Togo is an African country that values education, even though “more than 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.” There is a need to help people in Togo receive proper education to prevent further poverty and to empower its women and youth. The different ways to help people in Togo revolve around these factors.
Over the last decade, Togo has benefited from free basic education. Previously, a basic education was less accessible to children simply because their families could not afford the yearly fees. The efforts to help people in Togo ensure that families were not keeping their children out of school because of fees have continued to this day.
However, 20 percent of children still do not attend school and 30 percent must work to aid their families. Advocating for primary education to be a requirement for all Togolese children is the next step towards progress. Nonetheless, funding Togo’s schools ensures they will not be forced to charge families once again.
As for the quality of that education, it is crucial to hire adequate teachers who do not utilize child labor for the teacher’s own economic gain. Moreover, for the children’s safety and for a more effective learning environment, most buildings require extensive maintenance and infrastructure improvements. For example, many schools in Togo do not have electricity.
Efforts made by organizations partnered with Togo have seen improvement. Even with a standard class size of 80 children, non-government organizations have provided students with necessary materials and other forms of aid.
Providing adequate education allows Togo’s young adults to trust their own educated minds to help them make a difference in their country. This idea has already started to bear fruit, as a number of Togolese are working to foster innovation and healthful practices among their fellow citizens.
Sename Koffi Abdojinou founded WoeLab, an organization that utilizes renewable resources to create technology to help people in Togo. For example, a member named Afate Gnikou made a 3D printer out of e-waste alone.
Kokou Senamé, a youth from Togo, advocates for sexual education. He feels that youth leadership is vital and that youths should be able to educate one another about contraceptives. The voice of a peer is very impactful when it comes to topics with intense stigmas. Sexual education is extremely important in a country with about 120,000 people with HIV. Educating youths to use protection also helps prevent unwanted pregnancies.
UN Women works to protect the life and health of pregnant women. In 2010, there were “287,000 maternal deaths…in Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Haiti, Mali, Niger and Togo.” Without proper healthcare and education, pregnancy puts mothers and their children at risk.
To help people in Togo, UN Women is advocating for adequate training for midwives and other health workers, ensuring a safer birthing process.
Empowering women to gain adequate knowledge regarding childbirth and child rearing is the first step towards alleviating poverty. Once Togolese mothers are properly cared for, they can advocate for their own children to value education and provide youths with the confidence to fight for change.
– Brianna White