Eight cocoa/chocolate companies join $8.5-million Ivory Coast educational effort
Goal of international child and youth development program is to transform education for 80,000 children in 150 rural cocoa communities.
Under the roof of the Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program, Barry Callebaut, Blommer, Caboz, Cargill, Cémoi, Hershey, Mars and Mondelez International will engage in the implementation of the most comprehensive quality education effort to date in the Ivory Coast.
The $8.5-million educational initiative will reach up to 80,000 children and youth in an estimated 150 communities across Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions during the next four years. Most projects will be implemented by international development organizations, some by local organizations and some by the companies themselves.
According to TRECC, the program will test 10 proven models from around the world on topics related to education and child development in the Ivory Coast. The interventions will address children of all ages and their caregivers, as well as young adults starting their professional lives.
Activities will include parenting skills training in nutrition, hygiene and play, as well as primary school educational relevancy and financial literacy courses for youth, among other initiatives. The 10 models were chosen through a competitive process and endorsed by the Ivorian Government and monitored by Innovations for Poverty Action.
Subsequently, the models could be incorporated into the government’s education policies. TRECC and the involved cocoa and chocolate companies have also expressed interest in scaling up such successful models.
TRECC is a unique collaboration between an industry, a government and several for-purpose organizations to achieve a UN Sustainable Development Goal. The program is meant to transform the education system by testing and promoting innovative interventions as well as pave the way for a new form of philanthropy.
Another important goal of these partnerships is to enhance the role of quality education within industry sustainability strategies. TRECC aims for cocoa partners to internalize the business case for quality education and to think of the integration of education into their community development activities.
This is the second set of partnerships TRECC initiated with the chocolate industry. In the previous initiative, Mars, Nestlé, Mondelez International and Barry Callebaut set up similar initiatives in Ivorian cocoa communities.