Latest update

As of 8 December, the Togo ministry of health reported 3132 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a total of 65 deaths, 376 active cases and 2691 recovered. Masks are required in public and a curfew is in place. Stores, markets, and international primary and secondary schools are open, although local schools generally are not. Restaurants, bars and night clubs are open and required to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Most religious services and churches remain closed.

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COVID-19 in Togo

How is Compassion currently operating in Togo?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Some Compassion centres in Togo have been able to safely resume meeting in small groups.

    Children and youths participate in classes and activities while abiding by local guidelines. Partner churches continue to make regular home visits to monitor the health of children and families, deliver curricula and pray with them.

    Staff members have been able to safely deliver over 368,000 food packs and nearly 282,000 hygiene kits to families, in addition to providing medical support to about 40,000 individuals.

  • 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, we are not able to safely deliver gifts to children registered at Compassion centres in Togo. Please keep in mind that when staff are able to distribute gifts again, they will primarily be disbursed through monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This will ensure that the gift is used in a way that will benefit the child and family, 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:

  • God would bring peace and comfort to the children and youth as they wait for their upcoming operations.
  • Healing and comfort for all the children who have suffered from abuse. Pray that the staff would continue to quickly identify the abuse and get the child removed from the situation.
  • God would continue to heal Esther from the sickle cell so she can return home soon.
  • God would provide the water that TG0530 needs as the dry season has caused wells to begin to dry up.
  • Continued blessing and protection for the workers who are building the additional classrooms TG0937 needs to continue to care for children in their community.
  • God’s continued health and protection for the children of TG0150 as they return to school.
  • God would guide and direct Togo’s Leadership Team as they desire for each child to reach their God-given potential.
  • God’s continued protection of the children, family, caregivers and staff against any illness or abuse.
  • Children and families would have a wonderful time celebrating the Christmas and holiday season together as a family.
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: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in Togo are temporarily closed. 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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