Togo - Rural development

HR&S is collaborating closely with  S.E.VIE  in Togo and the aim is rural development targeting children.
About S.E.VIE

The focus of S.E.VIE  (Solidarité Enfance et Vie) are the children in Togo.
The problem of orphans and vulnerable children is becoming more and more worrying in Togo.
The poverty, family conflict, the loss of parents or the parents' inability to meet the needs of family, contribute significantly to increasing the number of vulnerable children. A large number of children face severe difficulties today. And all the more so, as families live in remote and inaccessible villages. Faced with this alarming finding, the association SEVIE,  was created to support and help those children whose development and future are threatened. On the basis of Childrens Rights, SEVIE fights injustice and violence against vulnerable children. We want to believe that every child, especially the poorest or the most fragile, can have the chance to be full filled and her  fundamental rights respected: in all situations she frequents everyday: school, family, and village.

12/12/2009: Creation of SEVIE
30/06/2011: Statement of the association SEVIE at the Ministry of Administration Territorial, Decentralization and Local Communities
24/02/2012: Obtaining the declaration of association receipt
01/03/2012: Insertion in the Official Gazette of the Togolese Republic.
31/12/2014: Certificate of recognition of the quality of development NGOs

Already invested:
- Action10: EUR 20,000
- HR&S: EUR 10,000

Donations requested:
EUR 100,000
- Core work: 20,000; travels (4) 10,000
- Small scale businesses in  new villages and with one new management staff employed (five villages).
   Scaling-up a successful intervention supported by Action10:  15,000
- Access to safe drinking water, girl education and protection of early pregnancies: 20,000
- Solar panel and mill installations (twenty items): 20,000
- Innovation centre establishement: 15,000







Conscious of the initiatives, more and more numerous, carried out by the local populations, SEVIE makes the choice to engage with grassroots people to support their initiatives and respond to their needs through appropriate support. Since its creation, SEVIE has supported some thirty projects, intervening in the villages of the Zio prefecture in Togo. To date, SEVIE works hand in hand with grassroots people in various fields: childhood, social entrepreneurship, and sustainable community development.

Convinced that everyone's skills are adaptable and can be transmitted, SEVIE engages in voluntary institution programmes. This which makes it possible to strengthen people with less technical skills and provide motivation and a desire to engage in international solidarity actions. The volunteers provide one-off support that reinforces an already existing dynamic. These are in all more than fifty (50) volunteers who acted through commitment volunteering.

Project 1: Social Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas
Partner: Action10  and Yokoumi Association in France.
Background: In the Zio prefecture in Togo, the 95% rural population lives under harsh conditions. Women, the true pillars of the family, are particularly affected by the difficulty of life, they work in the fields, provides water, and are responsible for raising the children. Farmers have only little or no access to traditional loans.
The project's objectives :  Combating poverty in rural areas, promoting women's human rights, promoting women's access to start-up capital,  and develop income generating activities.
Operations: Loans are offered to women cooperatives and the cooperatives are coached in managing the businesses.  A committee composed of three women is selected to be the management of each cooperative. The management committee consists of one President, one Secretary and one Treasurer. Each woman who wants to start a business is welcomed to presents her project orally. The follow-up of each business is ensured by the women's committee and validated by the SEVIE's staff.
Beneficiaries of the project: The project primarily concerns poor women living on less than 500 FCFA per day. The loans are granted for a period of 6 months, and amounts between 50,000 and 150,000 CFA. When repaying the loan, new and larger loans can be granted. The initial investment therefore serves many times.
Strategy: SEVIE relies on creating solidarity between members, by developing solidarity groups. Each member is bound by the group and committed to the repayment of the whole group.  This establishment of solidarity groups has been facilitated by the presence in the target villages of a mosaic of multi-community membership groups that share common values, reinforced by neighborhood, mutual support and solidarity.
The loans make it possible to buy raw materials or to provide working capital. They are progressive (the repayment of a first loan gives the right to be granted a second and larger loan). The interest are offered at rates up to 12%.
The recovery rate, is very satisfactory, above 90%.
Repayment of loans to more than 90% will allow new loans to other women creating a snowball effect, in order to contribute to the economic emancipation of women.
S.E.VIE wished to engage in this approach because it generates professional autonomy of women from vulnerable backgrounds.
The impact of the project is family solidarity, and  economic emancipation among women.

