International Women’s Day
Cargill and CARE celebrate partnership lifting 100,000 people from poverty
2012 - In Côte d’Ivoire, classrooms are being rehabilitated and improved water wells built. In Honduras, 97 percent of students in participating schools are advancing to the next grade level. And in Brazil, small family-farmer operated businesses are generating additional income by selling fresh fruit and chickens, while learning how to bolster their cocoa production.
As it enters its fourth year, the Rural Development Initiative, a partnership between Cargill and CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, continues to expand in breadth and depth.
Celebrating new classrooms
“This dream has come true,” said Diakite Ibrahima, a teacher and director of the Belleville village school in Daloa, Côte d’Ivoire, which was rehabilitated as part of the Cargill/CARE project.
“When this project started, we did not believe that the school would be actually rehabilitated since we had been deceived by other partners,” said Ibrahima. “The gift from Cargill is immeasurable because it helped save the organization of primary education final exams within the school, thus avoiding displacing the pupils towards another exam center.”
In 2011, the Cargill/CARE project rebuilt six adobe mud classrooms into concrete facilities with tables and chairs in Côte d’Ivoire, while constructing completely new classrooms in another village. In addition, year-round access to safe drinking water was enhanced by constructing improved water wells in two villages and distributing nearly 66,000 PUR® water purifiers.
Breaking the cycle of poverty
The $10 million Rural Development Initiative seeks to help 100,000 people lift themselves out of poverty by 2013. While programs vary by country, together the initiative provides training, skills-development, and market access for farmers (many of whom are woman); enhanced education and nutritional support for children; and access to social services like health care and safe drinking water for communities. Last year, Nicaragua joined seven other nations now participating in the initiative including Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras and India.
Achievements, so far, include:
- Nearly 35,000 students at risk of becoming child laborers have graduated from primary school. The project’s goal by 2013 is to help 60,000 children graduate.
- More than 32,000 parents, out of a goal of 33,000 parents, have become engaged through the program to support and participate in their children’s education and nutritional health.
- Nearly 16,000 farmers have benefitted from farming training and increased market access. The project seeks to reach more than 35,000 farmers and their families by 2013.
New hope for children’s futures
“I’m very happy knowing that, through my rural bank, I can obtain the necessary materials to work my land,” says Jose Vasquez Gertrude who lives near Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Honduras. Gertrude, a 55-year-old father of six children, says he “was without a cent” to cultivate his land until he obtained a loan from a rural bank established by the Cargill/CARE project.
He now grows enough watermelon, maize and beans to feed his family, plus is able to sell the surplus for income to pay for expenses, including his children’s education. Gertrude hopes he can continue to rely on the rural bank, “so that my children can finish their studies and have a better quality of life.”