Oct. 06, GNA – The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) has signaled its
determination to collaborate and strengthen its partnerships with key
decentralized government agencies and departments to remove worst forms of
child labour in cocoa growing communities.
Mrs. Avril Kudzi, the National Coordinator, said the goal was to develop functional child-centred community networks to create awareness about the need to give more protection to children.
These would highlight the dangers of engaging children in hazardous work -the negative effects on their health and education.
Officials from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Department of Social Welfare, Department of Community Development, the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Education Service (GES), selected from four cocoa growing districts had come together to form the nucleus of the network to spearhead the implementation of the project in their different districts.
The project districts are Sefwi-Wiaso Municipality, Assin-South, Ahafo-Ano South and the Atwima-Mponua.
Mrs. Kudzi told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a training workshop for members of the network in Kumasi, that the intention was to promote active partnerships with the districts and communities in the fight against child labour in cocoa farming areas.
The five-day training programme would build the capacity of the participants and help them to have better understanding of the rights of children and laws protecting them.
They would also be equipped with communication skills, awareness creation and sensitization techniques, participatory approaches and field animation to effectively discharge their duties.
Mrs. Kudzi said community engagement was crucial to efforts at helping to eliminate child labour and safeguard the rights of children.
Parents and community members needed to be assisted to become aware of the health risks and the cost to the education of kids exposed to hazardous jobs on the farm.
She said the network would identify community livelihood projects that could support the growth and development of children alongside the transformation of the living conditions of parents.
Mr. Samuel Omane Derchie of the Department of Community Development, Sefwi-Wiaso, said the training programme would help them to build the required expertise to mobilize parents and community members towards the common goal of eliminating child labour.
He said parents needed to recognize that education was paramount in the lives of their children.