Street Children Apprenticeship Program Testimony

“Where there’s a whisk, there’s a way”

Five young ladies will graduate soon from the bakery training, a vocational training course offered by AE Ghana as part of the Street Children Apprenticeship Program (SCAP). One of the current students, Freda Omari, said her heart is gladding for an amazing opportunity to better her life. She further stated that she will go all out to learn and put to use the skills she will acquire.

Each year the SCAP program transforms the lives of young adults who were unable to finish school or enrol in tertiary studies.

Ohene Akrofi Enid

Enid Ohene Akrofi is 25 years old and a beneficiary of the AE Ghana project.

Enid heard about AE during the Akwapim Mission in 2018 when her church was one of our partner churches for the mission. She became deeply involved with the Akwapim Mission, especially youth events. In 2021 her church recommended her for the Street Children Apprenticeship Project.

Enid completed School in 2018 but her desire to further her education could not be fulfilled as her parents were unable to provide financial support.

As a diligent and hardworking lady she engaged herself in doing menial jobs to raise the money herself for tertiary education. Unfortunately, her meagre earnings were not enough to cater for herself, let alone support her through tertiary education.

After joining the SCAP program in 2021, Enid committed herself fully to the intensive training – comprising of skill training, entrepreneurship, costing, packaging, etc.

After completing the program Enid started in her own small way to apply the skills she acquired. She baked and sold varieties of bread and other pastries. Gradually Enid was able to save some money and she finally enrolled at the Accra Technical University to study Home Economics which is in alignment with the AE vocational training.

Enid is very happy, and she is very appreciative to AE donors for giving her the opportunity to add value to her life.

According to her, without AE’s support, she couldn’t have acquired the vocational skills.

She said, “I will gladly support some needy ladies in future when I have established myself.”

Each year the SCAP program transforms the lives of young adults just like Enid who were unable to finish school or enrol in tertiary studies.

Kenya – Spurring one another on towards love and good deeds

AE is grateful to God for the progress we have witnessed in our Mathare Women Project and the Soweto Kayole Clinic. It’s incredible to see disadvantaged women given opportunities to sustain themselves, and to witness lives transformed through the provision of health care.

AE currently has 14 vulnerable women enrolled for skills training in dressmaking and design. The women will help make dresses, face masks, and reusable sanitary pads. The products will be given to schoolgirls in the Korogocho slums who come from disadvantaged homes.

27-year-old Florence Juma from Nairobi enrolled in the Mathare Women Project after completing her secondary studies. She was unable to continue with her education at the time because her parents couldn’t afford it and has since been working to support her family.

Covid-19 significantly impacted Kenya’s economy, which made employment opportunities scarce. However, this only fuelled Florence’s desire to learn a skill that would help her create a sustainable livelihood. But she had no means to pay for vocational training herself.

When Florence heard about the Mathare Women Project, she immediately sent in her application and was accepted. She is so excited about the opportunities that dressmaking and design will give her. After she finishes her training, she hopes to start her own business.

The Soweto Kayole Clinic has also aided in the management of the pandemic’s effects on the local community. Job losses and homelessness as a result of lost livelihoods have had a significant impact on the population. In addition to health care, families have also been provided with food parcels.

Last year, the clinic was able to help 26,241 people, and praise God, it didn’t have to close for Covid. In fact, the clinic was a big part of getting people to take care of their health and was able to give out face masks.

Victor Nyikuli is the Senior Nurse in Charge of Children’s Welfare and Antenatal Care at AEK’s Soweto Kayole Clinic. Every month, on average, fifty newborns are vaccinated at the clinic. These children are often malnourished, and Victor takes the time to teach their mothers about the significance of proper nutrition.

“I am very excited and happy for the opportunity to work at this facility,” says Victor. “I love to contribute to the positive transformation of lives through health services.”

A shortage of resources is one of the issues facing the Soweto Kayole Clinic. The facility, according to Victor, is in desperate need of improvements to guarantee that it is safe and patient-friendly for the community.

Without the help of our AE donors, none of this work would be possible. Please join us in praying, as we trust that God will provide the money we need to make renovations to the clinic.

Ghana – God never forsakes His people

AE is so excited to report on the progress of our work in Ghana. The Togo Farming Project, the Children’s Apprenticeship project, and AE Ghana Vocational Training are all programs that are ongoing thanks to the grace of God, and the generous support of our donors.

The first beneficiaries of the Togo farming project have started preparing the land ready to plant seeds. They have received assistance in the form of farming tools, seeds and a monthly allowance to enable them to care for the land.

The Agricultural Regional Director visited the farmers and donated two litres of Bio Pesticide to support the project. He also praised AE for starting the initiative to help young people in Togo, and offered to send Agricultural Officers to provide some technical assistance.

25-year-old Enid Ohene Akrofi, is thankful to God and AE for changing her life through vocational bakery training. Enid became involved with AE during the Akwapim Mission youth events and was then recommended for the Street Children Apprenticeship Project.

Enid completed High School, but was unable to fulfill her dream of tertiary education because she had no financial support. But her diligence and hard work paid off, and Enid committed herself to intensive bakery training – including entrepreneurship, costing and packaging.

After completing training, Enid baked and sold a variety of bread, chips, and other pastries. She was able to save some money and eventually enrolled at the Accra Technical Institute to study Home Economics. Enid is grateful to God and AE for giving her this opportunity.

