I once chanced on an e-flyer on Facebook that said “rent a writer.” It was a young man advertising his services as a writer.
The flyer read: “Wish to say something to someone but can’t quite think of the words or how to? Employ my services to write just about anything for you: be it a birthday message, a poem, a congratulatory message, a tribute or any other thing.”
I quickly shared the flyer on my wall, urging people to patronize his services. I was moved by the creativity and innovation. I was impressed that this young man who could have sat and sung the “I am unemployed tunes” has found a creative way to earn a living.
I am not able to tolerate the young people who sit down and sing the “I am unemployed” tunes because they are looking for white colour jobs in an office setting.
Some of them are so fixated on getting office jobs such that even if you offer them an opportunity to work in an informal setting, they turn it down.
Some of those young people are the very ones who admire the likes of Koko King etc.
I have been very active in the world of children with special needs in the last two or three years and I see a lot of opportunities that exists for people to tap into as full time or part time employment.
But, usually many young people will turn down an offer if you give them an opportunity because they want quick money.
Money consciousness rather than the passion to serve and gain experience plus the desire to make society better is lost.
For example, the University of Education, Winneba trains people in a programme called Community Based Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. Many of those graduates leave school and stay home unemployed or divert to find work in financial institutions.
Many think of being employed only by hospital physiotherapy centres, so once they don’t get a vacancy there, they are left unemployed.
On many occasions, I have interacted with them and asked whether they want to work at a home setting and answers are “I am going to think about it or a straight No.”
Now, here is the gig. There are thousands of families out there raising children with cerebral palsy.
They are possibly tired of the traditional house helps whose mentality about children with cerebral palsy is not a fair one.
Some of these families will love to have someone who is trained and educated to handle their children with cerebral palsy at home but it is almost impossible.
Another opportunity for employment for these graduates is in the early childhood development centres – that is crèche and day care centres.
The world is talking Inclusive Education. Parents of children with cerebral palsy are looking to enroll their children with cerebral palsy in crèches just like every other child but there is no expertise.
These graduates sit home waiting to be employed by hospitals or special needs schools. Really! is usually my response when I hear them talk about unemployment.
What happened to volunteerism, offering to volunteer in homes or crèches to demonstrate skills?
There is a woman selling ‘kelewele’ (spiced fried ripe plantain) along my route to home.
She packages them is the take away packs. She sells a pack for five cedis and the smile that accompanies the pack is great.
The other time, I told myself that this woman must be making real money. When plantain is in season, you can buy three fingers of plantain for two cedis.
What she sells to you for five cedis is perhaps half of one plantain.
Is she unemployed? No! She is probably making more money than someone who works in an office.
So are you really unemployed? Look around for opportunities that abound.