Project 2: Support to Education for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Partner: NGO Action10 in Sweden, voluntary contributions
Background: During our field visits to the villages, we tried to identify certain realities largely justifying ignorance of the rights of the girl child in many areas of life. Through these field visits in three target villages, we found that girls' children do not attend school in the same way as boys. Parents gave the causes of this unfortunate situation of which: 1) Poverty: the population has become very poor, parents can no longer provide the needs of all children; that's why instead of girls they choose to school the boys to this we conclude that ignorance in balancing children's rights advocates . 2) Ignorance: Parents told us that girls must accompany their children in works such as: field work, search for firewood, cooking, collecting water. That's why SEVIE works to meet the challenge, focusing more on training girls to fight discrimination against women.
Overall objective: Contribute to the promotion and access to girls' school education.
Specific objectives : Fight against girls' discrimination in school education in the zones rural and facilitating access to school for girls from vulnerable families.
Activities carried out:  Organization of sensitization sessions and community animation as well as purchasing and distribution of school kits:
Implementation Strategy:  i) Being present in the villeges, ii) arranging for consultation, animation and  awareness raising and iii) taking part in local authorities', local leaders', parents', Heads of schools', and teachers' activities.
Impact: Parents are sensitized and pledge to send their daughters to school and school girls are aware of the importance of education and avoid to drop out of school without a relevant reason.
Outcome:  The number of girls attending school has increased in the schools of the project's localities and  95% of girls received end-of-year exams
Output:  About 1000 school kits have been distributed since 2012.

Project 3: Christmas with children
Partner: Volunteer of SEVIE
Background and rationale: This project is part of a vision of valuing the capacities of children as well as; giving joy, developing a spirit of sharing, love and unity. These values are considered to be the true foundation for sustainable development. Nowadays, these values ​​are no longer cultivated in rural Togo, putting the coming generation in a worrying situation while facing the realities of development. "Children's Christmas" is for S.E.VIE an ideal melting point for sharing and providing of education in a festive atmosphere with joy in all hearts. Our ambition is to always work for the children of today, who constitute the next generation of tomorrow, to carry these values and thus a guarantee a sustainable development.
Main objective : Foster the genius of children
Specific objectives : i) develop a social exchange between children with different backgrounds, ii) guide children to have respect for the values ​​that form the platform for sustainable development, iii) develop the spirit of love, unity and sharing.
Output: Providing an annual feast with ​​entertainment, development, education and recreation for children.  Gifts are distributed to all children by Santa Claus around a large buffet.

Project 4. Pregnancy control.
Background. In 2012, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Togo conducted a study in the primary schools (age 6 - 12) and in the secondary schools (age 12-15). This study revealed 5,443 cases of early pregnancies during the school year 2011-2012, of which 230 pregnancies were recorded in the primary school. In 2015, S.E.VIE was approached by teachers who pleaded for action and S.E.VIE together with Action10 in Sweden and HR&S.
Objective HR&S decided to support S.E.VIE with addressing the situation and initiate a programme that would prevent pregnancies among school girls below the age of 15. It was further agreed to raise awareness regarding early pregnancies and early marriage targeting young women aged 15 to 18 and to provide adequate support to teenagers who have become pregnant.  The programme shall also address the use of adequate contraception to control pregnancies. The prevention of early pregnancies programme is composed of trainings and awareness raising discussions targeting all stakeholders.
Sustainable economy:  The S.E.VIE / HR&S approach to make the programme financially sustainable is to provide drinking water to rural community at a fair price. This is expected to generate a profit that can cover the cost for also sustaining the prevention of early pregnancy programme as well as primary education for girls.

Project 6. Solar panel and mills in rural area.
S.E.VIE and HR&S installed solar panels and mills in rural Togo and provided a maintenance programme and a sustainable economy opportunity.HR&S provides start-up capital. The start-up capital is paid back with 10 % interest. The interest sustains the programme and covers all running costs including salaries, transportation etc. S.E.VIE visit regularly to address any challenges and to collect the debt. The fee paid to the owner of the solar panel and mill is used to pay-back the loan and interest to HR&S and the services to S.E.VIE. The fee is also used to pay for the maintenance and the the profit remains with the owner of the solar panel / mill. EUR 1,000 is used to  procure and install one solar panel or one mill. 

The villagers are invited benefit from the solar panel to charge their cell-phones and torches and for this service the villagers pay a fee. The panel also provides the community with access to radio and television as well as light after sun-set. The light after sun-set serves school-children to do home work, especially the girls, who usually have to finish house-hold work before having time to address school-work. The owner of the panel is trained on solar panel maintenance as well as on business management by S.E.VIE.
The villagers are invited to mill their crops, often casava and corn, and for this service the villagers pay a fee. The mill also makes it possible for the villagers to produce different types of food and drinks which they can sell and establish a business.The owner of the mills are already aware of mill maintenance and is trained on business management by S.E.VIE. S.E.VIE also visit regularly to address any challenges and to collect the debt.

Project 7. Innovation centre in Tsévie and Agbolowé.
The present innovation Centre is hosted by S.E.VIE in Tsévie. 800 villagers has received business management training adopted to local conditions and established businesses through the Centre. The Centre needs to be equipped to better sustain the urban population.
An additional Innovation Centre is being developed in Agbolowé and is part of the larger InnoC programme. Land has been secured and the construction of a house in is planning. The InnoC will also hold a school, aimed to be a role-model school for the region.

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