Oliva Cigars backs schooling programme in Nicaragua
Oliva Cigars – a subsidiary of the Belgium-based Vandermarliere Cigar Family (VCF) – is supporting the development of the Escuela (School) Oliva in Estelí, Nicaragua.
The school combines educational and nutritional strategies to offer basic education for over 100 local children whose parents work at Oliva’s nearby Tabolisa factory.
Sales of Oliva cigars have supported extra teaching hours and a learning assessment tool enhancing early language, mathematics and social-emotional skill development.
Underlining the role nutrition plays in children’s development, the school programme includes lunches and snacks.
Oliva Cigars noted that 68 of 101 enrolled pupils successfully completed the 2021 school year. This, according to Oliva is “proof of a growing skill-set, but also of emerging self-confidence and rekindled hope for a better future”.
VCF CEO Fred Vandermarliere is confident the schooling support programme will grow alongside the factory. “We’ve upgraded the factory, leading to better working conditions for our staff and now they can also send their kids to school,” he said.
“We commit to investing in the local community, but it is also about raising awareness. Every time our customers enjoy a good Oliva cigar, they help this project grow.”
Escuela Oliva English teacher Jeronimo Lagos commented: “The results are heart-warming and spur us to strengthen the programme. Additional initiatives focus, for example, on motivating kids to progress to new stages of the educational process. We also have to keep on safeguarding the socio-emotional wellbeing of pupils, especially in times of COVID-19.”
As reported, J.Cortès and Oliva Cigars brands united under the VCF name last year.