Education as a basis for better living conditions
Tchibo promotes better living conditions in the source countries with targeted educational projects. We cooperate with local partners to implement educational and vocational programmes for children and youths in particular, according to the principle of helping people to help themselves.
Guatemala: Education and care for children and youths
In Guatemala, we promote childcare for migrant workers and pickers. The children’s school holidays often overlap with the season for harvesting coffee cherries. Since there is hardly any childcare available, many migrant workers and harvest helpers take their children with them to the coffee fields. While the younger children play on the steep and dangerous slopes, the parents often let the older ones help them pick. This frequently involves crossing the line to impermissible child labour. We create alternatives by promoting educational projects and childcare options in various regions of Guatemala.
Together with the Coffee Care Association, we have since 2011 been active in the Huehuetenango region, where, during the harvest season, we operate day-care centres and offer vocational seminars for youths.
We have also been engaged in the Chiquimula region since 2013. Together with the world's largest children's rights organisation Save the Children, we initially opened six day-care centres in twelve municipalities in the Olopa region, and to date have provided age-appropriate care for more than 800 children including educational programmes, a balanced diet, and medical care during the coffee harvest season from November to February. Girls and boys in the region also received additional tuition in maths and reading during regular school hours at 18 schools. In total, 200 teachers were given educational and professional training and were also provided with school materials. In addition, about 900 parents were involved in the project work and attended parents’ evenings on children's rights and education. The positive development of the project encouraged us to expand it to another region in 2015.
Since April 2015, we have worked with Save the Children in the Jacaltenango region as well. In 15 municipalities, we have launched projects that will run until September 2018. In a single year, we managed to build four child care centres that look after children during the coffee harvest season. The younger ones are encouraged to learn through fun methods, and the older ones can expand their knowledge on topics in their school curriculum. The offer also includes a balanced, wholesome diet as well as health checks. In addition, the project enhances children’s education throughout the year at 17 schools in the region. In the first year, we were able to provide 100 teachers with training on the topic of reading. More than 800 pupils and 500 parents participated in reading-promotion activities. In addition, parents’ evenings are held on children's rights and education, and campaigns are run to raise awareness for how important it is for all children to attend school. Since the project started, we have been able to directly reach a total of 2,124 children and 1,875 adults. Indirectly, approximately 10,000 children and 20,000 adults have benefited from the project to date.
Tanzania: improving vocational training opportunities at an early stage
In June 2015, we launched a new project with Save the Children: Together, we seek to improve the educational opportunities of Tanzania’s children and teens. Many of them leave school at just 13 to 15 years old, without being able to read and write properly, and without having earned a graduation certificate. As a result, they have little chance of beginning an apprenticeship. However, even students who have successfully graduated are faced with further challenges: the colleges or training centres where they could learn a profession are often very far away. They thus lack the opportunity to build a secure foundation for their livelihoods.
Therefore, our project focuses especially on two aspects. We seek to improve the quality of education at primary schools so that more pupils go on to finish school. At present, children at sixteen project schools in the Mbeya region can regularly attend and complete primary school. In addition, we help young people to find a training centre where they can learn skills like tailoring and carpentry. We have created training facilities for this. This opens up other opportunities for young people – beyond coffee growing – to earn their own income and establish a sustainable livelihood.
The project is aimed not only at pupils, but also at parents and teachers. Parents are encouraged to promote and demand education for their children. Further training enables teachers to make lessons more practical and child-friendly.
By the end of the project in November 2017, the goal is to directly reach approx. 2,400 children, 300 teens, 160 teachers, and 1,700 parents.