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About the project

Access to Quality Education to Combat Child Labor

The Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Jacobs FoundationUBS Optimus Foundation and 15 cocoa and chocolate companies are setting up the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF), a pooled financing facility to ensure access to quality education as one essential tool for promoting children’s rights and fighting child labor in Côte d’Ivoire. By 2030, CLEF aims to provide quality education for 5 million children and influence the behaviour of 10 million parents. To achieve this goal, CLEF is expected to bring effective learning to up to 10,000 primary schools in cocoa growing areas and beyond, and to build  2,500 classrooms and other education infrastructure (e.g. bridge classes, community schools, school canteens, and pre-school classrooms). 

The facility will be endowed with minimum seed funding of CHF 45 million and a target capitalization of CHF 162.4 million in pooled funding. CLEF responds to two national strategies targeting children: The 10-year Education Sector Plan, and the National Action Plan to Combat Child Labor. CLEF is designed to further catalyse action within the scope of broader public-private partnerships addressing child labor. As such, CLEF could become the first public private partnership focused on scaling investments for quality education in Côte d’Ivoire.  

The Promise of Education

Quality education is increasingly seen as one of the most effective tools for combating child labour, owing to its positive effects on well-being, the dependency ratio, and other variables affecting household decisions on children’s work or schooling. When delivered well, education also promotes employment, earnings, and health. “It drives long-term economic growth, reduces poverty, spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion” (World Bank, 2018).  

However, poor quality education is an empty promise. When quality is poor, the returns of households’ investments in children’s education in cocoa growing areas are no better than zero. “Schooling without learning is a terrible waste of precious resources and of human potential. Worse, it is an injustice” (World Bank, 2018). 

A Catalytic Investment

Access to quality education is a necessary condition for combating child labour and ensuring children’s rights. CLEF will be much more effective if it is embedded in the context of a broader child rights framework addressing concurrent efforts (maintained or scaled-up) such as child protection/due diligence systems, poverty reduction or improved child survival. Jacobs Foundation and its philanthropic partners strongly believe that CLEF is a catalytic investment with the potential to accelerate broader multi-stakeholder agreement.  

Expected Results


Contributing Partners

Government of Côte d’Ivoire


  • Jacobs Foundation
  • UBS Optimus Foundation

Cocoa and chocolate companies

  • Barry Callebaut
  • Blommer / Fuji Oil Group
  • Cargill
  • ECOM
  • ETG
  • Ferrero
  • Guittard
  • Hershey
  • Mars Wrigley
  • Mondelez International
  • Nestlé
  • Olam Cocoa
  • Sucden
  • Tony’s Chocolonely
  • Touton

Call to Action

Companies or institutions interested in partnering with CLEF should contact: irina.hotz@jacobsfoundation.org

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