Togo, a small country on Africa’s west coast, is rebuilding after years of political instability and isolation.
Like many other African countries it was threatened by an HIV/AIDS epidemic, but it was stemmed in part because of the voluntary work of hundreds of enthusiastic Togolese youth. Because it is often the young who are most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and STDs, the youth are often the best ones to address the problem in their communities.
With ChildFund’s support, youth in 22 municipalities collaborated with adult supervisors and health workers to educate themselves and their peers about safe health practices. In the past, traditional laws often prohibited young people from talking with adults. The youth built a bridge by entering into dialogue with village and religious leaders to win their trust and cooperation.
As a result, today’s Togolese youth have a brighter future. They know they can influence others and be heard.
Other changes in this tiny country include access to quality education. ChildFund has built new schools and libraries, providing opportunities for learning that did not previously exist. Students now have access to maps, dictionaries and books. And for those students who struggle with learning in a formal setting, hands-on apprenticeship opportunities now exist in areas such as mechanics, carpentry and sewing.
ChildFund is also providing training opportunities to parents to help improve their income-generating potential. Farmers are trained in agricultural techniques, while others have access to loans to start and expand small businesses.
Discover more about ChildFund’s programs in Togo.