Last Updated: 24/09/2020

In the first two weeks of September, Togo experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases in the regions of Kara and Savanes. The government has extended the state of emergency for up to six months (March 2021), depending on how the pandemic evolves. Borders are closed, public meetings of more than 15 people are banned, and schools are closed except for certain grades in which exams are mandatory. Masks are required in public. Churches are partially opened.

Compassion centers have suspended programming, but Compassion’s partner churches continue to make regular home visits to monitor the health of children and families and pray with them. Staff members have been able to safely deliver 254,332 food packs and 217,432 hygiene kits to families, in addition to providing medical support to 27,934 individuals. Centers are evaluating education needs for the students who have been unable to attend school to best know how to support them. They are offering refresher courses for students who will be taking national exams and following up with youths who are in apprenticeships or vocational training. In some centers, mothers are learning how to make masks, both for their families and to sell for income.

A Message From Compassion Togo’s Senior Manager of Program Support

Hear from Koffi Ahonon, Senior Manager of Program Support for Compassion Togo, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Togo.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Togo?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Togo, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Togo are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 254,332 food packs and 217,432 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in Togo, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Togo. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Every day, hundreds of thousands of children contract malaria. But when malaria strikes a child in the midst of a pandemic, every decision about his care and treatment becomes complicated and costly.

When the pandemic first struck Togo, 9-year-old Wisdom was living with his grandmother in a small village, and the family was all healthy. But one afternoon Wisdom began complaining of a fever and headache. His aunt, Akoumany, rushed him to the hospital. There, doctors told the family he would need to be taken to a larger clinic in the capital city, Lome.

"What surprised and frightened us was that it all happened in one day,” says Akoumany. “He was not sick before. Everything happened on the same day. The child couldn't speak, and he couldn't even eat."

At the hospital, the doctors diagnosed Wisdom with malaria. His condition quickly deteriorated and became life-threatening. On the third day, his kidneys stopped working. Wisdom’s family had struggled with finances before the pandemic, and now, due to COVID-19, they had lost their jobs. They were afraid of the treatment costs and feared Wisdom wouldn't be able to receive the medical care he needed. That’s when Compassion's church partner stepped in to help. Wisdom was able to receive diagnostic tests and be placed on dialysis.

After weeks in the hospital, Wisdom was finally able to return home. He remembers little about his battle with malaria, but he and his entire family will never forget the way the church stepped in.

"When I woke up, I saw that they put a lot of syringes in my body. I was very scared when I saw this,” he says. “My family didn't have any money, but Compassion saved us. They paid all the hospital fees and I'm sure the money came from the sponsors. If Compassion were not there and if I was not enrolled in the program, I would have died in this disease. Compassion gave me my life back because they did not want me to die. I have regained my joy and smile that the disease took away from me."

How can I pray for Togo?

Pray for teachers and educators as they work to find ways to continue to educate the children of Togo, many of whom have no way to access online resources.

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