Breaking social barriers with Cocoa Beans

On World Fair Trade Day, we are proud to highlight programmes like “Cacao, a Seed for the Family”, which are dedicated to empowering women in Venezuela by providing them with the necessary skills and support to overcome employability challenges. 

In Venezuela, women face significant economic challenges, particularly concerning employability. Many lack the essential skills and support systems necessary to start businesses or secure employment, leading to disempowerment and adverse impacts on their children and wider family. 

Recognising this issue, initiatives like “Cacao, a Seed for the Family” have emerged to empower women with the necessary tools for economic independence. 

Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

“Cacao, a Seed for the Family” partners with industry experts to address the high levels of unemployment among women in Venezuela. This project provides comprehensive education, training, and support to aspiring chocolate entrepreneurs.  

In 2023, the programme successfully trained and educated 58 women and 4 teenagers in chocolate production and micro-enterprise management, equipping them with the skills needed to establish their own businesses. 

A Story of Resilience and Success

One individual positively impacted by the “Cacao, a Seed for the Family” initiative is Daniela Marín, a 27-year-old mother of three who has faced numerous hardships and challenges throughout her life. 

Despite becoming a mother as a teenager and experiencing personal tragedies, including the loss of her brothers to criminal gangs, Daniela joined the SOS Children’s Villages Family Strengthening programme in Turmero, Venezuela in February 2023.  

Along with 24 other women, Daniela, who also dedicates herself to supporting and providing companionship to her parents, completed a chocolate course later that year and seized the opportunity to start her own home-based chocolate business.  

Now, Daniela sells her chocolates in her community alongside her husband, who, upon seeing her enthusiasm, joined her in helping to build a successful family business.  

Through participating in the “Cacao, a Seed for the Family” programme, they are earning a higher income, and so are better able to support both their children and Daniela’s aging parents. 

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