Kweku is a 12-year-old boy living with his father in a cocoa-growing community in West Africa. His father is poor, he relies on his son’s help on the farm, and he cannot afford to send him to school.
Never having had the opportunity to attend school himself, Kweku’s father does not immediately see the merits of prioritising his son’s education. Like Kweku, many children living in cocoa-growing regions face a lack of options. Except Kweku is not a real boy; he is a fictional character and the hero of ICI’s new awareness-raising animation series “Kweku and the Bird”. Representing the typical plight of many children involved in child labour in cocoa, his story is told in four short episodes that explain the problem, its causes and its challenges – and how households and communities can drive change.
The episodes explore the difference between dangerous and light tasks for children, the importance of education, women’s economic empowerment and the role of communities in protecting children. With this fun and accessible story, ICI aims to raise awareness on all levels: among children and parents, across communities, in the supply chain, with national authorities and in the private sector. The series is shown in cocoa-growing areas to accompany our community work and is also widely distributed on our social media channels in order to show the realities of life in cocoa-growing communities.