The Jacobs Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, has announced a $52 million pledge to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers and their families in the Ivory Coast.
There are about eight hundred thousand cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, most of whom are illiterate and subsist on less than fifty cents a day, while approximately eight million Ivorians depend on cocoa farming, an industry dominated by smallholder farmers, for their livelihoods. The commitment from the foundation will support the launch of the TRansforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) initiative, a systemic approach to achieving sustainable social and economic change in the region. TRECC, in cooperation with the cocoa industry initiative CocoaAction, will work to advance a range of activities, including research, capacity building initiatives, educational projects, financial innovation, and education policy reforms. The program, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, will run from June 2015 until the end of 2022.
"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," said Jacobs Foundation chair Lavinia Jacobs. "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."