Togo

Rural Region

  • Families in rural Togo make a meager living primarily through subsistence farming. Families in rural Togo make a meager living primarily through subsistence farming.
  • These children enjoy participating in a traditional Togolese dance. These children enjoy participating in a traditional Togolese dance.
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit.
  • Often children are left at home to care for themselves while parents and caregivers are out trying to help support the family. Often children are left at home to care for themselves while parents and caregivers are out trying to help support the family.
  • In addition to regular nutritious meals, Compassion children's physical health is developed through active games and protected with health checkups. In addition to regular nutritious meals, Compassion children's physical health is developed through active games and protected with health checkups.
  • At their Compassion centers, children have the freedom to play together and learn positive social skills. At their Compassion centers, children have the freedom to play together and learn positive social skills.
  • Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to experience God's love firsthand. Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to experience God's love firsthand.
 
TOGO OVERVIEW

Population

7,351,374

Religion

Christian

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Rural Togo Togo Overview
  • Malnutrition is common, making children vulnerable to illness. However, parents cannot afford to adequately feed their children or seek medical attention when they get sick.
  • A lack of education is another issue. Parents don’t send their children to school, in part because they believe education threatens their cultural identity and in part because they cannot afford the required fees.
  • Often, young girls are forced to abandon school and marry older men who pay their families for them.
  • Child trafficking is rampant in rural Togo. An estimated 12 percent of children are lured by traffickers with the promise of good-paying jobs.
  • However, trafficked children typically earn little or no money for their work, and they suffer neglect and abuse.
  • Trafficked children who return home are traumatized, underweight and ill. Some have even been infected with HIV through sexual abuse.
LIFE
In Rural Togo

Geography & Climate

  • Togo is a narrow strip of land between Benin and Ghana on Africa’s west coast. In total area, the country is about the size of West Virginia.
  • Because of its length — long and narrow, north to south — Togo stretches through six distinct geographic regions.
  • The climate varies from the humid, tropical coast to the dry savannah along the border with Burkina Faso.
  • In the north, during the winter months, a hot dry wind called “harmattan” frequently stirs up choking dust storms.
  • The country suffers from widespread deforestation.

Economy

Farming, both subsistence and commercial, is the primary economic activity in Togo. Agricultural exports include cocoa, coffee and cotton.

In the cities, such as Togo’s capital of Lomé, street and market vending are common jobs.

One of the world’s poorest countries, Togo’s average annual per capita income is the equivalent of $400, and most families are unable to provide for even the most basic of their children’s needs.

About 39 percent of the people exist on less than U.S.$1.25 per day in conditions of great need and suffering.

Phosphate mining and tourism around Lake Togo also play important roles in the country’s economy.

Children at Home

Children in Togo, where polygamy is an accepted practice, grow up in crowded homes of eight or more people.

Children at home

In Lomé, where most Compassion child development centers are located, homes typically are made of cement, with roofs of metal sheets.

Even though services such as water and electricity are available, few families can afford them. Less than one-fourth of city dwellers have access to adequate sanitation facilities.

COMMUNITY
Togo Community
Issues and Concerns
  • Frequent and prolonged dry seasons make farming a tenuous livelihood.
  • Togo’s children suffer from malnutrition, malaria and diseases related to the lack of access to clean water or adequate sanitation.
  • In recent years, increasingly, children have become the victims of such evils as human trafficking, violence and sexual exploitation.
  • Access to health care is difficult.
  • Malaria is a common yet preventable illness.
Local Needs and Challenges

Lack of clean water

Drinking water is scarce, and children often must travel several miles to find it.

Inadequate housing

Houses typically are small and poorly built, and more than half the country does not have electricity.

Poor sanitation

Many villages have no access to latrines.

Youth issues

Juvenile delinquency is a problem even in rural areas, in part because parents often abandon their children. Also, the teenage pregnancy rate is high.

EDUCATION
Togo education
Schools and Education
  • One of the reasons Togo stays mired in poverty is the general population’s low level of education.
  • The government provides free basic education, but public schools are overcrowded (about 50 pupils per teacher) and underequipped.
  • Children often drop out of school to help earn income for their families. That’s why only 60 percent of Togolese age 15 and older can read and write.

Compassion Togo works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and we provide additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

Compassion serves children in Togo through its child development centers. These centers, hosted by local churches, are havens of love and learning for registered children.

Here, children have the opportunity to develop their talents and abilities.

Most important, they learn about their heavenly Father and are introduced to salvation in Jesus Christ.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to rural Togo’s children in need, providing:  

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • the Compassion curriculum, adapted to the culture and needs of Togo’s children, which includes a variety of learning activities that address every facet of life: physical, educational, emotional/social and spiritual
  • workshops for caregivers on child protection, the dangers of early marriage and the importance of education
  • literacy classes and income-generating activities for caregivers, enabling them to better provide for their families
  • prayer events, Bible studies and counseling for parents and children. Children are also provided age-appropriate Bibles and are taught how to pray and love each other.