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Celebrating Dorthea, our Youth Apprentice

By Kelly Jennings-Robinson

Dorthea at her sewing machine

Dorthea is like any other Ghanaian teenager, keen to make her way in the world and build a secure life, but she has faced many challenges. Her father died when she was young and mother had to leave the family to find work. Dorthea and her three siblings went to live with their grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Her family was very poor and struggled to make ends meet. She often thought about her future and dreamed of being able to get a job to help her impoverished family. Through Opportunity International’s Youth Apprenticeship Programme, Dorthea has been given the chance to do just that.

Dorthea did a three-year sewing and tailoring apprenticeship with Mr. Aduso as her mentor – developing her skills in tailoring and how to run a business. She was absolutely committed to the programme, walking up to two hours a day for her training, often on an empty stomach. Dorthea’s determination paid off – she passed her final exams with flying colours and is now a fully-qualified seamstress. The world is now her oyster. With this certification, she can work in a shop, open her own tailoring business and even become a mentor to another apprentice.

Dorthea’s future looks bright. She has learned a trade and the skills that enable her to work her way out of poverty and build a better life for herself and her family.  She is just one of 1.2 billion young people globally fighting to make her mark in the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 12 million young people enter the labour market each year but only 3.1 million jobs are created. Many countries are struggling to provide education and productive, secure employment for all. This challenge is becoming more acute as Africa's population is set to double by 2050. Ensuring all young people, including the most marginalised, can unlock their potential through access to decent work is crucial to break the cycle of poverty. By supporting Opportunity International's Youth Apprenticeship Programme, you are giving young people, like Dorthea, a real chance to thrive.  

" My family is very poor. Thank God I got the chance to participate in the Youth Apprenticeship Programme. I want to work as a seamstress now that I am qualified. The profession makes me happy. With the income, I can now support my family." 



Dorthea's Family.

Dorthea's family

Dorthea with her mentor, Mr. Aduso.

Dorthea and her mentor, Mr. Aduso



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