As part of our ongoing investment into cocoa growing communities, for this coming year we have chosen to work with our cocoa supplier in Colombia, to create entrepreneurial opportunities for young adults who are living isolated lives in rural cocoa growing regions. Opportunities for those over the age of 18 are very limited within these areas, made even more difficult to access due to the remoteness of the villages, so causing huge emotional strain on this generation of young people. Once schooling is complete, the remote areas that many young people live in means there is very little possibility of work, and thus the attraction and opportunity that drug trafficking clans offer is greatly increased, as cocaine is grown mostly in remote parts of the country where the government has long lacked control.
The aim of this project is to work with 100 young adults, bringing them together from the different areas, watching them build relationships with one another and teaching them leadership skills. Whilst they are learning together, they are working on a task to connect their communities, with a potential business being the end result. We are really excited to be involved at the start of the process which we are hoping to watch unfold over the next couple of years, with the emphasis this year of building the essential skills needed to lead, and grow in confidence and esteem, so that a future business project is realised.
When we chose this project to invest in, we did so because we felt that this opportunity fits well with our own Inclusive Employment Initiative, where we work informally with local organisations within our community to give those from socially marginalised groups who find getting employment challenging an opportunity to learn and develop. We wholeheartedly believe that by taking a person-centered approach, and investing in these individuals really does make a world of difference.
We are expectant that this project in Colombia has the potential to have a huge impact on the lives of these young adults, and are anticipating this is the start of great things happening.
We will be posting about our project on social media; so make sure you keep up to date!