Education as a basis for better living conditions
GRI 203-1; GRI 408-1; GRI 413-1
Tchibo promotes better living conditions in the source countries with targeted educational projects. We cooperate with local partners to implement educational and vocational programmes for children and youths in particular, according to the principle of ‘helping people to help themselves’.
Guatemala: Education and care for children and youths
In Guatemala, we promote childcare for migrant workers and pickers. The children’s school holidays often overlap with the season for harvesting coffee cherries. Since there is hardly any childcare available, many migrant workers and harvest helpers take their children with them to the coffee fields. While the younger children play on the steep and dangerous slopes, the parents often let the older ones help them pick. This frequently involves crossing the line to impermissible child labour. We create alternatives by promoting educational projects and childcare options in various regions of Guatemala.
Together with the Coffee Care Association, we have since 2011 been active in the Huehuetenango region, where, during the harvest season, we operate day-care centres and offer vocational seminars for youths. We have now incorporated this project into our Tchibo Joint Forces!® programme, so that farmers' wives receive training and opportunities for additional income, while the men work as harvest workers on larger farms and the children are looked after. Currently, we are working on helping the successfully running project become self-sufficient. In other words, we want to support the local people in continuing the content of the project independently.
We have also been engaged in the Chiquimula region since 2013. Together with the world's largest children's rights organisation Save the Children, we initially opened six day-care centres in twelve municipalities in the Olopa region. During the last coffee harvest season from November 2017 to February 2018, we made it possible for more than 300 children to receive age-appropriate child care. 2,000 girls and boys at 18 schools in the region also received additional tutoring during regular school hours, so that more than 2,100 children have benefitted from our project activities since the programme was launched. The project is scheduled to become self-sufficient at the end of 2018, after which it will be continued by the local stakeholders.
In another project, "Niñez Feliz", we support the education of children at 20 schools in the Jacaltenango region. So far, around 850 students have attended reading camps and around 1,150 parents have been involved in the project activities. They participated in reading-promotion activities, founded project groups, or joined child advocacy committees. Indirectly, approximately 10,000 children and 20,000 adults have been reached in this way since the project began.
Tanzania: improving vocational training opportunities at an early stage
The project we launched with Save the Children in June 2015 was completed in December 2017. Together, we had set out to improve the educational opportunities of Tanzania’s children and teens, as many of them leave school at just 13 to 15 years old, without being able to read and write properly, and without having earned a graduation certificate.
Our project focused primarily on two aspects. We worked to improve the quality of education at primary schools so that more pupils go on to finish school. This enabled children at 16 project schools in the Mbeya region to regularly attend and complete primary school. We also helped young people find a training centre where they could learn skills like tailoring and carpentry. This opens up other opportunities for young people – beyond coffee growing – to earn their own income and establish a sustainable livelihood.
The project was aimed not only at pupils, but also at parents and teachers. Parents were encouraged to promote and demand education for their children. Further training enabled teachers to make lessons more practical and child-friendly.
Even if the final project evaluation is not yet in, positive change processes can already be seen. They help empower youths to break the cycle of poverty long-term. By the end of the project in December 2017, we were able to directly reach 3,965 children, 525 teens, 59 teachers, as well as 1,859 parents and 548 women.
Findings and future orientation
We are currently preparing a project evaluation for the project in the Olopa region of Guatemala, so as to further develop our programmes. In addition, regular reports detailing the qualitative and quantitative results are prepared for all projects. However, at this point, a well-founded impact assessment is still difficult, as this can only be investigated in the long term for most project elements and developments outside the project always have an influence as well.
Basically, we have found, based on our project experience to date, that close cooperation with local organisations is essential for a project’s success and its possible transfer to self-sufficiency. We have also found that by linking social projects more closely to our supply chain at source, we can provide closer support on our part and achieve a greater impact on the ground. One example of this is our project with the Coffee Care Association in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, which we have linked to our Tchibo Joint Forces!® coffee qualification programme. Here, we are seeing a greater impact than in the other project regions that are not immediately linked to Tchibo supply chains.