Prince Aboagye’s church, New Fountain Ministry International Ghana, participated in the 2018 AE Akwapem Mission. When it came to counseling, Prince was an enthusiastic participant, and he was rewarded for his efforts by God.

He was offered the opportunity to learn computers as part of the AE Ghana Children’s Apprenticeship Project. “God never forsakes His own people”, says Prince. “Perseverance always pays off”. Prince was able to enroll in the Computer training program in 2019.

It’s a privilege to see the work of AE continuing to transform the lives of young people all across Africa because of your support. God’s faithfulness is inspiring!

Food security and Food shortages in Africa

Phil 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Africa is on the brink of crisis with rising food- and fuel prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war between the countries is causing a delay in the supply of wheat, fertiliser and other goods, intensifying the problems Africa already has with the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme drought, climate change and more.  According to the UN World Food Program, East Africa- with Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan are predicted to be hit the hardest.

African leaders are already having trouble to control rising inflation and collapsing of currencies.

This kind of stress, especially in urban, low-income communities can cause major tensions that potentially can spill over and lead to violent protests

Let us take hands and pray for the vulnerable people of Africa.

Let us pray:

  • That the conflict in Ukraine does not worsen the food crisis in Africa.
  • That Governments will make all efforts to alleviate food shortages and assist those in need.
  • For peace, and that the tension and violence will end.
  • For the leaders in our African countries to have godly wisdom to make good decisions for their people.
  • That more counties will be able to produce more food in order to fill the gap in the food supply.
  • That Ukraine will soon be able to start exporting their wheat and oil again.
  • For our AE teams in the affected countries. Let us pray that in partnership with the church they will be able to show the people that HOPE is in God alone.
  • For food for the hungry. Matt 25:35 – “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.”
  • For people to help in response to this crisis, sharing resources and urging others to do the same.

For the children affected with malnutrition, may God intervene.

Ethiopia – “I have hope for my life now”

AE’s participation in Ethiopia’s Emergency Response Program and the Sewing Project for Vulnerable Women has been an answer to prayer and a genuine blessing. The benefits of both are being felt by entire communities.

Our first round of graduates from the sewing program are already in the process of establishing their own businesses! The AEI Team was able to visit to provide valuable mentoring advice, and focused on assessing the success of this Community Transformation Group (CTG) program.

It was heart-warming to see how skills development coupled with the love of Christ can change the lives of vulnerable women. In the last 4 months, the graduates have even progressed to marketing their products.

Young orphan, Lemlem Tibebu has benefited greatly from the project. “It is a miracle that I joined this training program,” she says. “I have hope for my life now. I know there is someone who cares for me. My goal is to help myself and others who are like me.”

AE was also part of the emergency response targeted at displaced people currently in camps in an area called Azezo. The support focused on 598 women as direct beneficiaries. 12 kilograms of wheat flour, 2 liters of cooking oil, and one bar of soap were supplied to each woman.

Donations were distributed with love and messages of encouragement, and the majority of the 1,654 people in the camp were indirect beneficiaries. The emergency response was implemented in partnership with the Azezo Mulu Wongel Church.

Thanks to a previous working relationship with AEE, the church was able to facilitate discussions with local government and camp administration. They also gathered several donations that were distributed throughout the camp.

The Government’s Head of Gondar City Administration Emergency and Food Security Office made a plea for the continued support of displaced people. Due to ongoing fighting between groups, the numbers arriving at the camp continue to grow.

AEE is grateful to Barnabas Fund UK, who supported us through AEI. We also want to thank the AEI staff from Nairobi who led the distribution of emergency aid on the ground. This outpouring of love and care is a huge help to people who are desperate at a time when they need it the most.

Young entrepreneurs in Uganda

We say farewell to our AE Uganda interim team leader, Mr Edward Mubiru, who has served the AE family well since March 2020. He is succeeded by Rev. Canon Dr. Benson Baguma who was appointed as Team Leader of the AE Uganda office in March this year.

As AEE Uganda continues to plan for 2022, we have a citywide mission in Kabale city 10 – 30 July and our major 60th celebration mission planned for Kampala city (1 – 7 August). We also endeavour to establish mini-missions in the central regions where AEE is currently operating its social action programs.

After two years of lockdowns, our Nile Vocational Institutes (NVI) are finally able to reopen their doors again. The pandemic has had a severe impact on the students, with many having to stay home while suffering unemployment and sadly the loss of loved ones. The main focus for the re-opening of these institutes will be to establish our production centres, where courses will focus once again on teaching students to produce goods that they can sell at local markets. This will help provide significant income towards the institution’s costs.

The Milne Medical Centre (MMC) has continued to provide healthcare over the last two years, and has been seeing over 400 patients per month. But the high cost of medicines and transportation for staff has meant that services have been drastically reduced.The Centre urgently requires an operating theatre, as well an eye clinic and repairs to the ambulance. The MMC also desires to expand its community outreach, and repairs to the building are needed to enable more services to be provided.

Your prayers are vital to the continuation of AE’s work in Uganda, and we would love it if you would join with us in praying for the following:

  • That God will keep our MMC staff, and NVI students and teachers in good health
  • For the right people to fill several vacant positions at NVI
  • For increased income to cope with the rising cost of living and repairs needed at MMC
  • For wisdom for our AEE lawyer to resolve land issues on our Milne site