VSLA-CHILD uses a bottom-up, community driven approach to address the underlying reasons behind child labour in the cocoa sector, with a focus on income-generating activities, awareness raising, and gender empowerment at the household level.
VSLAs are community-based groups made up of 15-30 individuals who come together to collectively save a small portion of their incomes, which can then be used for group members to access small loans. With their own elected leadership and training from a professional external facilitator, groups receive ongoing support in setting up and carrying out group savings cycles.
To supplement this financial capacity building, we use an adapted version of CARE International’s Gender Action Learning System (GALS) methodology, which was developed to train both men and women on gender equality and women empowerment using group and household development plans. Trainings are highly interactive and exclusively visual, making it accessible to all group members regardless of their level of literacy.
Finally, our Child-Household Intervention for Learning & Development (CHILD) methodology includes group sensitizations on what child labour is and why it is harmful, as well as concrete remediation activities. VSLA-CHILD groups provide the perfect platform to discuss issues like child labour in the community and to opens the door for dialogue between farmers as to how such problems could be tackled. The savings distributed at the share-out ceremony also support farmers in realising the child labour remediation plans that they develop in the trainings.
Together, this facilitates grassroots change led by community members themselves.
You can read more about VSLA-CHILD in our Notes from the Field.