New schools and health centers benefit 14 cocoa farming communities in Côte d'Ivoire
• Unique partnership between Conseil du Café-Cacoa, Cargill, CARE and farmer cooperatives is delivering improved education and healthcare in 14 communities
• 11 new schools will teach over 1,650 children and 3 new centers will improve access to healthcare for 25,000 people
• Program to extend to build facilities in an additional 10 cocoa communities
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire – 12 June 2015 - A first of its kind public-private partnership between the Conseil du Café-Cacoa, Cargill and CARE has enabled 14 cocoa farmer cooperatives to build 11 new schools and three new health centers in Côte d'Ivoire. The new facilities will provide over 1,650 children with access to education and healthcare for 25,000 people across the local communities.
Bringing together investment from farmer cooperatives and the private/public partners, the U.S. $1.9 million program has enabled 14 cooperatives to make their own decisions about investments in facilities that can benefit their communities. Using the premium payments for certified cocoa paid to cooperatives under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, each cooperative also has benefitted from additional funding from the Conseil du Café-Cacao and Cargill, as well as the expertise of CARE to build the new schools and health centers. CARE has additionally helped communities to adopt project management processes and good governance principles during the program.
"The investment in new schools and clinics clearly demonstrate the critical role farmer cooperatives play in improving the education and living standards in their communities," said Lionel Soulard, Managing Director West Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. "By bringing together the resources and expertise of public-private partners it is empowering farmer cooperatives and supporting a sustainable future for cocoa growing communities."
The first schools and health center were officially inaugurated on 11 June at a ceremony in Manzannouan, in the east of Côte d'Ivoire attended by the Managing Director of Conseil du Café Cacao, representatives of Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
"Through this partnership we are supporting our farmers and enabling them to be part of the solution to improve their well-being. Farmers are now able to have a direct influence on the livelihood of their own communities", said Massandjé Touré Litsé, Managing Director of Conseil du Café Cacao.
Each brick constructed school includes three classrooms, one house for the school director, three houses for school teachers, a canteen, latrines and access to water. The dispensary clinic projects include the clinic, equipment and a house for the doctor. The construction of all the schools and healthcare centers is complete; the schools will begin teaching their first students in October and the clinics will all soon be offering healthcare in their local communities.
There already are plans to extend the program to enable an additional 10 farmer cooperatives to build facilities to support their local communities.
Separately, Cargill also has partnered with the Aga Khan Foundation and Ivoire Coton to rehabilitate 14 schools to improve the educational opportunities for over 2,000 students in cotton growing communities in Côte d'Ivoire. Specifically, this has included restoring school buildings, providing school desks, constructing latrines and improving houses for schoolteachers.
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Notes for the editors:
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