Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union has started a pilot project aim at supplying bamboo bicycles to school children of cocoa farmers who walks long distances to school. The project which also seeks to promote Kuapa Kokoo farmers’ wards education is intended to be scaled to more school children in the cocoa growing regions of Ghana after a successful piloting. The project has been code-named “Kuapa Sukuu Sakrele”.
In lieu of this, Kuapa Kokoo has donated 100 bamboo bicycles to school children in 5 districts in the Western region of Ghana during the programme launching at Dadieso – a district in the Western North region.
The bicycles worth over $20,000 were manufactured by the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative and sponsored by Divine Chocolate Company – a U.K. subsidiary company of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union.
The Executive Secretary of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union Mr Appau Abrampah Mensah delivering the welcome address appealed to the chiefs and the opinion leaders in the beneficiaries’ communities to ensure that this project succeeds. He emphasized that the project is meant to develop the children’s interest in education and not to shift their interest and focus on the bicycles at the expense of their education as the provision of the bamboo bicycles only intends to enhance the children’s mobility to and from school.
He enumerated some benefits that a farmer receives upon becoming and selling his or her cocoa to Kuapa Kokoo Limited – the trading wing of the Union. These includes; catering for members health needs, good drinking water, non-formal education, extra bonuses of GHȻ4.00 per bag sold to Kuapa, provision of machete yearly, among others.
Mr Abrampah further explained that Kuapa is now extending its tentacles to cover the farmers’ children who happen to be the future of the industry and their communities. ”Thanks to Divine Chocolate Company, this time round Kuapa Kokoo is focusing on the needs of the children who are our future”.
Ms Bernice Dapaah the Executive Director of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative a local bicycle manufacturing company in Ghana in demonstrating the make-up and effective usage of the bicycles to the children and the gathering also used the occasion to tell the story behind the Ghana Bamboo bikes success.She said the Ghana Bamboo Bikes have the capacity to manufacture over 10,000 bikes each year and seeks to triple its production capacity by next year when two new factories they are putting up is completed.Ms Dapaah urged corporate Ghana to emulate the gesture of Kuapa Kookoo and Divine Chocolate to support school children from deprived communities in Ghana who walked several miles to and from school each day by sponsoring the acquisition of high quality bamboo bicycles for them.She said as part of her organization’s corporate social responsibility program of promoting education and agriculture,the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative have instituted a matching funds with which it subsidized the cost of production of bamboo bikes for school children and farmers from deprived communities in Ghana and urged corporate bodies in Ghana to take advantage of its offer which can also enhance their brand through advertisement on the bamboo bikes.
Nana Armah Kofi III Kontihene of Dadieso chaired the occasion. Nana applaud the initiative of Kuapa Kokoo and Divine Company in thinking about children in rural areas who walks long to distances to and from school which serve as dis-incentive to learning.
Nana Armah Kofi was very impressed with the story of Mrs Bernice Dapaah and admonished the school children present especially the girl-child to emulate her shining example of establishing owned company rather than chasing after non-existing white collar jobs.
Present at the occasion was the district education director, Mr Boitey Samuel. He admonished parents to ensure that their wards take their education very serious. Also present were; KKFU NEC members, the Quality Control Officer for Dadieso – Mr Maxwell Boateng, the district chief farmer – Mr Samuel Boadi, Chief Inspector Kpoye – Dadieso District Commander and Mr Slyvester Sarkodie Miller – Kuapa Kokoo District Manager.