International Day of the African Child 2022: Putting children first in cocoa
This week is International Day of the African Child, a day that raises awareness of the continuing need to improve education for children in Africa.
With our teams on the ground in many cocoa-growing communities across the continent, we see first-hand the issues that many African children face on a daily basis. Some have no school nearby or cannot provide the documents needed to enroll.
As part of our Cocoa Compass sustainability ambition, we have committed to working with customers, partners, governments ensure all children of cocoa farmers in our supply chain have access to education and to eliminate child labor from our supply chain by 2030. To achieve these goals, we are working together with governments in cocoa sourcing countries, our customers, partners, farmers groups, and communities to deliver tailored programs that put children first, from building schools to training farmers in local labor laws.
In 2019/2020, across our global sourcing network, which includes many countries in Africa, we built or rehabilitated 114 classrooms and issued 2,244 birth certificates so more children can attend school. We also helped Village Savings and Loan Associations in communities across cocoa communities to save USD 1,200,000 to promote women’s financial inclusion and help cover education expenses. In Ghana, we created educational funds across nine communities to support underprivileged high-performing students.
We have also rolled out child labor monitoring in collaboration with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) across all our managed sustainability programs, covering 183,000 cocoa households in nine countries. This level of data and insight is helping us to take effective action and tailor our child labor remediation programs to be more impactful.
Achieving impact at scale will require multi-stakeholder partnerships, which is why we are supporting the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF) initiative. Along with the Ivorian Government, multiple cocoa and chocolate companies, and the Jacobs Foundation, we aim to provide quality education to over 5 million Ivorian children by 2027.