Despite accounting for almost 40% of global cocoa production, Ivory Coast’s smallholder cocoa farmers subsist on less than USD 0.5/day, which is considerably below the poverty line of USD 2/day. This high level of poverty is compounded by very low literacy and school attendance rates nationwide, gender inequality and child labor, particularly in rural areas.
The Jacobs Foundation has committed CHF 50 million to change this situation by implementing a comprehensive strategy to transform education, empower women, and ensure child protection in cocoa-growing communities in Ivory Coast. This initiative is called TRECC (Transforming education in cocoa communities), and it builds on CocoaAction, an unprecedented commitment of the private sector to sustain the cocoa industry and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
TRECC is comprised of six interlinked axes: research, capacity building, matching grants, impact finance, engagement and policy strengthening.
As a mid-term outcome, TRECC aims to reach over 200,000 children and youth directly by 2022. The intended long-term impact of this strategy is the creation of an ecosystem to transform education in cocoa-growing communities in Ivory Coast.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportMentorship/internship/job placementParental/community engagement in support of studentsPolicy & AnalysisCommunity EngagementComprehensive curriculumHealth/NutritionEntrepreneurship skills
Model details2015Hybrid (for-profit/not-for-profit)Vocational/technical skillsComprehensive curriculumHealth/NutritionEntrepreneurship skillsActiveLong-term project
The Jacobs Foundation is seeking additional resources for all strategic axes: 1) Research partners (individuals and organizations) investigating the living conditions of smallholder farmers in Ivory Coast, particularly the relationships between productivity and livelihoods, as well as relevant research already conducted in these fields; 2) Innovative models (organizations, social businesses, and projects) that can improve education, ensure child protection, and achieve gender empowerment in cocoa communities in Ivory Coast; 3) Best practice information on structuring effective policy strengthening approaches; and 4) Donors and investors willing to co-invest, match funds, and align programs to realize the vision and achieve the impact described.