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Support to Female Migration Domestic Workers Resilience and Social Protection in Time of COVID-19 and Post-Pandemic

GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2021 - 2022

Type of practice

Project/Programme

Latest content

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Local:

Accra, Drobo in Jaman South District

Summary

An increasing number of Ghanaians, particularly young men and women, travel out of the country in search of better employment opportunities. In recent times, there has been a surge in the numbers of low skilled workers, especially in the domestic and construction sectors migrating to the Middle East and the Gulf regions, even though the government’s ban on VISA -20 is still in force. The numbers that were brought in during the first phase of the Covid-19 through the government and via IOM attest to the fact that a lot more needs to be done beyond the ban on VISA-20. Under the auspices of the project "Support to Female Migration Domestic Workers Resilience and Social Protection in Time of COVID-19 and Post pandemic", Migrant Watch and Skilled Revolution Front aim at building the capacity of the returned migrants economically through psycho-social counselling, skilled trainings and provision of working tools.

Organizations

Main Implementing Organization(s)

Migrant Watch
Skilled Revolution Front

Partner/Donor Organizations

Ghana Immigration Service
Technical and Vocational Education Unit of Ghana Education Service
Ministry of Gender and Social Protection

Benefit and Impact

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2012, the bio data of the female migrant returnees were taken in to further authenticate returnees’ data to ensure that the project is dealing with the right targeted beneficiaries for the project. They were all medically screened for various health issues. The project procured and distributed PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) to returnee migrants and paid for their transport fares to the central point of a meeting 4-day workshop that was undertaken to orient the beneficiaries on the project objectives, prepare them psychologically and help them to understand the opportunities available in Ghana for them.

Between 5th May, 2021 and 11th May, 2021, the team set out to train the female migrant returnees in the chosen areas of household detergents & cosmetics, specifically, skills in chemical preparations and manufacturing of household mosquito repellent cream, bleach and medicated soap. A total of 51 beneficiaries participated in the skills training. At least 50% of the participants should be able to manufacture two of the three products correctly. They were taken through one full day of how to make paper boxes for packaging their products. The 3 days-training was conducted as preparation for self-employment and social integration model for the returnees. Handouts were given to each participant spelling out the right measurements and procedures in manufacturing each product. The trainer led the physical demonstrations (activity methods) involving all participants who were grouped in 7. Each member of the 7 groups performed a role in the manufacturing processes (division of labour) as it is a requirement. Equipment and materials have been procured but distribution of the same is yet to be done. The returnee migrants were asked to form groups of five each based on proximity of their respective communities. Ten groups of 5 were formed after the skills training workshop. They were encouraged to back and plan how to carry out their business operations as teams. The group leaders are expected to report to the MWSRF office in Accra with their respective plans, budgets and group bank accounts. It is expected that the groups will be given the necessary tools and chemicals they needed to set out to be part of the social entrepreneurship programme. This is aimed at improving the economic livelihood of the returnees and while engaging in malaria preventing programme of Ghana.

Key Lessons

The first challenge the implementing team faced was budget constraint. The distances of the communities of the returnee migrants imposed a major stress on the overall budget of the project. The cost of residential trainings is very high. The transport stipends were considered using average distances of the assumptions of the returnees living in one region. Prices of goods and services are rapidly changing within short periods which affected the budget for the activities. Furthermore, the team discovered that it would have been better to procure all the tools of the beneficiaries before the training in order to tool them immediately after the training. This means that an agreement between the trainer had to be reached based on an expected number of trainees to work with. In this way all the necessary tools and resources could be procured before the skills training sessions, not only those needed for the training sessions.

Ghana is observed to be an enterprise economy. It is always near to impossible for entrepreneurs to work together successfully on group projects. In this project the returnee migrants discovered that working together comes with great benefits. In spite of the realization, they still doubt the possibility of working in groups for greater economic benefits. Bi-monthly field visits to returnees aimed at reviewing business plans, coaching, discussing their challenges and finding solutions are being incorporated to streamline their activities.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Weak representation of the returned migrant workers in the planning stages nearly caused a great distress to the project. Also, at the design stage, we did not anticipate that large numbers of returnees would be interested in the project, hence planning for only 50 people. As the project rolled out, the implementing team made amends to the processes to involve the retuned migrants in the decision-making process. There exist limited employment possibilities for the returned migrants due to high levels of unemployment and adverse business environment for creativity. Funding from multiple sources could be a panacea to most of the challenges we faced. The concept of group entrepreneurship should be thoroughly researched into before recommending it for adoption in a project like this.

Innovation

The project is still on-going until the end of April 2022. Since the project was for 1 year, the economic empowerment skills the returnees have gained during the pandemic has made a major difference in their lives and their families. When the project comes to an end, the women will continue earning an income to sustain themselves and their families which will address issues of unemployment and poverty in the region. This will also discourage women travelling to the Gulf region without proper papers in search of work because they will find something productive to do in Ghana.

