Latest update

In the first two weeks of September, Togo experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases in the regions of Kara and Savanes. The government has extended the state of emergency for up to six months (March 2021), depending on how the pandemic evolves. Borders are closed, public meetings of more than 15 people are banned, and schools are closed except for certain grades in which exams are mandatory. Masks are required in public. Churches are partially opened.

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COVID-19 in Togo

How is Compassion currently operating in Togo?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Compassion centres have suspended programming, but Compassion’s local church partners continue to make regular home visits to monitor the health of children and families and pray with them.

    _Staff members have been able to safely deliver 254,332 food packs and 217,432 hygiene kits to families, in addition to providing medical support to 27,934 individuals. _

    Centres are evaluating education needs for the students who have been unable to attend school to best know how to support them. They are offering refresher courses for students who will be taking national exams and following up with youths who are in apprenticeships or vocational training. In some centres, mothers are learning how to make masks, both for their families and to sell for income.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    At this point, we are not able to safely deliver letters to children registered with Compassion centres in Togo. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    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. Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. 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:

  • Encouragement and strength for Claude as he prepares to have a fourth surgery.
  • God would protect and keep the children safe from any potential harm.
  • Wisdom and discernment for the local church partners as they decide how to reopen safely to help even more children.
  • Praise God for His faithfulness in protecting many of the children, families, and staff from COVID-19.
  • Praise God for all the resources provided to care and provide for the children and families.
  • Wisdom as the Leadership Team makes decisions on who would be the best fit for their team.
  • God’s provision and guidance would be with the team as they make decisions on the activities and efforts that would make the most significant impact in the lives of the children they serve.
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 2018, the nation was 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 and 2015) 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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