Grant Amount: $24,667
Areas of Impact: Economic Sustainability, Education & Literacy
Mission of Longitude
To recruit volunteers who will work with their international partners, to raise funds for project growth and improvement, and to provide material and programmatic support. PROFESA's mission is to empower young women to raise themselves out of poverty by providing low-cost vocational education for women who cannot afford school.
Longitude gives resources, volunteers, and support services to leaders of grassroots educational and human rights organizations in developing nations. Dining for Women (DFW) will be supporting Longitude’s enterprise in Abeka, Ghana: PROFESA, a nonprofit vocational training center. By offering high quality job training and placement, PROFESA gives women the skills and direction needed to secure a job, even in the developing world’s challenging economy. With funding from DFW, Longitude will be able to provide more need-based scholarships; for many students, PROFESA’s tuition hinders enrollment since young women are perceived as having lower earning potential than men have and thus are vulnerable to losing their family financial support. Our gift will also enable PROFESA to implement a full-time job placement program, which will strengthen women’s viability in Ghana’s competitive job market, and increase teacher training, which will improve the quality of health-education presented at the school.
Why We Love This Project
In Ghana, 54.3% of females over the age of 15 have never been to school. The lack of female enrollment not only stymies Ghana’s labor force but also hinders gender equality. The PROFESA School hopes to give women equal footing with men in Ghana’s restricted job market. From 2000 to 2006, more than 200 students enrolled in PROFESA, but due to limited facilities and funds, few young women graduated. Since Longitude's involvement in 2006, program enrollment has doubled, and 80% of students have graduated. Furthermore, in 2009, with help from Longitude, PROFESA built a new school with much-needed classrooms, office space, and a computer lab, all of which inspires impoverished students who, without Longitude, would never use a computer or sit in a classroom. However, the status of young women in Ghana is further compromised by high HIV/AIDS rates and prevalent cases of preventable diseases. Therefore, to improve the quality of health for young women, Longitude provides the PROFESA School with UN approved materials that educate students about HIV prevention as well as other diseases and sanitation issues common to the urban areas of Accra, Ghana.