Latest update

As local COVID-19 cases rose throughout 2021, Togo's government issued several extensions to its nation-wide State of Health Emergency. The country's vaccination program commenced quickly, with priority given to frontline health workers. The lockdown restrictions resulted in increased unemployment and subsequent loss of income for many vulnerable families.

For our local church partners in Togo, most centres have now resumed their usual program activities. Some remain meeting in smaller groups, or are conducting home visits to registered children. Local workers have been able to deliver over 764,000 food packs and 524,000 hygiene kits to children and their families in poverty.

Learn more by watching the latest video update below from our global neighbours in Tanzania.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Togo?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most Compassion centres in Togo have been able to safely resume normal activities or by meeting in small groups, abiding by local guidelines in their region.

    In communities where centres have not been able to reopen, partner church staff continue to make regular home visits to monitor the health of children and families, deliver curricula to them and pray with them.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered in Togo, although delivery to and from your sponsored child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing your sponsored child, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before. Thank you for your ministry!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    At this point, Gifts continue to be distributed in Togo.

    Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Togo who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for comfort for the two families grieving their children, who passed away in a road accident.
  • Pray that God would give wisdom and discernment to children and youth as they begin taking their national exams.
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors and peace for Samuel as doctors work to find a treatment plan for a disease that is causing paralysis in his legs.
  • Pray for the continued healing and safety of the children, staff and volunteers of TG0134, so children can return to the centre activities safely.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for the local church partners and volunteers as they create plans and priorities for the future.
  • Pray that God would continue to protect and keep the staff healthy and safe as they serve the children who are most vulnerable in their communities.
  • Praise God for His faithfulness and kindness to the people of Togo.
Making handwashing stations in Togo

Making handwashing stations in Togo

One of Compassion’s church partners in Togo teamed up with local charity Plan Togo to show 40 vulnerable families how to make their own hygienic handwashing stations. Without access to running water or bathrooms in their homes, these families have struggled to follow the hygiene guidelines for preventing COVID-19.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Most Compassion centres in Togo have been able to safely resume meeting in small groups, abiding by local guidelines. Some centres have resumed normal activities. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Togo

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 8 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Saturdays.
  • Students aged 9 and older attend the centre for six hours on Saturdays.
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Compassion Program Activities in Togo

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Compassion assisted children in Togo typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Togo.

9:00am - A time of prayer and devotion.

9:30am - Spiritual lessons where children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time where children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. Children in Togo are generally given breakfast and a meal each day they come to the centre. There are some critical situations where children from extremely poor families are given more food to take home. A typical meal consists of rice or pasta with fish or meat.

1:00pm - Health lessons where children are taught practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests, and set goals for their future.

In addition to Compassion’s curriculum, children have opportunities to participate in activities such as learning musical instruments, choreography, choir, art, football and puzzles. Parents and caregivers are offered parenting classes.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Togo

55%

of people live below the poverty line

396

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

88%

of people lack access to improved sanitation

Togo, on Africa’s west coast, remains one of the poorest nations in Africa. Togo was granted independence in 1960 after decades of colonisation, first by Germany and then, following World War I, by Britain and France. Shortly after, Gnassingbé Eyadéma seized power in a bloodless coup and ruled for almost 40 years.

Throughout that time, Togo has struggled with issues of poverty. Poor sanitation facilities and a general inaccessibility to safe drinking water, along with a lack of access to good medical care, particularly in rural areas, have cost many lives and held back the nation’s development. In fact, Togo has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, and, according to UNICEF, more than half of the population still lives below the poverty line.

This has a significant impact on children. Without other options, many are forced into prostitution or child labour: 35.7 per cent of children aged five to 14 are involved in child labour, which can interfere with schooling and expose children to dangerous situations.

Forced child labour occurs in the agricultural sector—particularly on coffee, cocoa, and cotton farms—as well as in stone and sand quarries. Children from rural areas are brought to the capital, Lomé, and forced to work as domestic servants, roadside vendors and porters, or exploited in prostitution.

Through much of the past few years, the nation has been caught up in a protracted political disagreement between President Faure Gnassingbé Eyadéma and opposition parties, who demanded he place limits on how many terms a president can serve — and step down. President Eyadéma was elected in 2005 following the death of his father, former President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, and each of his subsequent electoral victories (in 2010, 2015 and 2020) has been met with opposition protest and claims of vote-rigging; yet the elections have been declared free and fair by independent observers.

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