ECLT Implementing Partner: Defensa de Niñas y Niños - Internacional – DNI Costa Rica

Since 2014, the ECLT Foundation has been working to build a sustainable “Rural Training Model” to prepare children and young people to find decent work in rural communities where tobacco is grown. Education is a key part of getting children out of child labour and preparing them for the future.  

The EEMPATA project has already brought secondary education to La Maquina, Guatemala, through an innovative “teleschool” programme, giving teenagers the chance to learn job skills after primary school.  From 2017- 2019, the project has begun the inclusive, sustainable, market-driven relevant youth employment training curriculum, in close collaboration with community members and local companies.  

In addition, the project provides child labour training for teachers and technicians from tobacco companies that work with the farmers so that they can help families prevent it.

Supporting Primary School Children with After-School Programmes

In La Maquina District, many children involved in child labour underachieve at school and need help out of school hours. For four hours every week, and during school breaks when children are likely to return to child labour, teachers give classes to help children catch up on schoolwork and gain confidence. As a result of this intervention, enrollment has increased:

“Last year, we enrolled 80 students in secondary school and provided them with support and access to complementary technical and educational training to increase their chances of employment or help them create their own enterprise.”

- Virginia Murillo, Executive President of Defensa de Niñas y Niños - Internacional Costa Rica, ECLT Foundation’s partner in La Maquina, Guatemala.

Strengthening Secondary Education with Teleschool and Vocational Training

The Rural Training Model Curricula, also called EEMPATA Model, complements traditional education in elementary school and high school. Through EEMPATA, students learn vocational skills and to have greater opportunities for employment.


Enrolment Retention Knowledge Development Job Placement
Get teens into school Help teens stay in school Train teens on market-relevant skills Teens enter the local labour market

67 students enrolled out of 75 targeted

Ensuring sustainability

The Advisory Committee, made up of community leaders, parents, teachers and representatives of the Tobacco Companies, plays a key role in the sustainability of the EEMPATA model. The project builds the members capacities to monitor the progress made by the students, assist with counselling.


The Telesecundaria: Providing Education to Children with Teleschool