Field Stories 1 April 2016

Opening of the new public primary school in Didoko, Côte d’Ivoire

Opening of the new public primary school in Didoko

The International Cocoa Initiative and its member Nestlé inaugurated the new primary school in Didoko (department of Divo, Côte d’Ivoire) on March 30th 2016.

The school building comprises seven classrooms, 4 latrines and a school director’s office. The opening ceremony was held by Massandjé Touré-Litsé, the General Director of the Conseil du Café Cacao and president of many local administrative authorities. Also present was Joseph Kpan, the Prefect of the Lôh Djiboua region.

Inauguration Ecole Didoko March 2016 25
from left to right: Euphrasie Aka (ICI National Coordinator Côte d’Ivoire), Mauricio Alarcón (General Director Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire), Massandjé Touré-Litsé (General Director Conseil du Café Cacao Côte d’Ivoire), Joseph Kpan (Prefect of the Lôh Djiboua region)

The choice of Didoko as a new school site is not accidental. This sub-prefecture in fact includes a group of four schools, one of which is a virtual school whithout a steady learning site. The children in this school gather in front of the houses of community members, with unsuitable infrastructure for classes and an environment not conducive to learning.

INNOVATIVE CONSTRUCTION OUT OF COMPRESSED SOIL BRICKS

Nestlé and ICI have therefore chosen to provide this community with a school built using an innovative technology. The new classrooms consist of bricks made out of compressed local soil. This technology allows the passage of all networks (water, electricity, telephone, internet) without grooving. The hard cured bricks, produced on the spot with special compressing machines, provide a high resistance to erosion compared to conventional concrete. Moreover, this innovative approach is economically beneficial (cost reduction and maintenance) and ecological (see how the so-called ‘géo-béton’ is made here). Next to the classrooms, the new school also has a fully equipped playground.

DidokoPlayground
Children enjoying the new playground in Didoko

The new public primary school of Didoko was a project implemented by the International Cocoa Initiative to help provide better access to education in cocoa-growing communities within Nestlé’s “Cocoa Plan”.

For Mauricio Alarcón, General Director of Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire, “the opening of this school reaffirms the group’s commitment to prevent and eradicate child labour in our cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire. We now have been able to open over 40 schools built by Nestlé and our partners in the country.”

Since 2012, Nestlé is collaborating with ICI to develop and deploy effective solutions for child protection with the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Sytem (CLMRS) in the cocoa supply areas. By the end of 2015, the system covered 40 cocoa cooperatives and more than 4.400 farmers. More than 12.000 community members were also sensitized on child labour.

For Euphrasie Aka, ICI National Coordinator Côte d’Ivoire, “education is the most appropriate response to child labour. Therefore, is appears logical to Nestlé and ICI to support the construction of educational infrastructure in the global strategy against child labour.”

Massandjé Touré-Litsé, General Director of the Conseil du Café Cacao (CCC), welcomed the results of this synergy of action that is part of the national sustainability strategy called the 2QC programme.

The construction of the school in Didoko is also part of the vision of the National Action Plan for 2015-2017 to fight against the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) and consistent with the activities of the Working Group 6 of the platform Public Private Partnership (PPP).

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