“Attendance of students in the afternoon has increased from 50% to 90% since the canteen was commissioned.”
Stéphane Sabourin, Cacao Sourcer, went to Côte d’Ivoire in October 2021. Here is his story of the canteen built in Konédougou in Côte d’Ivoire.
“The Valrhona Foundation financed the construction of a school canteen in the village of Kouaméblekro. It features a fully-equipped kitchen and a dining area with 120 seats. Meals are prepared by five women who are part of an association. Our local partner the CAPEDIG Cooperative has set up a monitoring committee bringing together members of the cooperative, teachers and parents of studentsto ensure that the canteen is well managed and maintained, thus ensuring its sustainability.
The lack of on-site lunch facilities is a major factor in poor attendance in schools. Children have no choice but to return home at noon, which can be a long walk. Many do not come back in the afternoon, especially younger children. The distance between a child’s home and school is an important risk factor for child labor. Some children meet their parents working in the field or on plantations.
The canteen has been in service since the start of the school year in September 2021. It is located opposite the primary school inaugurated in May 2021, itself rebuilt thanks to the Valrhona Foundation. The number of students in the school increased from 148 to 211. As for the attendance of students in the afternoon, it has increased from 50% to 90% since the canteen opened!
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