Education has long been considered an essential remedy to combating child labour, but even if a school is nearby, children cannot study as they should without the necessary school supplies. In Anyeme, a cocoa growing community in the Ashanti region of Ghana, ICI with support from Nestlé distributed school kits to children as part of efforts to improve the education and literacy among children in cocoa growing communities. These kits included new school bags, shoes, school uniforms, exercise books, pens, pencils and math sets.
John Breku, a cocoa farmer in Anyeme whose son received some of the items explained, “My son in class three received some items from ICI, and since then, he is always excited about school. He previously was not enthusiastic about school. He preferred to follow to the farm and galamsey (illegal mining) sites. But now, he is so happy to have a beautiful school bag and uniform for school. I as a parent have also benefited because I do not have to struggle to get money to buy him those items as before.”
Another cocoa farmer in Anyeme, Peter Mensah explained “ICI made us aware that we should not engage our children in hazardous activities but rather prioritize our children’s education. They supported us by providing our children with educational materials and since then, we always make sure they go to school to put the material into the use for which it was intended.”
Appiah Sampson Ernest, head teacher of Anyeme D/A primary also testified, “we were having a challenge of truancy of the pupils. They usually would go to galamsey sites or engage in all forms of labour activities on people's cocoa farms during school hours. But since ICI brought the school kits, enrolment has improved, and we the teachers are extremely impressed with the student’s attendance. At first, we could come to school and meet only few children here but now it has changed.”
13 year old Esther also shared her story, “Before I got the items I was not really interested in school because I did not have the necessary stationary to come to school to learn but after the items were brought, I have all I need to come to school to learn so I am happy anytime I am coming to school. My teachers also teach very well.” She added, “My mum did not have money to buy me a school bag. So, some school days when I did not want to come to school, we used to go with her to the farm to carry cocoa.”