By Yussif Ibrahim,
Ankra Manua (W/N), June 19, GNA – The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) as part of its child labour interventions at Ankra Manua, a farming community in the Bibiani Anwiaso Bekwai Municipality, has built a two-unit kindergarten block for the community.
The community, which had been yearning for a classroom block for a long time due to the dilapidated nature of the existing one, had captured it in its action plan developed as part of a community development program it was pursuing with ICI.
Having ranked the construction of the classroom as its topmost priority, the community requested both the Municipal Assembly and the Member of Parliament (MP) to intervene due to the huge financial cost involved.
The ICI, which has been working in the community since 2016 stepped in to put up a two-unit classroom block with office and storeroom as a graduation package as it exits the community.
The project was executed with the support of the Assembly, Chief and the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC).
Mr. Prince Gyamfi, the Deputy Country Director of ICI, at the inauguration of the classroom, said the promotion of education was the surest way to deal with child labour in cocoa growing communities.
He said allowing children in those communities to attend school was not only important for their development but also critical to the future of the cocoa sector if such children should inherit farms of their parents in the near future after achieving academic laurels.
He therefore entreated the people not to allow their farming activities to be a hindrance to the education of their children.
The provision of the classroom, he said, was the commitment of international consumers of cocoa to end child labour in Ghana and charged them to respond to the gesture by enrolling their wards in school.
He admonished them to ensure proper maintenance of the facility to prolong its lifespan, cautioning them not to turn it into a venue for church service.
Mr. Gyamfi expressed dissatisfaction about the responsiveness of the community to the activities of ICI in the community, which he pointed out, was for their own benefit and urged them to embrace such development oriented initiatives in future.
He however singled out members of the CCPC for their commitment and dedication and charged them to continue the child labour sensitization to protect children in the community.