Media

Migrant Watch reintegrates over 50 irregular female migrants into society - Premtobre Kasee(21-1-22)

Migrant Watch reintegrates over 50 irregular female migrants into society - Premtobre Kasee(21-1-22) (YouTube)

Date submitted:

16 February 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

Support to Female Migration Domestic Workers Resilience and Social Protection in Time of COVID-19 and Post-Pandemic

GCM Objectives

Dates:

2021 - 2022

Type of practice:

Project/Programme

Latest content

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Local:

Accra, Drobo in Jaman South District

Summary

An increasing number of Ghanaians, particularly young men and women, travel out of the country in search of better employment opportunities. In recent times, there has been a surge in the numbers of low skilled workers, especially in the domestic and construction sectors migrating to the Middle East and the Gulf regions, even though the government’s ban on VISA -20 is still in force. The numbers that were brought in during the first phase of the Covid-19 through the government and via IOM attest to the fact that a lot more needs to be done beyond the ban on VISA-20. Under the auspices of the project "Support to Female Migration Domestic Workers Resilience and Social Protection in Time of COVID-19 and Post pandemic", Migrant Watch and Skilled Revolution Front aim at building the capacity of the returned migrants economically through psycho-social counselling, skilled trainings and provision of working tools.

Organizations

Main Implementing Organization(s):

Migrant Watch
Skilled Revolution Front

Partner/Donor Organizations:

Ghana Immigration Service
Technical and Vocational Education Unit of Ghana Education Service
Ministry of Gender and Social Protection

Benefit and Impact

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2012, the bio data of the female migrant returnees were taken in to further authenticate returnees’ data to ensure that the project is dealing with the right targeted beneficiaries for the project. They were all medically screened for various health issues. The project procured and distributed PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) to returnee migrants and paid for their transport fares to the central point of a meeting 4-day workshop that was undertaken to orient the beneficiaries on the project objectives, prepare them psychologically and help them to understand the opportunities available in Ghana for them.

Between 5th May, 2021 and 11th May, 2021, the team set out to train the female migrant returnees in the chosen areas of household detergents & cosmetics, specifically, skills in chemical preparations and manufacturing of household mosquito repellent cream, bleach and medicated soap. A total of 51 beneficiaries participated in the skills training. At least 50% of the participants should be able to manufacture two of the three products correctly. They were taken through one full day of how to make paper boxes for packaging their products. The 3 days-training was conducted as preparation for self-employment and social integration model for the returnees. Handouts were given to each participant spelling out the right measurements and procedures in manufacturing each product. The trainer led the physical demonstrations (activity methods) involving all participants who were grouped in 7. Each member of the 7 groups performed a role in the manufacturing processes (division of labour) as it is a requirement. Equipment and materials have been procured but distribution of the same is yet to be done. The returnee migrants were asked to form groups of five each based on proximity of their respective communities. Ten groups of 5 were formed after the skills training workshop. They were encouraged to back and plan how to carry out their business operations as teams. The group leaders are expected to report to the MWSRF office in Accra with their respective plans, budgets and group bank accounts. It is expected that the groups will be given the necessary tools and chemicals they needed to set out to be part of the social entrepreneurship programme. This is aimed at improving the economic livelihood of the returnees and while engaging in malaria preventing programme of Ghana.

Key Lessons

The first challenge the implementing team faced was budget constraint. The distances of the communities of the returnee migrants imposed a major stress on the overall budget of the project. The cost of residential trainings is very high. The transport stipends were considered using average distances of the assumptions of the returnees living in one region. Prices of goods and services are rapidly changing within short periods which affected the budget for the activities. Furthermore, the team discovered that it would have been better to procure all the tools of the beneficiaries before the training in order to tool them immediately after the training. This means that an agreement between the trainer had to be reached based on an expected number of trainees to work with. In this way all the necessary tools and resources could be procured before the skills training sessions, not only those needed for the training sessions.

Ghana is observed to be an enterprise economy. It is always near to impossible for entrepreneurs to work together successfully on group projects. In this project the returnee migrants discovered that working together comes with great benefits. In spite of the realization, they still doubt the possibility of working in groups for greater economic benefits. Bi-monthly field visits to returnees aimed at reviewing business plans, coaching, discussing their challenges and finding solutions are being incorporated to streamline their activities.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Weak representation of the returned migrant workers in the planning stages nearly caused a great distress to the project. Also, at the design stage, we did not anticipate that large numbers of returnees would be interested in the project, hence planning for only 50 people. As the project rolled out, the implementing team made amends to the processes to involve the retuned migrants in the decision-making process. There exist limited employment possibilities for the returned migrants due to high levels of unemployment and adverse business environment for creativity. Funding from multiple sources could be a panacea to most of the challenges we faced. The concept of group entrepreneurship should be thoroughly researched into before recommending it for adoption in a project like this.

Migrant Watch reintegrates over 50 irregular female migrants into society - Premtobre Kasee(21-1-22)

Migrant Watch reintegrates over 50 irregular female migrants into society - Premtobre Kasee(21-1-22) (YouTube)

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Innovation

The project is still on-going until the end of April 2022. Since the project was for 1 year, the economic empowerment skills the returnees have gained during the pandemic has made a major difference in their lives and their families. When the project comes to an end, the women will continue earning an income to sustain themselves and their families which will address issues of unemployment and poverty in the region. This will also discourage women travelling to the Gulf region without proper papers in search of work because they will find something productive to do in Ghana.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Date submitted:

16 February 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).