ICI HOLDS CEREMONY TO MARK THE END OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
The International Cocoa Initiative, a leading independent technical authority in the field of child protection and child-centred community development in cocoa-growing communities, has held a ceremony to mark the end of community development projects in 29 cocoa communities in Ghana. This event was held in Bonkron, one of the communities in the Ashanti region which benefited from this activity was held on 13th December, 2019.
ICI partnered with members of the cocoa industry to carry out community development projects in 29 cocoa-growing communities in Ghana. The purpose of this programme was to improve the lives of children by safeguarding their rights. The projects also seeked to contribute to the elimination of child labour by supporting the acceleration and scale-up of child-centred community development and responsible supply-chain management throughout the cocoa sector
With funding from industry partners, ICI partnered with key stakeholders to implement projects in the 29 communities within 8 districts in the Eastern, Ashanti, Western and Central regions. This was a three year programme from 2015 to 2018. The interventions carried out in the communities included the construction and renovation of school buildings, support for alternative income activities, community focused awareness raising on child labour and capacity building programs for community leaders, assembly stakeholders, teachers, children and school management Committees.
During the ceremony, representatives from the communities, the Ahafo Ano South West district assembly and ICI spoke of the impacts the interventions have brought to the communities. They spoke of the 307 children who have benefitted from educational remediation and the apprenticeship program and other children in the communities who were now out of child labour as a result of the increased awareness in their communities.
Mention was also made of the 25 communities who now have trained and equipped Community Service Groups to providing alternative and affordable labour services to farmers.
On education, community representatives spoke of how ICI supported them with both tangible and in-tangible interventions with the aim of increasing enrollment in basic schools. Key among the interventions include the Construction of classroom blocks in 11 communities and 3 bedroom Teachers accommodation. Over 500 dual desk have also being supplied to 12 schools within the communities.
Currently, a total of 6 classroom blocks are under construction in 6 other communities.
Some of the women and men who have also benefited from Women Empowerment programmes were also at the gathering. Prominent among them was the Life and Unity Association, a self help group which originated from the Income Generating Group in Yaw Boardi.