IVORY COAST– Nestlé has joined the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF) and the Early Learning and Nutrition Facility (ELAN) coalition to combat child labor and provide a good start in life and quality education for all children in rural communities in Ivory Coast.

The CLEF & ELAN coalition is a pooled financing facility, and the first public-private partnership focused on scaling investments of 150million Swiss Francs (US$154.8m) to promote effective learning and early childhood development at scale in Côte d’Ivoire.

Members to date include the Jacobs Foundation who has been promoting the initiative, the Ivorian government, UBS Optimus Foundation and ten other cocoa and chocolate companies i.e. Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Chocolonely Foundation, ECOM, Ferrero, The Hershey Company, Mars Wrigley, Mondelēz International, Olam Cocoa and Touton.

Access to quality education is an essential tool to promote children’s rights and fighting child labor. The Jacobs Foundation is, therefore, working with public and private organizations to develop a sustainable ecosystem that will ensure education for all children.

Over the past years, Nestlé has worked with the Jacobs Foundation to set up bridging classes and vocational training for young people through the Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program.

This partnership with the Nestlé Cocoa Plan helps children to (re-)integrate into the public-school system and support them to keep up with their peers.

Alexander von Maillot, Global Head confectionery and ice cream Strategic Business Unit at Nestlé, said, “We are pleased to contribute to the CLEF initiative to improve quality of education in Côte d’Ivoire. It builds on the work we have been doing with Jacobs Foundation under their TRECC program.”

Since 2012, Nestlé has contributed to improving access to education in the rural areas in Côte d’Ivoire. As part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, we have built or refurbished 49 schools in the cocoa growing communities.”

By 2030, CLEF aims to provide quality education for 5 million children and affect the behavior of 10 million parents.

To achieve this goal, CLEF will bring effective learning to up to 10,000 primary schools in cocoa growing areas and beyond, and construct 2,500 classrooms and other education infrastructures such as bridge classes, community schools, school canteens, and pre-school classrooms.

CLEF complements Nestlé’s wider actions to tackle child labor through the roll-out of the ‘Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System’ which helps address some of the root causes of child labor.