Integrating Togolese school drop-outs into the workforce

Training young people to grow organic fruit and vegetables for school cafeterias

The NGO Association Bien-Etre Pour les Ecoliers (ABEPE) is developing a market gardening program to help young people from the rural regions of Togo enter the workforce. The crops they produce will then be used to provide balanced meals to 1000 schoolchildren.

Project Identity

Project Leader: The NGO ABEPE Year of Support: 2019
Location: Canton of Badja, Maritime Region, Togo Sponsor: Lantame Sikou, Sales Manager Air Liquide Togo

 

Notre soutien face à la pandémie du Covid-19

ABEPE coordonne une action de sensibilisation aux mesures préventives contre la pandémie de Covid-19. Cette action a vocation à sensibiliser les 1100 familles du canton de Badja via la radio locale (session d’information une fois par semaine pendant un mois) et grâce au porte à porte. L’équipe de sensibilisation offre des kits pour assurer l’hygiène des mains (détergents, savons,…), un dispositif de lavage des mains composé d’un bidon d’huile végétale de récupération équipé d’un robinet et des masques artisanaux conçus par des couturiers locaux.

Par ailleurs, pour soutenir l’apport nutritionnel des enfants habituellement bénéficiaires de cantines scolaires, fermées en cette période d’état d’urgence sanitaire, et des personnes vulnérables (personnes âgées, handicapées, femmes seules), ABEPE distribue des kits alimentaires. La Fondation Air Liquide apporte son soutien à ces différentes actions.

Agricultural training

On a 20-acre site in the rural canton of Badja, in southern Togo, ABEPE has set up a training program to teach market gardening. The NGO is assisted in this endeavor by the Institut de Conseil d’Appui Technique (ICAT), a public institute that specializes in agricultural training. Eventually, the association would like to create a leading center to help combat rural depopulation and poverty.

So far, 11 school drop-outs, including four girls, are cultivating organic fruit and vegetables on the farm. During their time in the program, they will learn how to prepare the field for planting, manage soil fertility, harvest the crops, and compost. After training is complete, parcels of the field will be assigned to them so that they can apply the agricultural techniques they have learned and start their own farm.

Association Bien-Etre Pour les Écoliers

Fighting malnutrition

The fruit and vegetables produced are served in school cafeterias supported by the NGO. Women volunteers from the canton cook them and serve hot, balanced meals to 1000 schoolchildren.

The NGO is active in poor communities, which experience high rates of school drop-outs. The free meals are needed to keep the children in school and prevent juvenile delinquency.

How is the Air Liquide Foundation involved?

The Air Liquide Foundation helped to get this project off the ground by:

  • drilling a borehole and equipping it with a motor pump, along with other contributions to the technical facilities
  • assisting in the purchase of seeds, manure, hoses, boots, and rakes
  • contributing funding for experts, training, and educational equipment