ofi works in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to establish summer schools as safe spaces for the children of migrant workers to play, learn and not work.
In the lead up to each harvest period, ofi’s social workers carry out field mapping exercises, acting as ‘eyes and ears’ in the field, to identify the number of children belonging to seasonal migrant workers and the areas where they are most densely populated. This informs us where the summer schools should be located to help prevent these children from working in the orchards.
Once the children have been referred to the schools, the workers, labor contractors, and local authorities are educated on the legal framework to eliminate child labor from the farms. In 2020, over 3,000 workers in ofi’s sourcing villages received 1:1 training on Good Social Practices (GSP).
At the schools, which are run in collaboration with district Public Education Centers, under the Ministry of National Education, the children are immersed in academic and social programs, that include classes like math, science and English to support their schoolwork, and creative workshops and sports activities. Regular meals and transportation from their villages to schools are also provided.