TONY’S AND ABOCFA SUPPORT CHILDREN WITH BICYCLES AND EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
Tony’s Chocolonely together with their supplier of organic cocoa, ABOCFA, a Fairtrade farmers’ cooperative in Suhum, have partnered with ICI to support 159 school children from 91 cocoa farming households in 8 communities with bicycles and educational materials in the Suhum Municipality. This forms part of the pledge of Tony’s and ABOCFA to end child labour in their supply chain through the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS). The purpose of this exercise was to ensure that children found in child labour are regular in school as a protective measure.
148 of the children were supported with a package of educational materials made up of school uniform, a bag, exercise books, mathematical set and foot wear. 11 children, from the Yokuhe and Safrosa communities, received bicycles to end their 7km daily walk to school.
During the ceremony, the Manager of ABOCFA, Mr. Steven Ashia, spoke of the need for the farmers to work towards promoting child-labour free cocoa. He stated “those benefiting from the exercise today are not being rewarded. We must not be proud that the CLMRS has shown we engage our children as child labourers on our cocoa farmers. This is not the Fairtrade way. This does not speak well of us and we must strive to see a big change in these eight communities during the next round of data collection.”
He congratulated the five communities where no child labour incidences were reported and encouraged them to keep it up.
Two Community Service Groups (CSG), set up to provide labour services to the farmers in Safrosa and Aponoapono, were also given tools to begin work. These included motorised mist blowers, pruners, forceps, ladders, machetes and protective gear for each member of the group. This comes after their training in good agronomic practices in cocoa cultivation by the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD in the Suhum Municipality and Fairtrade officials.