In Yaobabrikro, a cocoa-growing community in Cote D’Ivoire, a new school is paving a new future for area youth.
One of the community members building this school is Honoré Kouafou Koffi. Honore, 40, starts work on his three acre farm around 6am and works growing and harvesting cocoa until 4 pm. His wife, Marie Yao Akoua, 32, helps by bringing him food and water. At the end of his day in the fields, Honore’s work continues as he goes to help build the new school in Yaobabrikro. The new building, which will replace an old one that had fallen into disrepair, will provide students with three classrooms, a canteen, toilets facilities, and administrative offices.
In many cocoa-growing areas, non enrolled school-age children often join their parents in the cocoa fields during the day rather than study. However, that has begun to change in Yaobabrikro. Thanks to CARE’s support, Honoré and Marie attended community meetings where they learned to advocate for their community’s needs. Honoré, says he learned that his children shouldn’t come with him to the farm, and now they’re in school. Although the workday is long, Honoré and Marie know that the new school will help their children succeed and their village to develop and thrive.
Honoré says he wants Yaobabrikro to become more developed; when he considered his children’s future, it motivated him to join in on the project to build the new school. He will also continue going to community meetings, where they discuss the needs of the village and press the government and other relevant stakeholders for increased support.
When everyone comes together, the potential is great!