Right now these children are in school. Tomorrow they may not be.
Because tomorrow they could be working on a cocoa farm.
Ghana has one of the highest rates of child labor per country in the world, with about 21% of its childhood population participating in some form of child labor, even though it’s against the law.
“Children involved in child labor often lack the basic educational grounding which would enable them to acquire skills and to improve their prospects for a decent adult working life.”—International Labour Organization
For the village of Hasowodze, cocoa farming is its main source of income. But, because the school buildings in Hasowodze are falling apart and don't provide an adequate setting for learning, too many parents in this community don’t send their children to school. Instead they bring them to the field, to work with them.
Children in Ghana become a part of child labor due to a variety of reasons, including outside cultural influences, lack of access to quality education, and a lack of regulation regarding current child labor laws. There are several negative consequences that affect children’s lives when they are involved in child labor. These include harm to physical and emotional health, lack of a quality education, and long-term perpetuation of the poverty cycle within their communities.*
Cocoa farmers are honorable, hard working men and women. But in rural farming communities, like Hasowodze, it is common for parents to believe that having their children work in the cocoa fields, instead of going to school, provides them with the opportunities they need to obtain life-long skills for employment. Skills in farming, which are important, can take precedence over reading, writing, and arithmetic. Especially if the conditions of the school make it difficult to obtain a proper education.
Having 50-year-old school buildings that are falling apart, are actually trapping Hasowodze’s children in a cycle of poverty.
Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world. Exporting cocoa beans is a billion dollar industry, but Ghana’s cocoa farmers average less than $1 per day in earnings, and its farmers are exposed to hazardous working conditions and sharp tools. For the majority of Ghana’s cocoa bean farmers, they are trapped in a cycle of generational poverty. Having their children work in the fields, instead of going to school, may help their family survive.
And it survives by, unfortunately, working hard at a low paying and hazardous job. Because the cocoa beans are primarily exported, few companies make chocolate domestically, the system is designed for the global export businesses to profit, and not the farmers who produce the crop.
When children are not given an opportunity to get an education, a chance to learn how to read and write – develop essential skills and talents at a young age – they are more likely to remain in the cycle of poverty for the rest of their lives.
The attendance rate of Hasowodze’s Primary School is dwindling at an alarming rate. Today, there are less than 100 children attending school, and that’s on a good weather day.
A new school building in Hasowodze can break the cycle of poverty for its children. It will, once again, open the doors to education to this village. It will give children a voice, and a choice, in deciding their future. Whether they become a farmer, a teacher, or a doctor – whatever they dream, they can work toward becoming.
And with a safe and sturdy school building in which to learn, Hasowodze parents are more likely to let their children go to school. Because in their mind, with the way things are now, it is just as safe for their children to farm cocoa beans, then to learn inside their current classrooms.
The cost to bring Hasowodze their brand new six-room primary school is $27,025.43.
Today, because of your generosity and the belief that having access to education changes lives, this school will get its roof on before the rainy season starts! Thank you! It’s a fantastic start. But, we’ve got a ways to go to raise all the money needed to build this school. Together, I am confident that we will get there.
If we had 100 friends, giving a gift of just $200, we could have this school project completely funded and prevent one more child from working in the cocoa fields. In fact, we will be opening the doors to children to come back to school!
But, we need old and new friends alike to make this happen.
Could I ask you a favor? Would you please share this email with a friend or two of yours and invite them to join you in supporting Framework International?
Also, if you haven’t given a gift already toward this project, could I ask you to please consider making one now?
I think you’ll agree that this school build is important. There are so many things going on in the world and you may wonder how you can make a difference. Building a primary school for Hasowodze will make a difference. For 13 years this village, and its children, have patiently waited for the promise of a new school building to be fulfilled. Your gift of $200, or any amount you feel led to give, will make that promise come true. Please give generously today. It’s worthy of your support.
*Click HERE to read the full article.