The National Surveillance Committee (CNS) has just taken another step in its drive to eradicate child labor in Côte d'Ivoire. This committee hence decided to travel, from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 September 2013 to meet with the populations in cocoa producing areas. The objective of this first visit was to raise public awareness on child labor issue and to visit community projects carried out by chocolate producers.
The delegation headed by Mrs. Yao Patricia Sylvie, Executive Secretary of the CNS, set the stage on Thursday, 26 September 2013, on the first day of the tour, in the communities of Abokro in The department of San-Pedro and Kragui in the department of Méagui. In these villages, community projects to encourage children’s education were carried out by chocolate producers Barry Callebaut and Mars in partnership with the Agro forestry Research Center (Icraf) and the local populations.
The CNS delegation began its trip from Abokro. In this 16-member camp, which is lost in cocoa orchards, Barry Callebaut, through its quality partner program (QPP), in partnership with the cooperative Agricole de Glibiagui (Coopagli), has built a progressive school for populations. New classes were built to replace the old classes built in terracotta around 2006; this school is made up of 03 classrooms; a canteen; a Director’s office; teachers’ accommodation and nurses’ accommodation; new latrines and an infirmary. All fueled by solar energy and a water tower. 250 pupils are regularly enrolled in this school.
After visiting this community project, N'Goran Kouadio, front office manager of Barry Callebaut explained the purpose of this project to the members of the CNS delegation. For the latter, the construction of these infrastructures will enable the populations to enroll their children. For the delegation, the chocolate producer Barry Callebaut is fully in line with the vision of Dominique Ouattara, President of the CNS, who believes that the proper place of children is in school and not in cocoa farms.
Sylvie took advantage of this opportunity to raise the Abokro population awareness about the dangers of entrusting certain hazardous tasks to children. She explained the reasons why the First Lady, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, also President of the CNS decided to go down in the arena to raise awareness about the worst forms of child labor. According to Yao Patricia Sylvie, children are the future of the country. And as such, they must benefit from a harmonious environment for their intellectual and psychological development. "Your children have to go to school for you to be happy," explained Yao Patricia Sylvie. In addition, the emissary of Mrs. Dominique Ouattara handed the sum of 500,000 F CFA t the populations of Abokro. In return, the latter gave her a beautiful ram as gift.
After Abokro, the CNS delegation visited the community projects funded by Mars and carried out by Icraf in the village of Kragui in the department of Méagui. Thus, like the first village, the Agro forestry Research Center (Icraf) in partnership with the populations of Kragui, in the context of the "Vision For Change" (V4C) program, has rehabilitated the Anokro School I and II and the village school. Icraf constructed a building and rehabilitated two (02) old buildings of this school. She also offered a canteen; One hundred (100) covered and an improved wood-saving fireplace when preparing meals for schoolchildren; a library of nearly 400 books equipped by the First Lady, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara. In addition to this school, the delegation also visited a canteen for training and information on the regeneration of cocoa-growing and experimental cocoa plantation plots. For Mars and its partner the Icraf center, the implementation of these projects is part of their Ivorian cocoa certification program. Also, Mrs. Yao Patricia Sylvie took advantage of this visit to deliver the message of the First Lady to the people.
Thus, she explained to the latter, the need to avoid hazardous work for the little ones. The message goes down very well among the people as they explained to Mrs. Dominique Ouattara's envoy they are committed to fight child labor by setting up a development committee and a commission to raise awareness on child labor issue. On behalf of the First Lady, Mrs. Yao Patricia Sylvie donated 800,000 CFA francs to the populations. After visiting Kraigui, the CNS team set out on the town of Soubré to visit the site offered by the prefect of the locality for the construction of a transit center for child victims of trafficking and exploitation.
ABOKRO and KRAGUI