Image by Messan Edoh
The basic education and children abuse prevention program in Togo had already begun by 2009. The program has since grown stronger, larger and more self-sufficient as each year has passed. We are grateful to our program partner in Togo, SEVIE for their equal partnership with and trust in Action10. We humbly acknowledge the professional skills, capacities and hard work performed by SEVIE in Togo. We are also grateful to SEVIE for setting up collaborations with strategic partners including Dévelopement Sans Frontiéres (DSF) and the Association Humanitaire WAO at the University of Pau, both in France.
In 2009 the program started off with 10 children in one village called Agbodjekpoé. Today, 200 children from eight villages in rural Togo; Agbodjekpoé, Foulany Kondji, Avédjé, Game Seva, Kpatefi, Gape Kuni, Gapé Agbétim, Kondo Kopé and one city called Tsévié have joined the program. Moreover, we actively collaborate with the families, the teachers, the headmasters and the village chiefs.
Thus the 200 children in rural Togo who were at risk of failing school have been identified. We have also decided to include street children in Tsévié to find solutions that ensures a bright future for these children and help them return to their families.
The overall purpose of the program is to support disadvantaged children in rural Togo. These children did not actively attend school before entering the program. Besides offering access to education, the program seeks to help them meet the basic needs by providing food and health care. The distribution of school supplies through the program to children from poor households enables them to have the essential tools to do well in school. The program also includes special homework classes as well as socio-educational activities. We have for example arranged socio-educational dramas. These activities are all very important for the children.
The program has focused on giving educational support and build awareness on the issues of hygiene, food, children’s rights and the importance of education. 1000 children and 200 parents/families have attended the awareness raising lectures.
The program has additionally installed Clubs for Excellence and Leadership among Children (CELE). This is an opportunity to both meet and share knowledge. CELE provides a platform for debate, the sharing of ideas as well as promoting the participation of children by highlighting their opinions. Through CELE we aim to develop leadership skills among children.
We have also created School Sanitation Committees (CSA) with the purpose of both educating and encouraging the children to spread information relating to health concerns to their families and villages. Moreover, the purpose is to promote concrete actions. An ecological sanitation toilet with four pits has consequently been constructed.
We have built and established a centre for primary health care with two rooms for health treatment, one house with four toilets and a cistern to collect rainwater. This has been financed by our strategic partner, the Association Humanitaire WAO. The Centre is currently run by one nurse. She provides consultation on malaria, childbirth, antenatal (baby care), hypertension (high blood pressure), circumcision (surgical removal of the foreskin) and trauma counselling. Outreaches are organized to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated and mothers to vaccinate their children. The treatment is paid for by the patients, but the fee is at a low cost.
An analysis of the management of the pre-school education system in Togo, which addresses children at the age of 4-5, shows that the system needs strengthening. The study concluded that only few children have access to government supported pre-schools and that the system itself suffers from a lack of teachers and equipment, especially in the rural areas. In order to assist the government in its effort, SEVIE has established a Community Supervision Center for Early Childhood (CCEPE) in collaboration with a Village Development Committee (RRC). The CCEPE welcomes 35 children at the age of 4-5; 20 girls and 15 boys. SEVIE both trained an instructor to supervise the garden and provided 50 benches.
SEVIE always distributes 93% of grants donated directly to the target partners. Operating costs are co-financed by the remaining 7%.