Compassion started working in Togo in 2009. Today, there are over 50,000 children registered in our programs through 197 church partners.
of people live below the poverty line
years is the average life expectancy
lack access to improved sanitation
Togo remains one of the poorest nations in Africa, and an ongoing and bitter political dispute through much of 2018 means that life is unlikely to get easier for most Togolese, at least in the short term.
Togo, on Africa’s west coast, 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 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. As well, 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 2018, the nation has been caught up in a protracted political disagreement between President Faure Gnassingbé Eyadéma and opposition parties, who are demanding 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 and 2015) has been met with opposition protest and claims of vote-rigging; yet each time the elections have been declared free and fair by independent observers.
Dear Sponsor, I am Komlavi Peter Ataty. I have been Country Director of Compassion Togo since 15 October 2009. Gospel singing, dancing, playing piano, reading and swimming are my key hobbies. I have two daughters respectively named Yolande and Blessings. Jennifer is my wife’s name.open_in_new Read full letter
Julien Tchakpana, the principal health worker in the district hospital of Amlamé, administered malaria medication to the comatose child on the bed—and prayed he wasn’t too late. He stood for a moment, head bowed; it was a scene at once heart-breaking and too familiar.open_in_new Read more