The Ghana YMCA began operations in the Western Region in the early ‘70s by the late Nana Fritz together with his wife and family. At the time, the region’s main projects were a day-care centre and a restaurant, which was later transformed into a vocational training centre.
The Takoradi branch was the first branch to have been started in the region. Today, the region has five branches at Takoradi, Sekondi, Ketan, Tanokrom and Tarkwa with four of these branches (Takoradi, Sekondi, Ketan and Tanokrom) being active and one (Tarkwa) dormant. Collectively, there are one hundred volunteers registered to the five branches.
The region’s facilities include a vocational training centre with a hostel facility for its trainees and a villa which serves as the official residence of the Principal of the Vocational Training Centre.
In the context of the Ghana YMCA, the Western Regional YMCA is most noted for its long-standing legacy of providing top quality vocational skills training for young people. Every year, our Centre provides vocational training for over one hundred youth in Catering and Fashion/Dressmaking. The centre is accredited under the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and the Council for Technical and Vocational Training Education (COTVET) to run advanced programmes in Competency Based Training for master crafts persons.
The vocational training institute has delivered skill training to over 3,000 young people (mostly girls), many of which are from deprived communities. This training has afforded them employable skills for the catering and fashion industries and an overall life-changing experience. The quality of the training given to the trainees of our institute is evidenced by the constant demand for graduates from our centre by numerous businesses and companies in the hospitality sector. The demand for our graduates is so high that the institute always has pending requests. Our trainees are also provided with internship/attachments to practise their skills in specially selected hospitality businesses.
Our centre is also one of the very few vocational training centres whose trainees are able to progress to Technical Universities on merit.
The Region currently has a foster partnership with CVJM Schnathorst Tangern. This collaboration has contributed to key development works at the Vocational Training Centre such as the renovation of an old washroom block and provision of industrial machines for the establishment of a dress production workshop. The centre has also received logistical support for fifteen (15) large working tables and other office and training equipment.
With the support of CVJM Westbund, the centre is currently constructing a modern kitchen facility which will improve catering training for the trainees. The centre has also established an all-new information communication technology (ICT) lab with eighteen brand new computers with support from Bread for the World. The new ICT lab enables the centre to run advanced vocational programmes under the accreditation of COTVET.
The region also hosts volunteers on secondment from CVJM for year-long working periods at the vocational entre.
In the short term, the region aims at doubling the number of registered YMCA volunteers across the branches, revamping the dormant branch, establishing one more branch, developing and implementing a sustainable regional project and improving the quality of training and facilities at the vocational institute and to increase enrolment.
In the long term, the Region hopes to build more sustainable income streams to fund regional programmes/projects, increase the number of branches by 100% by increasing its visibility among young people, increase the number of women in YMCA leadership by grooming and motivating more female volunteers for regional and national leadership and become a household name in skills development and competency based training in the Western Region.
The following officers in charge of the YMCA’s operation in the Region;
Emmanuel E. Koomson (Regional President)
Augustina Ampedu (Regional Vice President)
Joseph S. Kwofie (Regional Treasurer)
Ann-Marie Koomson (Regional Youth Chairperson)
Nana Peperah Antwi (Regional Director)