Getting ready for school: Children receive more than 20,000 items of school equipment
Children from cocoa-growing communities have received school kits for the start of the school year 2015-2016 through Nestlé’s Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS). These kits were delivered to children by representatives of Nestlé and ICI in the presence of parents and officials of the cocoa cooperatives of the target areas.
1,445 school kits, consisting of a backpack and school supplies were distributed in 22 cooperatives of the following departments: Aboisso, Grand-Bassam, Yamoussoukro, Bouafle, Divo, Lakota, Gagnoa, Soubré and Duékoué. In each area, these donations were offered to 1,445 beneficiary children in the presence of parents, traditional chieftaincy, and leaders of cooperatives.
For Mrs. Euphrasia AKA, National Coordinator of ICI, “A child belongs in school. This is why the monitoring system deployed in Côte d’Ivoire aims to implement remedial actions for the creation of a community environment that is more protective of the child.”
This commitment is part of the driving strategy of Nestlé’s business called Creating Shared Value and the Plan of National Action for the Fight against Child Labour.
Drissa Bamba, cocoa producer in the village of Téady, which is located 42 km from Duékoué, and member of the COOPAMYT cooperative, welcomed this initiative “Thanks to ICI and Nestlé, our children are no longer working in the fields.” For his part, Henri Joël Kouamé Kouadio, a pupil in a class of CM2, and son of a producer of the CABB cooperative of Buyo, made the following statement after receiving his school kit: “I am very happy. I will go to school with the kit I have just received. The kit will help me study well. I have four little brothers and sisters who all go to school thanks to the help my parents get.”
As for Mr. Kouamé Kouassi, a planter of the CABB cooperative of Buyo and father of 6 children who are beneficiaries of school kits, the kits “allow me to better supervise my children so that they have better results.” “With the support and awareness we are receiving, only 2 of my children do not attend school. These are the older ones. I had just started my plantation then, and I did not have the resources to enrol them at school. But the situation has improved since I have been part of the cooperative and since ICI has been here with us.”
In some cooperatives, the messages conveyed by ICI have paid off. It is, in any case, what is shown from the statements of the first managers of the cooperatives. At the SCAPB Coop CA of Petit Bondoukou, located at 24 km from Soubré, Mr. Charles Yao, CEO of the Cooperative declared: “For some time now, the cooperative has been working with ICI through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. I would like to thank the Community Relays and the Monitoring and Remediation Agent who have raised awareness of the community in relation to the welfare of children. The kits that our children have just received have nothing in common with anything we have seen so far.” he said.
According to the CEO of Côte d’Ivoire Nestlé, Mauricio ALARCÓN: “This distribution of equipment will contribute to strengthen the quality of education in the beneficiary schools. On the one hand, and through this donation, we assist the government and the cocoa-growing communities in the action that aims at sending all children to school, and on the other, we give concrete remedial answers to child labour cocoa farming. This is the meaning of our principle of Creating Shared Value.”
These donations reinforce the actions that have been already initiated since 2012 by Nestlé and ICI as part of of the action plan against the labour of the children of the Nestlé Group in Côte d’Ivoire.