Next Generation Project
The ‘Next Generation’ initiative was an intervention against child labour, trafficking and the incidence of migration of young girls to engage in exploitative employment (eg. Kayayei) among fostered girls in the Northern region of Ghana. Large numbers of children are ‘fostered’ under a customary practice whereby they are sent off to live with relatives. They are increasingly turned into domestic servants, trafficked to urban areas as child labourers or pushed into the sex industry.
The initiative prevented fostered girls, and girls from poor families in the Savelugu/Nanton and West Mamprusi Districts from moving to cities down south to become head porters (Kayaye) by addressing their childhood needs at the community level. young girls and their piers were supported to use creative tools such as youth theatre and sports to raise awareness and influence change. Steps were also taken to strengthen the capacity of youth groups to better represent their interest and improve the quality of their lives. Micro credit was provided to fostering aunties to empower them economically so that they will be able to support their daughters to stay in school and or pursue other productive ventures even after the end of this project. Government agencies were influenced, particularly the District Assemblies to address this problem in their poverty alleviation strategies & policies. The project also provided a forum for chiefs, elders, & opinion leaders to find more lasting solutions to the plight of fostered children & the “kayaye” phenomenon in the districts.