News 17 January 2018

Nestlé and the International Cocoa Initiative support Didier Drogba Foundation to put more children in school

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“Make me proud of you!” said the famous ivorian soccer player Didier Drogba to the children of Pokou Kouamekro.

Children in Pokou-Kouamekro, Côte d’Ivoire, as well as their families, have a good reason to be happy – they can now go to school close to home and have better options for the future.

This is the inspiration that led Nestlé together with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), to support the Didier Drogba Foundation, to build a school to help promote education in cocoa growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

350 children can now have access to quality education in the rural cocoa growing community, thus decreasing the risk of them engaging in child labour on cocoa farms. The Didier Drogba Foundation, Nestlé and ICI share the common objective of helping children live healthier lives and improving the livelihood of communities.

This school addresses the acute shortage of educational facilities in the rural areas of Côte d’Ivoire where children often have to walk several kilometres to the nearest school. The Pokou-Kouamekro community, home to more than 4000 people, had until now a small unofficial school made of wood and with only three classrooms for all children.

With 6 classrooms, a kindergarten class, a school canteen, school latrines, a football field and 3 teachers’ homes to attract qualified teachers to this rural community, the new school will contribute to the physical, social and academic performance of the children in the village of Pokou-Kouamekro.

Speaking on the partnership, Country Manager for Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire, Stanislas Guedj said: “We are pleased to partner with the Didier Drogba Foundation. They have done great work and we share much of the same objectives. Access to quality education is fundamental to securing a better future for children. It is an important asset to building resilient and thriving cocoa growing communities as well as eradicate child labour. Every child’s place is in school.”

Born in Côte d’Ivoire with a strong attachment to his native homeland, Didier Drogba understands firsthand the importance of giving Ivorian children good education that provides for lifelong benefits.  Through his Foundation, he shares with Nestlé the common objective of providing strong bases that lead to a better future and improves lives.

Drogba Didier strongly believes that: “Education is important for the physical and mental development of children, and the support of international companies like Nestlé to our action will help make these communities a better place”.  He added that a good education and the values acquired through the practice of sport are key assets for a prosperous life. The Didier Drogba Foundation in collaboration with Nestlé and International Cocoa Initiative Foundation is helping to secure the future of the African child.”

Speaking at the event, ICI stressed its continuous commitment to promote child protection and to tackle child labour in cocoa-growing communities.  “With Nestlé, ICI is strongly committed to providing a lasting change because we believe that every child deserves the chance to create their own future”.

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