-Commence enterprises or help their fellow Kayaye girls learn new skills. Empowering girls with ICT and Sustainable Tourism will help to ensure resources are not depleted, protect environment, local community, visitors & businesses.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The main beneficiary of this project are the girls between 14 to 25 years old in Tamale, Northern Ghana, they are popularly known as Kayaye girls, they migrate to cities in search of jobs and many of them work as porters or laborers. The job is labor intense as it requires girls to carry on top of their head a big pan full of items for sale weighting 25 Kg or more a whole day carrying them on their heads is tedious. In 3 years we want to teach to over 3,000 girls directly and many more indirectly. We will run as well projects to introduce IT to children age 7 to 14 years old mainly girls in Scratch a computer programming environment so that we inspire girls at an early age to become computer programmers. Tourism service, products, government, local community, cultural heritage and tourists to benefit from IT projects, apps, websites and programs that the girls will launch or work on. The environment - animals, birds and other species awareness program in sustainable tourism.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

What makes this idea unique is it provides girls with the 21st century skills that are in high demand, where pay is high and does not require a 4 year degree course to get qualification or employable skills. It empower girls to become financially independent, this help them to make decisions that fit their life. The girls learn skills that they have a wide choice to work, they can work as web designers, app developers, promote sustainable tourism and many more. Courses to girls are for free as they cannot afford to pay for courses. We as well train children in coding - introduce and inspire children at an early age to become future computer programmers. Mweva has 5 years experience in running this kind of project as we have been helping marginalized communities in East Africa for the last 5 years in teaching them ICT, Tourism and Entrepreneurship skills. We partner with local communities, NGO's and other stakeholders to ensure the prosperous running of the project

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Majority Adoption: I have expanded the pilot significantly and the program product or service has been adopted by the majority of our intended user base.
  • Full Scale Roll Out: I have already tested and scaled this idea significantly with the intended user base.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Mweva is a Non-Government Organisation that provide quality ICT training programs to the marginalized and disadvantaged communities in East Africa, We provide ICT, Tourism and Entrepreneurship training programs to girls, disabled, youth, students, children and partner with organisations that work to empower the marginalized communities especially to those that are in rural areas that are under-served.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
  • Other

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Few weeks back i was in Ghana to attend an education summit & took a visit to Kumasi, i met a girl who wanted to help her lift a basket of goods for sale to put it on her head, it weigh 25 kg, in a brief talk with her i found out she dropped out of school as her parents are too poor, she struggles to make a living and need a way out of being a kayaye. In the same city you see thousands of girls with same problem... Something has to be done, this is my part to empower them with ICT skills.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

There is a high number of girls migrating from rural areas, this affect development and bring about low food output, high food price and when there is a big number of girls in the cities it increase the rent, competition in the small/micro business sector they engage in become fierce, increase high unemployment, with low income girls become vulnerable to traffickers, getting raped and increase school dropout. Tourism is a big factor in social/economic development but it is important to ensure the local community benefit from it and not hunt down animals, ensure resources are not depleted. The locals, tourists and other agencies value animals, plants, birds - ensure natural world is not destroyed. Tourism program should include stakeholders including local community, visitors and other entities. Local culture, traditions and belief are important that they should be respected, catered and helped to be developed. Sustainable tourism is about preserving what is there & respect culture.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We will work alongside My Hereafter Project, an NGO in Ghana, they operate in all the regions of Ghana. We hope as well to work with a number of tourism, IT and government entities in order to run an effective program that reach to many and beneficial to the girls. In most of our program we partner with local Rover Scouts who we teach some of our programs and they in turn go to rural areas to teach. We are in early stage talks with an online course provide General Assembly that we hope we might able to use some of their course contents to benefit the girls. We will work with local communities in educating them about the importance of local tourist attractions, importance of preserving them like animals, birds, tree etc. Working with local tourist agencies to provide them with information about local cultures, values, norms, belief and the importance of respecting them. Working with tourist board to provide us with valuable information about tourism & help in training our students

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The girls are interested and willing to learn employable skills. The course is provided for free as girls come from poor background and the job they do they earn a low income. This is the first of its kind program in the region which combine IT and Sustainable Tourism. We have a pool of volunteers who are interested to teach. We are partnering with a number of NGO's. We hope to bring on a course content provider who will roll out more training programs to the girls & the community at large.

Geographic Focus

We will start with Tamale in Northern Ghana and with time we will roll out to rural areas.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 months in which we will teach/train girls from learning basic computers to becoming professionals in a wide facade of software development including web designers, app developers and many more. Courses will vary ranging from short to long depending on course module. Other courses will be online while other courses will be in class. We will have part and full time students to accommodate participants availability. Within this time we hope to train over 3,000 girls directly and many more.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nicole Ballou

Hi Ibrahim 

It was great to read about your idea! Our organization also does work with providing free ICT and vocational trainings for local youth, with an emphasis on helping young women build sustainable livelihoods. (We are located in Ghana's Central Region.) I'm interested in hearing any ideas you have regarding support for these women in finding employment or launching their own entrepreneurial efforts following the training. Are those activities within the scope of what you are envisioning here?


Photo of Ibrahim

Hi Nicole,
Thanks for your comment and the wonderful work you do. As of the employment, it depends on the course that you teach your learners, then i can be able to evaluate the nature of the job opportunities available vis-a-vis course contents.

Yes, that fits in the work that we do. The Central Region is rich with a number of innovative job opportunities that only need to be tapped on especially in tourism as its a booming industry and its projected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Send me an email: then we can take it from there.


Photo of Nicole Ballou

Hi Ibrahim!

Thanks for getting back to us. It'll be great to connect and talk more. What I'm interested in, is how you and your organization are addressing workforce development and growth for your participants. Our experience showed just teaching ICT skills to our beneficiaries didn't actually lead to job security. We shifted our focus to support vocational training, as opposed to solely soft skills training, to ensure greater job security. Are you facing similar challenges, and if so, how are you addressing them within your program activities?

Looking forward to hearing more!

Photo of Ibrahim

Hi Nicole,
Thanks for your response, in the beginning we faced a situation were we trained participants and went out in the field in search for jobs, but with a high youth unemployment in the region many of our trainees just joined the unemployment we decided to look at solving the problem from the source - Shortage of jobs.

So we look at where there is a problem in the job market, we find job opening opportunities that need to be filled then structure our courses based on the job market demand so that when our graduates complete the course, they either start ups, partner or others choose to apply for jobs in that sector.

As i had illustrated in my previous email, tourism is a growing sector in the central region - one thing though that can be reflected it is not being marketed to fit in the realm of today - there is a need to apply digital marketing tools not only to capture the market/tourists far and beyond but also to promote tourism products and services digitally.

There is a shortage of people who are skilled in applying digital marketing tools to promote tourism in the central region, so in a situation like this, we device a course that teach youth in digital marketing then work with them after the completion of the course to kickstart their potentials/ideas in rolling out tech enterprises, services etc. related to tourism promotion and development.

A good example is in Jinja, the 2nd capital city in Uganda, it is a tourism heaven, using that approach stated above youth are running enterprises like

Photo of Nicole Ballou

Hi Ibrahim!

Thanks for the comprehensive response. I see how your work is fulfilling a gap, and bridging skills with market opportunities to address that gap. The example you provided was helpful.

Good luck!