- Community engagement
- Environmental sustainability
- Gender balance & diversity
- Individuals & Families
- Rural development
Through its use of community liaison officers, the CLMR system has begun to identify some of the causes that prevent children from going to school and is taking steps to correct them.
One such prevalent cause is the difficulty of obtaining birth certificates, which is required for school enrollment or to sit for national exams. In the village of Kopakro, the community liaison officer encountered the case of Hervé, a 12 year old boy facing the prospect of leaving school for lack of a birth certificate required for the national exams that would allow him to continue on to secondary school. Hervé’s elder brother, now 22, faced the same issue several years earlier. And having left school had no other choice but to become a child labourer in order to help their father support their 21-member family. With the help of Nestlé and ICI a birth certificate was obtained for Hervé, to allow him to continue his schooling. Hervé and his younger brothers also received school kits.
Another common problem is the lack of nearby schools, as was the case in the village of Zibouyaokro, where UCDG (a local cooperative that supplies cocoa beans through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan) sources from:With the nearest school being 10km away, the children often took shortcuts that led them through plantation roads, exposing them to various dangers. Several incidents of injuries and accidents prompted many parents to keep their children home from school. With the prospect of schooling no longer available, these children ended up accompanying their parents to the plantations, and some even ended up doing hazardous jobs.
Value to Society
In 2012, with the commitment to build 40 schools by 2015, Nestlé offered the community a new three classroom school, with a director’s office and a communal toilet block. Since the opening of the school, 140 children have been registered and are taking classes. After hours, the school facilities are used to hold adult literacy classes.
Along with the school, awareness programmes on child labour were also rolled out in the community by the ICI. According to Dominique Zibou, Chief of Zibouyaokro village, the new school has visibly reduced the incidence of child labour in the community.