ZURICH, Switzerland — The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, inaugurated three education projects in rural cocoa farming communities of Côte d’Ivoire.
The construction and equipment of these schools were funded by the Cocoa Horizons Foundation. The projects provide access to quality school facilities for approximately 450 children at the primary school level.
This infrastructure was built as part of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation’s community development program which covers Education, Child Protection, Women’s Empowerment and Health.
In March 2016, Barry Callebaut, on behalf of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, inaugurated three new blocks of classrooms.
This brings the total number of classrooms in 12 primary schools built in Côte d’Ivoire to 45, benefiting 2,300 children. The village of Diangobo received a new school with three furnished classrooms, solar lighting and a headmaster’s office.
The new school in N’Gattakoffikro includes three furnished classrooms, with solar lighting as well as a canteen, a borehole, latrines and teacher housing.
The existing school in Sayoubakro received an additional block of three furnished classrooms, including solar lighting and a headmaster’s office. It also received books and storage cupboard donated by Barry Callebaut’s customer Purdys Chocolatier.
“The partnership between the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, Barry Callebaut and the cocoa farmer cooperative COAB brings the number of classrooms in Sayoubakro to six, benefitting more than 200 children “, said Mr Moro Kouassi, the representative of the Regional Office of National Education.
“This contribution is welcome and encouraging, since it actively supports the national policy of Côte d’Ivoire to make school attendance compulsory for all children aged 6 to 16 years.”
“Education is the cornerstone of our community development activities under the Cocoa Horizons Foundation’s sustainability mission, and we are proud to partner with the cocoa cooperatives CADI, CANS and COAB to contribute new primary classrooms and school infrastructure in these three villages.
We see thriving schools as a sign of thriving communities, and a shared responsibility. We thank the Ministry of Education for their continued guidance and support of our efforts,” said Nicko Debenham, President of the Board of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation and VP Global Cocoa Sustainability at Barry Callebaut.
Over the past year, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation acting through Barry Callebaut also distributed a total of 2,000 school kits to children of cocoa farmers from 17 cooperatives. These school kits include a backpack with pencil case, exercise books, pens and ruler.