Access to Education and Healthcare
Investing in the social services that communities need to thrive
We believe that the best way to safeguard the future of cocoa is to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of both farmers and their communities. Despite global developments, many people around the world – including people in cocoa-growing communities – still lack access to the basic resources they need to meet their needs, such as quality education for children, healthcare services and good nutrition. We are committed to partnering with community members, non-profits, governments and other stakeholders to provide solutions that meet locally defined needs.
Our partnership with CARE
In 2008, we launched our partnership with CARE, a leading humanitarian organization, through which we committed to investing US$10 million in activities to lift 100,000 people in West Africa out of poverty by improving their educational, nutritional and economic opportunities. Together with people in cocoa-growing communities, we are developing and implementing distinctive Community Action Plans (CAPs) which reflect the needs of each community; they are set up, implemented and managed with Community Development Committees made up of local people.
One focus is on providing children with access to schools that stay open, because all too often school buildings funded by well-meaning businesses can fall out of use very rapidly without ongoing investment in teachers and teaching equipment.
Supporting schools that last in Côte d’Ivoire
Through our ongoing CARE work, we are trying to provide children with schools that last by working through Public-Private-Partnerships. It is a more time-consuming approach, because more organizations are involved, but together with the Ministry of Education and the Conseil Café-Cacao in Côte d’Ivoire, we are achieving lasting success: well-built, well-resourced primary schools that stay open year-on-year. Schools are backed and resourced by the government, with additional financial backing from farmer organizations, who allocate some of the premium payments they receive through certification schemes, to support them. We hope this approach can be rolled out to provide continuous education for more children in other origin countries. We are happy to hear this innovative design has now been introduced as a more formal Private-Public-Partnership approach with the Côte d’Ivoire government. Cargill is encouraged to see the uptake across our industry.
Improving access to potable water in Cameroon
Access to water is essential to life and when clean, potable water is in short supply, people in cocoa-growing communities often face health and nutrition issues. In 2013, we launched a project to improve access to water by drilling boreholes in five communities in Cameroon, reaching 50,000 people. The project has been a success and we will be extending it to another six communities in 2016.
Creating prosperous communities
Access to savings, loans and other sources of finance is a fundamental component of more prosperous and resilient cocoa farming communities. In Ghana, our long-term community development approach with CARE has increased access to savings and finance by establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). The model provides a safe way for people to save money and access loans, with the only set up requirements being a lock box, three keys and basic financial training. A study in 2016 found that VSLA members were more than twice as likely to report holding cash savings and more than 3.5 times as likely to have accessed a loan that non-VSLA members in the previous 12 months, with women especially taking advantage of VSLAs.
Progress and highlights
89,687 beneficiaries, 20,000 of them children, provided with education and increased access to healthcare through our Cargill/CARE programs since 2013
In Ghana, on average 96% of children aged 6-11 with access to schools through the CARE program are enrolled in school and 97% of these children stay in school for at least five years.
117 boreholes in Cameroon since 2014/2015 with eight more to come in 2017/2018
We will continue to roll out our initiatives through a greater number of cooperatives and communities in all our origin countries.
In Ghana, we will work with around 250 communities to improve access to education; enhance women’s participation in decision-making; improve food security and nutrition; and improve child protection.
In Cameroon, the potable drinking water program will reach an additional 200,000 people in eight new communities by 2018.