Chasing Dreams: The Difference a Little Help Can Make in Shaping a Child’s Future

Bernice

Sewing Apprentice
Mehame, Ashanti Region, Ghana
Photo by International Cocoa Initiative

It is early morning and we see a group of young adults hurrying off. Among them is Bernice, a young lady from Mehame, a cocoa community in Ghana. Her happy laughter is heard from a distance as she walks by on her way to her training center.

She is in the second year of her apprenticeship training in tailoring.

Two years ago, she was not this happy and care-free. She was involved in various forms of child labor. She had to help her parents work on their cocoa farm where she was exposed to a lot of hazardous work.

But today, the situation has changed for Bernice. Through the help of the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC), her parents were taken through household awareness and dialogue sessions. Through this process, the CCPC was able to get her parents to understand child labor and hazardous labor and their effects on the lives of children.

Bernice training another apprentice. Photo by International Cocoa Initiative.

Upon realizing that Bernice, who was sixteen-years-old at the time, was at risk of going back into child labor, the CCPC worked with ICI and her parents to ensure that the necessary measures were taken for her to be fully taken out of the situation.

“I joined this apprenticeship program because my parents were unable to pay for my education after I completed junior high school. When the CCPC spoke to me about this opportunity, I was really happy.”

She was supported to enroll with a master trainer. Now, she is among those who chase their dreams and strive for a better future.

According to Bernice, “I have seen that sewing can help me to achieve my aspirations. This can help me accomplish all the plans I have for myself.”

This blog was originally published by the International Cocoa Initiative, a foundation that promotes child protection in cocoa-growing communities to ensure a better future for children and their families.