Working Through the Local Church
Because of its proximity, resources and cultural expertise, the local church is in a unique and crucial position to help Compassion apply its curriculum. All child development centers in Togo use Compassion’s age-appropriate curriculum, which addresses children’s cognitive, physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and is specialized by country. Many children blossom through the program. Even non-Christian parents are open to sending their young ones to Compassion because they see very positive results in children’s behavior, health, spiritual life and personalities. One Togolese pastor says, “We even want Compassion to give us permission to implement the curriculum in our Sunday school because we think it is such a reliable tool.”
How Compassion Works in Togo
Compassion’s work in Togo began in 2007. Currently, more than 17,600 children participate in 84 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches and denominations to help them provide Togolese children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all that God has created them to be.
The Role of a Partnership Facilitator
The Partnership Facilitator is the key link between Compassion and churches, and the first person church partners contact if a problem arises. The facilitator shares Compassion’s vision with the churches and oversees its implementation at centers. Facilitator Agamakou Olivier, for example, strives to ensure a respectful and trusting relationship with the churches and families so all benefit. Olivier's work also includes meeting with children and churches, ensuring paperwork is correct, and identifying and solving problems.
Olivier overseas about 12 centers around the town of Tabligbo. To visit church partners there, he uses motorcycle taxis because roads are unpaved. Before becoming a facilitator, Olivier was a center director, which helped prepare him for his current role. He is so passionate about children that he helps even those who have moved away from centers to attend Compassion programs.