Child labor sensitization. An important element of the Quality Partner Program is the regular courses for farmers on abusive child labor and the importance of sending their children to school. The agreements that we sign with our partners in this project include clauses obligating the farmers not to use any abusive child labor practices. These agreements also allow us to conduct audits at any time to assess working conditions.
Supporting education. The more time children spend in school, the less time they have to work on the family farm. However, very often there is no school or no school within walking distance for children, or their parents do not have the money to pay for school materials. In the rural areas of Côte d’Ivoire only about 20-30% of children can go to school.
If children grow up untrained and uneducated, the circle of poverty will continue. Therefore, we have programs in place to support education.
- Côte d’Ivoire: Together with our subsidiary SACO, the cocoa farmer union UCADA, local government officials and a number of implementing partners, we have built a secondary school in Akoupé in the Adzopé cocoa growing region in Côte d’Ivoire. The new school serves more than 400 pupils who previously had to attend classes in shifts at another school due to lack of classrooms and teachers. In addition there is solid progress executing literacy, agricultural programs for out-of school youth and sponsoring construction of canteen, infirmary and donations of books for school library and canteen equipment.
- Côte d’Ivoire: As part of our Quality Partner Program, we encourage school attendance of the children by handing out school kits and organizing schools competitions in drawing, writing and sports.
- Ghana: Together with our subsidiary Barry Callebaut Ghana, the Ghana Ministry of Education and implementation partner ECHOES, we are supporting five rural schools in Ghana. In meetings with the head teachers, school officials and village elders, we discussed how we could help these schools address some of their most pressing needs, including classroom and building renovations, furniture, teaching materials, books and sports equipment.
- Ghana: In rural Ghana, women are primarily responsible for the daily care of their children, including food, clothing, medicine, and school costs. While primary education is free in Ghana, the cost of school uniforms and exercise books and writing materials is often difficult for families to afford, especially if they have many children. We are supporting an ECHOES scholarship program in cocoa growing areas of Ghana. The 3-year scholarship package benefits mothers and is divided into 3 parts. The first third goes immediately towards the school expenses for two children. The remaining two-thirds are given to the mother to invest in her existing business. Scholarship mothers will also receive business training to improve their entrepreneurial skills so they can afford the school costs for their children at the end of the three-year scholarship program.