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Mars Wrigley

Increasing Women’s Economic and Social Wellbeing in Cocoa Growing Regions

In 2020, US-based global confectioner Mars Wrigley announced its partnership with CARE, an international charitable organization, in an effort to expand the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) initiative to Côte D’Ivoire and Ghana. Mars’s US$10 million investment will enable the programme to support the social and economic development of 50,000 women in cocoa growing communities by 2025. Beyond the standard savings and loans activities, Mars and CARE further developed the VSLA model to specifically target the requirements of the community. These additional key elements are financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, gender-equality interventions and healthy child development. The key areas will be monitored and supported across a period of three years. It is anticipated that the VSLA initiative will increase women’s social and economic empowerment, in turn improving the overall well-being of the cocoa growing community.