The Bawku Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Gyambibi Boateng, has commissioned a weaving centre for smock making constructed by the Pentecost Social Services (PENTSOS) at Zebilla in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
The project falls under the Economic Empowerment Programme (EPP) of PENTSOS, which seeks to economically empower members of the Church, especially the youth, by providing them with skills training so as to gain sustainable employment.
Apostle Gyambibi, in his address at the commissioning ceremony last Sunday, indicated that, two years ago, the Area birthed the vision to start the weaving centre due to the high unemployment among the youth and the frequent travel to the south to seek livelihood opportunities.
“The centre was, therefore, established at the premises of the Zebilla Central Assembly church to train members with economic livelihoods and empower the women to support themselves and their families,” he said.
According to him, the project is in line with the Church’s strategic vision, dubbed “Vision 2023: Possessing the Nations,” which seeks to influence every sphere of society with the values and principles of the kingdom of God. He, therefore, thanked the Chairman of the Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, and the Executive Council for the vision.
Elder Richard Amaning, the PENTSOS Director, stated that, beyond preaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ, Christians must seek to transform their communities. Hence, after discovering the centre during its routine monitoring exercise, his outfit decided to construct a suitable structure conducive for the training, he added.
He noted that the centre comprises a training area, an office and a storeroom for the vocations whose activities are affected by the vagaries of the weather.
Elder Amaning further indicated that a similar project has been completed at Temaa in the Walewale Area (for sewing) and Daloagyili in the Tamale Area (for weaving, sewing and hairdressing). Meanwhile, the project at Kaleo in the Walewale Area is also ongoing.
It is also worth noting that PENTSOS, as part of its initial support to the centre, provided 15 weaving machines to the centre in 2021.
The Bawku Area currently has three smock-weaving centres at Zebilla, Bawku and Garu, with a total enrolment of 192. The Zebilla centre currently has 76 apprentices, 37 of whom are due for graduation. It is the vision of the leadership of the Area to establish a vocational and technical school in the future. The Chief of Zebilla has donated nine acres of land to the Church for the school project.
Speaking to PENTECOST NEWS, Deaconess Comfort Tia, the trainer at the Zebilla centre, said that, since its establishment, the centre has provided hope and brought transformation to many teenage girls since they are no longer burdened with raising the “Masters fee” or buying weaving machine before gaining admission. This, she said, has contributed to reducing the migration of young girls to the south to engage in the head-porting (kaya) venture.