COMPLETED SCHOOLS FOR THE CHILDREN OF TOGO. MOST SCHOOLS ARE COMPLETED ON TIME AND ON BUDGET
Agbelouve – The Project That Started It All!
The school built in Agbelouve is the first project that SET undertook after having visited the village with Sleeping Children Around the World. Located 80kms north of Togo’s capital of Lomé, Agbelouve has a population of only 7,000 people. After touring the existing school (at the insistence of the principal, who guided us through the facility), we recognized that only six of the nine classrooms in the school were in ‘ok’ condition. The three other classrooms were thatched-roof shelters, which were regularly attacked by wind and rain. The teachers had only faint blackboards on which to share knowledge with the 400 students who attended the school. Because of the poor conditions during inclement weather, most students would either stay home or choose to be cramped in the more permanent classrooms. As many as 65 students would shove themselves into a 35-person classroom just to attempt to learn.
After meeting with the principal, the village Chief, the Parents’ Committee and AED, we recognized the energy and commitment to education, and Agbelouve was selected as the first location for a SET school. The land and labour were supplied by the community, and a couple of months later, the 2,118-square-foot, three-classroom school was completed – both on time and on budget, at a cost of only $35,500 CAD. The reaction of the children visible in the photos speaks volumes, and inspired us to continue on with this work.
The original school in this location opened in 1996. Upon visiting the school in 2014, it was clear that the existing building was deteriorating. The village is located 65kms northeast of Lomé, the capital of Togo, and is home to a population of 1,375.
Completed in the spring of 2016, the newly built school educates more than 500 students, who are able to wash their hands and pump fresh water thanks to the newly drilled well.
Located 83kms northwest of Togo’s capital of Lomé, stagnant water in the region was responsible for many diseases in the village. The school build was completed in 2015 and, with the help of Ryan’s Well Foundation, handwashing, a hand pump and well was added in 2016 to provide sanitary facilities to the school’s 954 students, who were very celebratory once the project was completed.
This three-classroom school was completed with the help of manual labour that was provided by residents of the village. Some of the desks in the original school were made of palm fronds. The desks were often shared by 4-5 of the 120 students at the school. SET is hopeful that the new school has brought more hope than fear to these Togolese children.
SET’s first interest in building a school here was in 2014, however the site visit had to be postponed to the next year because the road to the village was washed out. In addition to the school build, Ryan’s Well Foundation provided handwashing facilities, a well, and hand pump. Prior to this, there were no water sources at the school; the only well was located 2kms away from the school, and was unusable during the dry season. Avedze is also a distribution site for Sleeping Children Around the World.
SET’s sixth project, this school not only features three classrooms, but also a storage facility and an office for the principal. The village provided manual labour for the school build at low cost to replace the original school, which was made entirely of sticks and palm branches. This original school was also occasionally ruined by brush fires, which would result in 373 children not being able to attend school.
This school was completed in 2013, complete with a water well, hand pump and handwashing facilities (thanks to Ryan’s Well Foundation) that are enjoyed by 225 students. A grand opening ceremony for the school was held in the spring of 2014, during which SET’s president was honoured with the title of Chief of Togo’s Yoto region.
Completed in 2013, this school supports some 693 children from the village, which is one of Togo’s largest, with a population of 9,000. The original school—with the signature of one of the two 5th Grade classes along the side of the mud wall—was in extremely poor condition; it had been originally established in 1966. The school was unusable if it was raining and was sometimes destroyed by bush fires. The photo of the desks at the new school are indicative that SET provides desks at each school. This school also boasts latrines and a well, and also runs a food program.
The roof for the original ‘apatam’–the straw-roofed school–at this site was maintained with straw that was carried to the site by the school’s students. This, of course, meant that the children were spending time fetching straw, instead of learning in the classroom. Thanks to Ryan’s Well Foundation, the 400 students at the Asso school are able to harvest rainwater and use sanitary latrines.
The second project SET took on was a bit different, as it was a renovation (instead of a complete build) to the Agbalepedo school. Some of the rooms in the existing school were unusable due to deterioration; some of the roofs had also blown away in a storm. Well water, handwashing and latrines were added to the site (thanks to Ryan’s Well Foundation), which is located in Togo’s capital of Lomé, and educates more than 600 students. The renovation was completed in 2012.