Information about Togo
What is the situation like on the ground?
There is no reliable supply of electricity in Togo. Just 14% of the population have access to clean drinking water. Officially a school education is compulsory, but in reality every second child does not attend school. Parents cannot afford the school fees and children are seen as cheap agricultural labourers. Classrooms are overcrowded and teachers poorly educated. Not every village has a school either. Other problems facing the children include the absolute lack of medical provision, extreme weather conditions (high temperatures and heavy rainfall) and insufficient nutrition. The living conditions of children in Togo cannot be compared in any way to those of children in Europe (even those living in underprivileged areas and regions afflicted by conflict). The photo gallery cannot show the full extent of the hardship faced in Togo.
There are so many reasons why your help is needed!
Facts & Figures
Togo – is situated on the western coast of Africa
Togo – is one of the most densely populated regions of West Africa
Togo – has a population of 6 million people
Togo – was a protectorate of the German Empire from 1884 to 1914
Togo – was divided up between the United Kingdom and France after World War I
Togo – became a member of the United Nations in 1961
Togo – is a presidential republic
Togo – has an illiteracy rate of 47%
Togo – is a Fourth World country ranking at the bottom of the UN list of developing countries
Togo – is afflicted ever year by flooding
How attending school can change lives for the better!
Elias was born on 13 November 1958 with the name AHADZI YA WO Yikoennyame Wolali. He grew up in bitter poverty together with four siblings in Agbetiko. His father died in 1962, leaving his mother to struggle to bring up all five children with the meagre wages from her work in the fields. There wasn’t enough money for all the children to attend school. As Elias now says, he only received a school education “by the grace of God”.
Elias was good enough to gain entry to university, where he studied for and qualified with a degree in Economics and Business Studies. He then went on to attend the National Business School, leaving in 1988 as a qualified Customs Inspector. To start with he was unemployed for a time, but then he received a position working at customs in Togo and remained in his home country for nine years.
His career brought him on two occasions to France, where he studied at the National College for Customs. Elias returned to Togo in 2001 as a Head Customs Inspector. Elias’ wife studied Law at the University of Lomé/Togo and is now a consultant at the Court of Appeals in Lomé. Elias and his wife have one child and live in Togo.
Elias found his own path to success, but didn’t forget his roots and his home village in the process. He returned and founded a humanitarian relief project. His dedication and generosity mean that children without any means are able to attend school. He has been involved in the setting up of schools in the past, and will be a great support to us in the realisation of our primary school in Agbetiko.
Our personal contact with Elias and our insight into the path his life has taken only strengthen our belief that a school education is so extremely important for the children in Africa. The funds raised by the Engel & Völkers Charity e.V. will make it possible for many children to attend primary school – and hopefully then to continue learning and other schools and colleges as they grow older. A first step towards a brighter future! Elias has already set an example for us.