Mondelez Cocoa Life

Photo by Darren Major

Photo by Darren Major

 

Introduction

Seeking the welfare of children is a top priority for Child Rights International. Day in, day out we find children involved in certain activities which threatens their overall wellbeing, puts them in danger and denies them of enjoying their basic rights. Statistics shows that about 1.9 million children in Ghana between the ages of 5-17 are involved in child labour out of which 1.2 million are involved in hazardous work. These figures are quite alarming and raise great concerns on the way forward in ensuring that these children are saved from these works, reinstituted to living normally and given the basics rights they deserve to enjoy as children.

This serves as a motivation for CRI to work and align itself with organizations that seek to ensure that issues of child labour are addressed and hence the desire to be part of the Mondelez Cocoa Life Project. Child Rights International entered into an agreement with Mondelez Europe on the 29th of September, 2015 to be an implementing partner in the 3 year Cocoa Life Project which its overall goal is to improve the lives of cocoa farmers by investing in multiple demand-driven interventions that empower farming communities, however the project officially started in 2016.

Under the Cocoa Life project, CRI is working in Cohort 4, made up of 3 districts: Atwima Mponua, Asunafo South, and Ahafo-Ano North. Within each district we are working in many communities and schools.

A list of the communities and schools can be found here

 

Education and Empowerment

Through the Cocoa Life project, Mondelez International has helped CRI to establish more Child Rights Clubs (CRCs), broadening the reach of these beneficial clubs. Together, CRI and Mondelez are currently undertaking activities to implement new training sessions with both CRCs and reading clubs, in order to build capacity and improve their community impact.

In addition, these clubs provided an opportunity for Child Rights International and Mondelez International to undertake detailed data collection on schools, students, and their parents. These surveys covered many important topics in the community, including child work, as well as distances between schools and family farms, attendance rates of students, and reasons for lack of attendance or dropping out. The surveys enabled CRI to examine the correlations between factors such as region, farming, child work, family size, parents education and more.

 
Photo by Darren Major

Photo by Darren Major

 

Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System

For the establishment of the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System, CRI developed several tools. 

Tool 1

The 1st tool used in the Cocoa Life monitoring activities is a community registry, gathering data in a bottom-up approach. This data included figures on school enrolment and attendance, in and out movement of children, and involvement in the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL).

Tool 1 captures information on every household in the community. Much of the data is demographic, recording the name of household, names of members, date of birth, age and occupation. In this case, the tool had to be modified due to resource constraints and high population figures in some district capitals. 

Social mapping was used to create visuals of the relative location of households and the distribution of different demographics (including gender and school attendance) together with the occupation of children.
This enabled us to target locations and household where children were found to be at risk for the Community Register. 

This tool was used in 116 communities, and covered 10,939 members of 3,971 households. 5,449 were male, while 5,490 were female.

A total of 5,082 children were identified, 2,816 males and 2,266 females. Overall, 2,840 children are currently in school, while 2,242 have dropped out. 

 

TOOL 2

After the creation of the community register, tool 2 helped with the classification of children, determining which children are doing the worst forms of child labour.

Tool 2 is also geared towards creating a system of monitoring that harmonizes with other Child Labour mechanisms.

This tool collected data on 1,972 children, 1,087 of whom were male, while 885 were female.

 
Child Rights International Executive Direction Mr. Bright Appiah presents findings from tools 1 and 2 in Sankori as part of a series of community meetings Photo by Rebecca Gerster

Child Rights International Executive Direction Mr. Bright Appiah presents findings from tools 1 and 2 in Sankori as part of a series of community meetings

Photo by Rebecca Gerster

 

 

TOOL 3

Tool 3 will be developed and given to children to be used to guide remediation activities. 

COMMUNITY CHILD PROTECTION COMMITTEES

As part of the Cocoa Life project, 102 Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs) were formed to handle child protection issues. 73 have been trained so far. These CCPCs will identify child protection issues, then meet and discuss the issues, ultimately providing a response.

If they are not equipped to provide this response, they will refer the cases to the appropriate agencies, such as the Domestic Violence & Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) and Social Welfare. In addition, special books have been designed to aid CCPCs to record issues and activities undertaken to address them.

ESTABLISHMENT OF CHILD RIGHTS CLUBS

CRI, under the Cocoa Life project, has established 106 CRCs and trained 91 CRCs as a strategy of empowering, protecting and promoting participation of children at the community level in order to be sensitive and appreciate child protection issues. This includes 1,957 of girls and 1,807 of boys.

As part of the training, children were given the opportunity to develop Information Education Communications (IEC) Materials.

 
Photo by Darren Major

Photo by Darren Major

 

SCHOOL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES

As part of the Cocoa Life project, CRI has formed 61 and trained 47 School Management Committees (SMCs) to respond to school-based child protection issues and foster interest in the governance of the school. The SMCs work alongside Parent-Teacher Associations to promote the well-being of children within the school system.

Data on CRCs, CCPCs, SMCs and Communities can be found here.

DISTRICT LEVEL ENGAGEMENT

CRI has organized district level engagement sessions with stakeholders to brief them on activities implemented so far in their respective communities and progress that has been made.