The CREER NGO, which I'm lodging with, regularly visit villages in the area to educate about the purpose of the NGO, and gather information and contacts. I joined them on a trip to Satikran village near Abengourou. I rode pillion with Kouame on their Haojin 150cc motorcycle to get there.
Kouame kindly stopped en route to show me rubber being collecting from trees. A strip of bark is cut out diagonally and the rubber drips into a pot.
As we got closer to the village, Kouame stopped to show me cocoa trees. Cote d'Ivoire is the largest producer of cocoa. The production of cocoa can involve child exploitation, including children trafficked from the subregion, who CREER would like to identify.
This is Kuoame chatting to the locals in the village. Kuoame explained the mission of the CREER NGO. Kuoame collected contact details in return for a rubber wrist band inscribed with a telephone number to communicate information on potential trafficking cases. The audience listened attentively to Kuoame and encouraged friends nearby to get involved. The villagers were curious about my presence, but very kind and welcoming!
On our return, Kuoame stopped to show me how coffee was being produced on the edge of a nearby village. The guys were incredibly kind to allow us to take photos and actually encouraged us! The coffee cherries picked from the tree were laid in the sun to dry.
It was then shovelled into a machine that removed the husks and produced beans. The beans are stored in a large sack and the husks are expelled through a pipe to a large area outside the tent.
This guy had his arm in the machine's inlet, which buried his arm in beans, and I presume this was to feed the beans in. It looked bizarre because his submerged hand was obscured from sight.
The guys were a good laugh and enjoyed posing for a photo.
Fuel for the visit was funded by Tony's Chocolonely.
© 2018-2019 Stephen Matthews