975 children in Ashanti to benefit from Nestle Remediation Exercise

Yussif Ibrahim, GNA

Ayokoa (Ash), Sept. 27, GNA – A total of 975
children in six districts in the Ashanti Region are to benefit from a child
labour intervention project being implemented by Nestle in collaboration with
the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).

The project which is being implemented in
Adansi Asokwa, Adansi North, Obuasi, Bekwai, Amansie Central and Adansi South
would reach out to 445 households in 62 communities.

To enable parents to provide basic education
needs of their children, 436 cocoa farmers would be supported to go into other
income generating activities such as vegetable, cereal, animal farming, soap
making and oil palm extraction.

Nestle as part of its commitment to
responsible cocoa sourcing strategies and shared value, signed an agreement
with ICI in 2017, to set up Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System
(CLMRS) in their supply chain in six districts in Ashanti Region.

The move is to ensure children found to be at
risk of child labour are regularly in school as a way of protecting children
from hazardous work on the farms, while empowering parents to explore other
sources of income to be financially stable to support their children’s education.

After one year of implementing the project, a
durbar has been held to present learning materials and other equipment to
children identified to be at risk or already involved in child labour at Ayokoa
in the Adansi Asokwa District.

The durbar was attended by the chiefs and
people of Ayokoa, official from the Assembly and the District Education
Directorate as well as representatives from Nestle, Cocoanect and Cocoa

Mr. Fred Kukubor, Nestle Cocoa Plan Manager,
in an address said 776 beneficiary children from primary to Junior High School
(JHS) would be provided with school uniforms, bags, exercise books, note books
and footwears.

He said 80 others between the ages of 15 and
17 would be supported to enrol in apprenticeship training of their choice,
adding that, the remaining 119 would benefit indirectly through their parents
who would be supported by ICI.

Beneficiary parents, according to him, would
be provided with seedlings, agrochemicals and extension services to enable them
start other alternative farming.

He disclosed that four communities including
Tweapease, Koniyaw, Anwona and Denkyea would be supported to set up Community
Service Groups.

These groups would be trained in good cocoa
agronomic practices and provided with equipment such as motorized mist blowers,
pruners, forceps, cutlasses and protective gears, upon withdrawal of their
children from cocoa farms.    


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