POSTED 30th January 2020

The inspirational story of the cocoa farmers of the Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone.

14-year-old Beshey shares the story of his family, explaining how the cocoa farmers of the Ngoleagorbu co-operative have come together to protect the forest and develop their communities through Fairtrade.

The challenge for the people of the forest edge is to find ways to increase their income without harming the rainforest. In a project supported by the RSPB, Comic Relief and Divine Chocolate, the farmers have come together to form a co-operative called Ngoleagorbu ("we who live at the forest edge") to practice 'forest-friendly farming' and improve their own lives.

This charitable project was funded and delivered by many organisations including Comic Relief, Twin, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Divine Chocolate. We enable them to sell their cocoa to an international market. Whilst the project was being established, women were also supported to take part in leadership roles and have key responsibilities in the new co-operative. Lucia, Beshey’s mother has the last word, she says: “I make decisions, we work together and the quality of cocoa has improved because our income has increased. Cocoa is our hope.”

See related teaching resources aimed primarily at Key Stages 2 and 3 here - golarainforest.film

Family walking