Education as a basis for better living condi­tions

GRI 203-1; GRI 408-1; GRI 413-1

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 now incor­po­rated this project into our Tchibo Joint Forces!® programme, so that farmers' wives receive training and oppor­tu­nities for additional income, while the men work as harvest workers on larger farms and the children are looked after. Currently, we are working on helping the success­fully running project become self-suffi­cient. In other words, we want to support the local people in continuing the content of the project indepen­dently. 

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. During the last coffee harvest season from November 2017 to February 2018, we made it possible for more than 300 children to receive age-appro­priate child care. 2,000 girls and boys at 18 schools in the region also received additional tutoring during regular school hours, so that more than 2,100 children have benefitted from our project activ­ities since the programme was launched. The project is scheduled to become self-suffi­cient at the end of 2018, after which it will be continued by the local stake­holders. 

In another project, "Niñez Feliz", we support the education of children at 20 schools in the Jacal­te­nango region. So far, around 850 students have attended reading camps and around 1,150 parents have been involved in the project activ­ities. They partic­i­pated in reading-promotion activ­ities, founded project groups, or joined child advocacy committees. Indirectly, approx­i­mately 10,000 children and 20,000 adults have been reached in this way since the project began. 

Tanzania: improving vocational training oppor­tu­nities at an early stage

The project we launched with Save the Children in June 2015 was completed in December 2017. Together, we had set out to improve the educa­tional oppor­tu­nities of Tanzania’s children and teens, as 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.

Our project focused primarily on two aspects. We worked to improve the quality of education at primary schools so that more pupils go on to finish school. This enabled children at 16 project schools in the Mbeya region to regularly attend and complete primary school. We also helped young people find a training centre where they could learn skills like tailoring and carpentry. This opens up other oppor­tu­nities for young people – beyond coffee growing – to earn their own income and establish a sustainable livelihood. 

The project was aimed not only at pupils, but also at parents and teachers. Parents were encouraged to promote and demand education for their children. Further training enabled teachers to make lessons more practical and child-friendly. 

Even if the final project evalu­ation is not yet in, positive change processes can already be seen. They help empower youths to break the cycle of poverty long-term. By the end of the project in December 2017, we were able to directly reach 3,965 children, 525 teens, 59 teachers, as well as 1,859 parents and 548 women. 

Findings and future orien­tation 

We are currently preparing a project evalu­ation for the project in the Olopa region of Guatemala, so as to further develop our programmes. In addition, regular reports detailing the quali­tative and quanti­tative results are prepared for all projects. However, at this point, a well-founded impact assessment is still difficult, as this can only be inves­ti­gated in the long term for most project elements and devel­op­ments outside the project always have an influence as well.  

Basically, we have found, based on our project experience to date, that close cooper­ation with local organ­i­sa­tions is essential for a project’s success and its possible transfer to self-suffi­ciency. We have also found that by linking social projects more closely to our supply chain at source, we can provide closer support on our part and achieve a greater impact on the ground. One example of this is our project with the Coffee Care Associ­ation in Huehue­te­nango, Guatemala, which we have linked to our Tchibo Joint Forces!® coffee quali­fi­cation programme. Here, we are seeing a greater impact than in the other project regions that are not immedi­ately linked to Tchibo supply chains.