Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Middle East & Africa meeting, in partnership with the cocoa industry strategy CocoaAction, coordinated by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), the Jacobs Foundation launched TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities), a seven-year Commitment to Action to enhance education, empower women, and help protect children in C?te d?Ivoire?s cocoa-growing communities. TRECC will work alongside CocoaAction to accelerate sustainability by reaching cocoa farmers with much needed productivity and community development support.
TRECC will transform education in C?te d?Ivoire through efforts focused on six interlinked action areas, including research, capacity building, matching grants, impact investing, engagement with other donors, and policy strengthening. According to the Education Policy and Data Center, 62 percent of youth ages 15-24 have not completed primary school in the West African nation.
?The World Cocoa Foundation is delighted to collaborate with the Jacobs Foundation through CocoaAction to directly benefit the education of 200,000 children in cocoa-growing communities in C?te d?Ivoire,? said Barry Parkin, chairman, World Cocoa Foundation, and chief sustainability officer and health & wellness officer, Mars, Incorporated.
WCF?s CocoaAction strategy, launched in May 2014, brings the world?s leading cocoa and chocolate companies together to accelerate sustainability and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. CocoaAction develops meaningful partnerships between governments, cocoa farmers, and the cocoa industry to boost productivity and strengthen community development in C?te d?Ivoire and Ghana ? the leading cocoa producing countries in the world. CocoaAction intends to train and deliver improved planting material and fertilizer to 300,000 cocoa farmers and empower communities through education, child labor monitoring, and women?s empowerment. CocoaAction is measured against adherence to six key performance indicators, and the industry?s progress is publically reported on a regular basis.
?Our experience has taught us that education for a country?s poorest can only be successful if the necessary conditions are in place within the family, at work, and in society. It is also important to note that sustainable development cannot be achieved without education. We have therefore decided to take our activities in Africa to the next level with the TRECC program, in an effort to promote sustainable social and economic change in the region,? explains Lavinia Jacobs, chair of the Jacobs Foundation.
?Access to a quality education is a key component to growing the capacity of both individuals and communities. TRECC is an unprecedented commitment to improve education in C?te d?Ivoire, and WCF is optimistic that additional partners will follow Jacobs Foundation?s lead to ensure cocoa sustainability through CocoaAction,? said Bill Guyton, president, World Cocoa Foundation.