A STORY ON COMMUNITY
"EMPOWERED, THRIVING COCOA COMMUNITIES ARE ESSENTIAL"
By Aduma Situmorang, senior program manager of Cocoa Life program, Save the Children Indonesia
In Indonesia, Cocoa Life farming families on the islands of Sulawesi and Sumatra are creating community action plans to chart their own course for community success. The action plans, developed by all members of the community — women, men, and children — identify collective needs, such as healthcare access, vocational skills, or nutritional education, and propose initiatives to address them. Cocoa Life has partnered with Swisscontact and Save the Children to develop and implement these community action plans. Aduma Situmorang, senior program manager of the Cocoa Life program for Save the Children Indonesia, shares her perspective on the partnership:
Together, we're working to ensure sustainable income for cocoa farmers, increase community-based development, and positively impact the children in these communities. One way we can work toward this is to engage and empower the whole community through the creation of community action plans.
These plans aim not only to improve the community overall but also to foster important life, vocational, and farming skills for the very individuals who create them. Young people begin to groom the analytical skills needed to define problems and create tangible solutions. Women, who may not be involved in other decision-making, are empowered to become active in village society, contribute to village development, and support cocoa farming. Throughout the process, we see the pride men and women, young and old, feel from using their voices to effect change in their community.
Save the Children and Cocoa Life are also working together to promote gender equality through leadership and business training for women and to provide agriculture education for youth. And we are already seeing success in promoting sustainable cocoa farming and improving the well-being of farmers and their families.
I think the greatest benefit of the program is the opportunity to educate and change the mind-set of youth and women who were initially hesitant to participate. Having seen the program’s value, they are now willing to be actively involved. Youth engaged in this project have told us that it makes them proud to become cocoa farmers. They can see more tangible opportunities for growth and realize they can positively impact the economic sustainable development of their communities.
Empowered, thriving cocoa communities are essential, and parents in these communities must have a sustainable income so they can provide for their children and give them the opportunity to reach their full potential. All of us at Save the Children are committed to giving children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. Working with Cocoa Life, we are achieving this in Indonesia communities.
FROM OUR PARTNER OLAM
"As the Cocoa Life program grows and expands to new communities, baseline studies provide important information to monitor and evaluate the program's effectiveness. One area we are focused on in Indonesia is improving agricultural practices. Our efforts in the region have led to healthier crops and increased incomes."
Nikhil Chandan, Associate General Manager, Olam International Limited