Paulig and Save the Children continue children’s rights project in India in the tracks of the pandemic

Paulig and Save the Children continue children’s rights project in India in the tracks of the pandemic

For the past three years, Paulig and Save the Children have worked together to improve children’s rights in India, reaching children and communities in 30 villages. The successful project saw over 1 200 children enrolled in school by the end of year three. Now, with India severely hit by Covid-19 pandemic, continued actions are of utmost importance and Paulig is pleased to announce the continuation of the collaboration.

India is the world’s largest spice-producing country and an important supplier of Paulig’s Santa Maria spices and herbs. At the same time, India is a country stricken by poverty, not the least in the rural areas.  

– We have to do our utmost to ensure that children are not being deprived of their right to education. Education enables children to break the vicious cycle of poverty and build a better future for themselves and the society they live in. In addition to learning, the school provides protection from violence, early marriages and child labor. Access to education in general contribute to the physical and mental well-being of children. In schools, children can be children, and also play, laugh and enjoy the company of their peers, says Anne HaaranenInternational Programme Director at Save the Children Finland. 

With this in mind, Paulig decided to give back to the country that provides us with the finest black pepper in the world. In collaboration with Save the Children, a project was started in 2017, with the aim of decreasing the vulnerability of children by getting more children enrolled in school.  

The project has included a range of actions, such as quality improvement of study material, training of 117 teachers on child-sensitive pedagogy and children’s rights, competence development of parents and other stakeholders at community and village level and the strengthening of community-based structures. 

In addition, Jayanti Herbs & Spices, one of the companies that supplies Paulig, has generously provided technical support and training programmes for farmers so that they can incorporate sustainable agriculture practices and increase their yields, in turn allowing them to increase their household incomes. 

All in all, the actions have contributed in 1 274 children being enrolled in school; majority of children who did not previously receive any education or dropped out of school at a very early age. 

– I had the pleasure of visiting one of the 30 selected villages in India just before the outbreak of Covid-19 and myself witness the results of the dedicated work that Save the Children has done in the area. It was an amazing experience and a fantastic feeling to know that even though Paulig is a small player compared to many companies, we can make a real difference, says Rolf  Ladau, CEO of Paulig. 

A Save the Children trained teacher educates Grade 7 students in English studies through storytelling in a small rural village in Andhra Pradesh in southern India. (Rajan Zaveri / Save the Children)

Project continues with the focus of keeping children safe and continue learning throughout the pandemic 

The Covid-19 pandemic has had severe implications in India with high death tolls, closure of schools and restricted mobility.  

– Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, numerous schools around the world are still shut and millions of children are missing out on their education. At least 10-16 million children are at risk of never returning to school, says Haaranen. 

Knowing that the pandemic could jeopardize the successful progress done so far in the Paulig-financed project Paulig and Save the Children have decided to prolong the project in the currently enrolled villages.  

– When we now move forward with the project, focus will be on making sure that the children in these 30 villages remain safe and continue their learning throughout the pandemic. We are determined to provide all tools possible for them to continue the path to a better future, says Ladau 

The continuation of the project, that will in this next phase cover 14 months, means an investment of 150 000 euro.  

 Education is the one right that can ensure access to all other rights for our children. The timely and crucial support from Paulig Group will help us ensure that children not only learn but survive and thrive during this challenging period. We thank the Paulig Group for their continued support of our efforts that bring us closer to our mission to protect a million children and their families, Mr Sudarshan Suchi, CEO Save the Children India. 

Nani, 10, would have dropped out of school if it had not been a worker from Save the Children who intervened. Now he says he loves learning and school makes him the happiest he has ever been. (Rajan Zaveri / Save the Children)

A blue print for the future 

In the future, Paulig and Save the Children wish to draw from the experiences and learnings from the ongoing project and extend the help to other regions.  

– Our ambition is for this project to be a blue print that could be used in other villages, regions and countries. For this to happen, continued collaboration and the involvement of more companies, suppliers and community officials is crucial. Together we can make a difference, says Ladau. 

Paulig is a family-owned food and beverage company, growing a new, sustainable food culture – one that is good for both people and the planet. Paulig provides all things tasty; coffees and beverages, Tex Mex and spices, snacks and plant-based choices. The company’s brands are Paulig, Santa Maria, Risenta, Gold&Green and Poco Loco. Paulig’s sales amounted to EUR 920 million in 2020. The company has over 2,000 passionate employees in 13 different countries working around the purpose For a life full of flavour.

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