Together with our partners, we take a long-term view, working with farmers to improve cocoa production practices while at the same time addressing critical social challenges in communities where farmers and their families live.
We believe this combined approach offers the best potential to increase farm productivity, increase household incomes, and improve family and community livelihoods.
Rural communities often lack basic infrastructure and services, including access to water, basic healthcare, and schools. Women, who contribute to farm labor as well as managing family and household duties, often have more limited opportunities for education, land ownership, and income generation.
In our Community Development activities we work with communities and farmer groups to ascertain needs and contribute solutions in the areas of child protection, women’s empowerment and education.
Our vision of thriving cocoa communities is one in which all children can attend school and are protected from harmful work.Together with partners, we sensitize farming communities via radio programs, training and Cocoa Horizons truck events. We engage communities via Child Protection Commitees to raise awareness about child labor, to better understand its causes and develop constructive solutions.
We apply a risk based approach to prioritize and deploy child protection interventions where it's needed the most, by embedding increased due diligence across origins and engaging communities. While individual monitoring and remediation are critical, prevention activities are needed to tackle the root causes of child labor in the long term.
Women play a very important role within the communities by helping improving the household income and preventing child labor. That’s why we keep investing in women’s empowerment. A key element is the creation and strengthening of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs). This activity helps, among other things, to promote a child-centered approach, build self-confidence in women and offer financing solutions for farmers.
Education is the cornerstone of development. Promoting school enrollment and attendance, as well as supporting children with school kits, bridging courses, birth certificates are the main activities.
Working to help meet the expressed needs of communities and farmer groups, we aim to enable more accessible, safe, qualitative and adequately equipped learning environments for children and youth in cocoa-growing areas.
I hope to set an example for other women in my village, so that they can see that there’s a way for them to have financial independence and to be strong and proud. When I train other women, and I see the effect it has on them and their confidence and independence, it fills me with pride. Every woman should have the opportunity to feel that way.”