Chocolate gives Sierra Leone’s villages new hope

19th September 2010, The Observer

Civil war and poverty have ravaged Sierra Leone, but now the fair trade movement is helping to rebuild the lives and dreams of the country’s cocoa farmers

Wata Nabieu takes the chocolate bar and carefully unwraps the top. She giggles at us watching her and breaks off a piece, giving it a nervous nibble. Then she passes it to her three-year-old daughter, Yema. Wata pulls the gold wrapper back more and bites. She closes her eyes. “Milk… sugar… cocoa?” she murmurs. Her smile widens. She takes a bigger bite.

It’s a privilege to watch someone eat chocolate for the first time: a Willy Wonka moment. All the more special because 40-year-old Wata Nabieu has laboured for most of her life in the cocoa plantations of Sierra Leone so that other people can eat chocolate. What if she didn’t like it?

Read on here via the Guardian website