Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in the country is supporting ‘Books for Africa’ to deliver over 100,000 educational books valued at US$77,250 to schools.

The books, to be distributed among schools in Tema, are aimed at helping promote literacy in the town and add to the educational resources of 27 schools in the area. They will be distributed with the help of employee-volunteers from Cargill.

The books — which have been collected, sorted, shipped and distributed through the organisation ‘Books for Africa’ — are predominantly textbooks and have been chosen specifically to support the schools’ curricula.

Cargill has also sponsored a new Law and Democracy library at the University of Ghana, and as part of this project the university’s legal faculty will receive approximately 9,500 legal texts.

“We are extremely pleased to be supporting such a worthwhile project, providing key educational resources to schools in our local cocoa communities,” said Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana.

“Most of the students at these schools have only had limited access to textbooks before; and so by partnering with ‘Books for Africa’ we can take a few steps towards addressing this.”

Pat Plonski, Executive Director, Books for Africa, said: “At Books for Africa, we believe that education is the great equaliser in the world, and books are the foundation of a strong educational system. For many children in Africa, the gift of books truly is a gift of hope. Thank you to Cargill; it is company efforts such as this that enable us to continue our mission.”

Amoo-Gottfried continued: “Our employees will have the opportunity to work with a local organisation to help distribute the books to some of the schools, which will be a very humbling experience.”

Cargill has been operating in the country since 2008, when the company opened a state-of-the-art cocoa-processing facility that employs over 200 people directly — and many more indirectly. The company had been sourcing cocoa from the country for many years prior to establishing its operations locally, and it has since been involved in a number of projects to support local communities.

As part of its sustainable cocoa programme in 2010, Cargill announced a three-year US$5million commitment to support sustainable cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. This includes a partnership with CARE to sponsor a programme of activities that will help improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their families across 110 communities in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Central Regions.

In 2011, the company held a football week in Tema — in partnership with the Chelsea Foundation — to promote healthy lifestyle-choices for children in the local Tema communities. In February 2012, the company launched an extensive four-year commitment to farmer-training in the country.

This educational initiative is just one of the projects that Cargill globally supports to improve access to primary and secondary education for underprivileged children in its workplace communities. Since 2008, the company worldwide has contributed more than US$50million to support schools and educational programmes for people living in communities where it has a business presence.

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately-held company employs 139,000 people in 65 countries.

Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.

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