Nestle have announced their intention to build a new state-run primary school for the Didier Drogba Foundation in Drogba's home region of Gagnoa.
Didier Drogba started the foundation that bears his name to help vulnerable Ivorians in the area of education, and it has now partnered with Nestle to further these goals, which the company supports.
The partnership marks the announcement that KitKat is now the world's first global confectionery brand sourced from 100 per cent sustainable cocoa, supplied under the Nestle Cocoa Plan.
The Plan enables farmers to run profitable farmers and enables the company to source good quality, sustainable cocoa for its products. Crucially, it also improves social conditions in farming communities.
Nick Weatherill, Executive Director of International Cocoa Initiative, an organisation that promotes child protection in cocoa communities, insists that well-built schools do help in the fight against child labor.
“If there’s no school in a community, then there’s no real alternative for kids. Since their parents are hardly going to let them sit at home doing nothing, the likelihood of them working on the farm is therefore higher. So building one is an essential part of the response.”
“If that school offers high quality education, and it’s free, then you rarely find a cocoa farmer who doesn’t want to send his child. That said, bricks and mortar alone isn’t enough.”
Weatherill warns that if farmers can’t afford to hire adult workers to replace their children, then they can be reluctant to send them to school. That’s why it’s also vital to address the problem of rural poverty.