Helping Kids into School

2 min read
Helping kids into school

Helping kids into school aiming at addressing child labor risks

School enrollment in the Income Accelerator Program

As an innovative family-centered approach, the income accelerator program is aiming to close the living income gap and reduce child labor risks by encouraging changes in behavior and rewarding positive practices – both within the home and on the farm.

The income accelerator program aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families. The program rewards cocoa-farming families not just for the quantity and quality of their cocoa beans, but also for practices that benefit the environment and local community. The program incentivizes and enables cocoa-farming families to engage in practices in four areas: school enrollment, good agricultural practices, agroforestry activities, and diversified incomes.

Families in the program can receive up to €500 annually for the first two years and €250 per year thereafter, with the incentives distributed equally between the two household heads (i.e., man and woman) to encourage gender equality, share financial responsibilities, and build more resilient household.

Enrolling children from 6-16 years old into school is one of the four pillars in the program and enables families to earn up to €100 incentive, paid in two installments: 1) 50% on ‘promise to enroll’; and 2) 50% on ‘confirmation of enrollment’. The school enrollment incentive helps to cover the associated costs of schooling – like uniform, bags, stationery and pens. By ensuring women receive the school enrollment incentive, we are empowering them to take an active role in family finances and invest the funds where it matters most.

Already the incentives from all four areas are having a positive impact on the program’s communities and cocoa-farming families, with families prioritizing healthcare and their children’s schooling, as the most important use of funds received. We think school enrollment will play an important role in helping to reduce child labor risks – a key goal of the income accelerator program.

What has been the income accelerator program'S impact on school enrollment?

Published in summer 2023, the KIT Royal Tropical Institute Midline report of the pilot phase examined the 1000 cocoa-farming families of the income accelerator program pilot, revealing the following impacts for school enrollment:

  • School enrollment rates improved by an 8-percentage point among households in the program
  • 2782 children enrolled in school representing 98% of the children registered
  • 94% of households received the first 50% payment for ‘promise to enroll’

As we continue with the rollout of the income accelerator program further into Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, we aim to streamline the identification and verification of school attendance – an issue raised in the pilot report as the reason for the delay in the second 50% incentive payment, which is conditional on the verification of school enrollment.

Following the launch of the pilot in 2020, we moved to a test at scale phase in Côte d’Ivoire reaching 10 000 cocoa-farming families, with the aim to reach an estimated 160 000 cocoa-farming families in our supply chain by 2030.

The benefits of schooling and the positive impact it should deliver on child labor risks will remain a key priority as we work toward our 2030 ambition.

For more information on the income accelerator program and its impact on cocoa-farming families, click to read and discover How the program works; the  Income Accelerator Program Progress Report (July 2023); and the KIT Royal Tropical Institute reports Baseline on test at scale and Midline report of the pilot phase.