Mobilizing communities for development initiatives

The Cocoa Life project, implemented by Solidaridad and funded by Mondelez International, seeks to transform and empower cocoa-producing communities to create ideal living conditions for themselves and their families.

The Allangbabroukro community provided farm management services to raise money for a new school building

The people of Allangbabroukro, a cocoa-producing community located in the lower South-West district of Cote d’Ivoire, are mobilizing and engaging their community with self-initiated sustainable development projects.

Through the Cocoa Life project, members of the community have facilitated the construction of a three-unit classroom block, washrooms, a canteen, and a director's office to bring relief to school-going children in their community.

The long journey to school

School children from Allangbabroukro have had to walk 10 km every day to attend classes in Alluikro, a neighbouring village. The challenging situation deterred most parents from sending their wards to school.

It was difficult to walk the children to school every day considering the distance involved. Some parents who could not afford to send their children to the neighbouring village kept them at home.” -Konan Richard, chief of Allangbabroukro

The Cocoa Life project, as part of its community development agenda in cocoa-producing communities, initiated the Cocoa Life Project Opportunity Fund to support community-based development initiatives in beneficiary communities.

Growing opportunities

Solidaridad, through the project, built the capacity of members of the Allangbabroukro community to form a Community Development Committee, to engage in the establishment and management of tree nurseries and undertake self-initiated activities.

In all, 16 nurseries were established in Allangbabroukro and other beneficiary communities raising 1,500 tree seedlings with an 85% success rate within six months.

Having been trained to undertake initiatives, the committee’s priority was to secure the school building with its accessories as the first development infrastructure in their community.

Bridging the gap for rural school children 

The construction of the school building required that the community contributes 10 per cent of the total cost. With the training they received from Solidaridad, the community committee was able to raise their part of the funds for the construction by providing farm management services to cocoa farmers in and outside of their area for a fee.

“Building the school has brought relief and hope to hundreds of school children.” – Konan Richard 

“Parents are now able to fulfil their desires of seeing their children study in a safe, nearby school environment. We know that the school will bridge the gap between children from cocoa-growing communities and those in the cities. We are grateful to the Cocoa Life project for making this a reality,” says Konan.

The Cocoa Life continues

Cocoa farmers in the community who have also benefited from training and access to inputs to improve their productivity and incomes are optimistic that the school will give their children a better outlook on life. They are encouraged to grow more cocoa to generate more incomes to support their children’s education.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the Cocoa Life project has so far benefited 568 communities with four benefiting from the construction of classroom units and other facilities, one of which is the Allangbabroukro community.

Besides Cote d’Ivoire, the project is also implemented in cocoa-growing communities in Ghana, improving the lives of more than 7000 farmers in 89 communities. 

Read more about our work in Cocoa.