‘’I had always wanted to be a tiler, but that dream was almost dashed until I was identified for support.”
Now 19 years old, Ebenezer Sam was identified in child labour in the Dinkyea community, where he was working on his parents' cocoa farm when he was 17. He had always wanted to be a tiler and we helped him to get an apprenticeship to learn the trade. The team monitored and encouraged him throughout and provided him with the tools he needed to start work upon completion of the apprenticeship program.
“I thank all partners for getting me out of my previous situation and helping me acquire a skill that is earning me an income. I’m able to support my parents by helping to pay for workers to help on their farm. I am very happy,” Ebenezer said.
He is now a fully-fledged tiler working in the Bekwai and Nsokote districts in Ghana.
Dina Anful was also found participating in child labour and was offered a dressmaking apprenticeship. Now 18 years old, she is set to complete her training in the coming year.
‘’I was weeding, spraying and engaged in all sort of hard work in my parents' cocoa farm until I was identified for support,” she said. “I was helped with entry fees, a uniform and regular visits to see how I was getting on. Without that support, I don’t know what I would have done. For this trade, you need your own sewing machine. I was provided one even before starting this apprenticeship program. This is it” she says, showing it off with a laugh.
The Nestle Cocoa Plan and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) have supported 1,600 children in Ghana that were identified as being at risk or (or actually participating in) child labour. Together we are helping them to return to school or find apprenticeship programs so they can learn skills for the future.