As part of her young females empowerment programme, Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) has over the past three years carried out entrepreneurship skills trainings for out of school girls and young women. These trainings, which last for 6 months enable the trainees to acquire training in identified skills that enable them generate income to be self-reliant, thereby reducing their vulnerability to exploitation of any kind.
Girls in Batch 5 of the training for the year 2016 were trained on sewing, shoe-making and fish farming from April to October. On fish farming, girls are trained on:
- stocking procedure;
- Pond construction and management;
- materials required in a fish pond;
- fish feed and feeding practices and
- management practices (all activities carried out during fish stocking to ensure good yield).
The introduction of fish farming in the entrepreneurship programme was met with the challenge of trainees’ lack of interest among others. Verbal evaluations with the previous batches of girls revealed that they would not want to establish fish farms because of huge investment requirements such as water supply, fish feed, land, pond management techniques and access to market.
Having learned some lessons from previous batches in the areas of girls’ attitude, training content and training methodology, a new strategy was developed and introduced in collaboration with the trainers at the centre. Girls worked in groups to manage fish ponds thereby actively involved in demonstrations from the stocking of the ponds through management practices to harvesting.
Some girls were motivated in the process and decided to make efforts after the training to establish their fish ponds. Unlike other batches where majority of the girls paid more attention to sewing and shoemaking, the 2016 batch had up to four girls who after the training with support of parents, set-up fish ponds with stock size of over 1500 fingerlings and procured other fish farming facilities and inputs.
GPI is exploring the utilization of these girls who have achieved these feat to serve as trainers in subsequent batches to motivate other girls to establish their fish farms as one of their livelihood activities.