22.04.2024 - von Plan International Switzerland

Ayisha’s Plan

In Tamale, the capital of northern Ghana, passersby often stop to marvel at a crew of 10 tile layers laughing and trading quips at a local construction site. It’s not something they see every day. Why? Because six of the crew members are women. Our PASEWAY programme is providing vital business training to women and girls in Ghana, helping them develop skills and create job opportunities.

Ayisha was in an arranged marriage and struggling to make ends meet when she heard a radio announcement about a job training scheme. After being interviewed at the programme office the next morning, she decided to register on the spot to learn tile laying – a trade she knew nothing about.

Ayisha had never seen a female tiler before she decided to register for our programme. Although some people tried to dissuade her, she followed her plan to Beat The Clock:

1. Learn a trade

2. Start a business

3. Pay it forward


It's not a "boy's job"

Ayisha’s husband, mother and father-in-law didn’t understand why she would want to do “a boy’s job.” Friends attempted to dissuade her, saying it would destroy her beauty and spoil her skin. But Ayisha persevered and learned quickly. “When I started it, I got to know that it’s not anything harsh. I can also do it,” she says. “I lost a lot of friends because of this work, but it bever brings me down. Now I am a master, and I am proud of my work.”

Ayisha now runs her own business, Dinveilla Construction Works, employing some of the people who once made jokes about her choice to work in construction. Even the dynamics of her marriage have shifted: Her husband is proud and more respectful, marvelling at all of the people she finds work for – himself included.

Having formally registered her construction business, a move supported by PASEWAY who have also helped 500 other graduates from the project register their businesses, Ayisha’s company now has more credibility as well as better access to government and private contracts.

Beyond providing casual employment, Ayisha has taught six young women (and three young men) how to lay tiles through her company. Having never seen a woman tiler before, Ayisha says that passing on her skills and employing other young women is the most rewarding part of her job. 

Estimates say it will take more than 130 years for the world to achieve gender equality

but girls and women like Ayisha are promoting gender equality now, which will help to #BeatTheClock. 

In Ghana, young people often struggle to access education and training that aligns with job opportunities.

  • With about 200 million people ages 15 to 24, Africa has the youngest population of any continent in the world.
  • This number will double by 2050.
  • Youth unemployment currently affects one in three young Africans.
  • Plan International has helped 6.7 million children and young adults around the world gain skills and access opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship.

To help girls and young women build their own futures, Plan International’s three-year project Pathways for Sustainable Employment for Women and Youth (PASEWAY), is reaching young people across northern Ghana with job training and business skills.

  • Through PASEWAY, more than 4200 young people like Ayisha have received technical and skills training in the construction and hospitality sectors
  • Over 50% of those who secured internships in these fields went on to be offered full-time employment.