Child Rights empowers children in cocoa-growing areas
Child Rights International (CRI) has unveiled its latest initiative dedicated to the support and empowerment of children in cocoa-growing communities throughout the country.
It said as a non-governmental organisation deeply committed to safeguarding the rights and well-being of children, the organisation had embarked on a series of projects designed to enhance the educational and vocational opportunities for children, with significant emphasis on eradicating child labour in cocoa-growing communities.
“Under the umbrella of the CRI Community Remediation and Empowerment Programme (CREP), CRI has made remarkable progress in providing educational opportunities and vocational training for children in various cocoa-growing communities.
“Over the years, we supported a number of children in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and offered educational support to many others,” a statement signed by the Executive Director of CRI, Bright Appiah, said.
This year, it said the CRI had supported 25 children across three cocoa-growing districts, adding that out of the number, 14 were in New Juabeng, seven in West Akim and four in Ayensuano districts.
The children, it said had embarked on apprenticeships in vocations such as hairdressing, masonry, plumbing, sewing and many more.
An additional 113 children, it said, were set to benefit across five districts.
“Furthermore, through the School Improvement Support Scheme (SISS), CRI has provided five nursery schools within the Atwinma Mponua, Ayensuano and West Akim districts with child-friendly furniture, educational materials and refurbished classrooms.
“These improvements are already creating a more conducive learning environment for children in these areas.
Presently, CRI is actively involved in the renovation of two kindergarten schools in the Atwinma Mponua and Suhum districts,” it said.
The move, the statement said, aimed to ensure that children aged four to six years could access quality education without the need for long and arduous journeys.
“This initiative aligns seamlessly with CRI's unwavering commitment to creating opportunities for children in cocoa-growing communities.
Additionally, approximately 4,000 junior high school students across 35 districts within the Ashanti, Eastern, Western-North, Bono, Ahafo and Western regions will receive textbooks, exercise books and notebooks,” it said.
By undertaking the endeavour, it said CRI aimed to significantly enhance the educational resources available to these students, granting them the advantages needed to excel in their studies.
Under the CRI Tony Fofie Child Development Fund (TFDF), it said a total of 31 students had received scholarships, with 29 of them awarded tertiary scholarships and two given secondary scholarships.
Furthermore, and in a resolute effort to eliminate child labour, the statement said CRI had established partnerships with eight organisations collectively working across 1,250 cocoa-growing communities.
These collaborations equip children with essential technical skills and education, protecting them from engaging in hazardous activities.
“CRI's School Mobility Project (SMP) has also provided 13 modified tricycles in five cocoa-growing districts to assist schoolchildren in rural communities with their daily commute to school.
“During the hand over of 14 children in the New Juabeng North District to their master craftsmen, Mr Appiah admonished and underscored the significance of technical education.
He described it as the key to empowering young people with practical skills and enabling them to pursue careers aligned with their passions, while simultaneously safeguarding them from perilous activities.
The Municipal Chief Executive of New Juabeng North, Comfort Asante, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to CRI and its esteemed partners for their invaluable support.
She urged skills tutors to remain committed to the education of children, emphasising that such dedication was a collective endeavour, requiring the unwavering commitment of all parties involved.
The statement said CRI remained committed and dedicated to improving the lives and well- being of children, particularly in cocoa-growing communities across Ghana.
“Through its diverse programmes and initiatives aimed at eradicating child labour, CRI strives to ensure a brighter and more promising future for the children in these communities,” it said.