YovoTogo Diary 2018 (Episode 2)

Wednesday October 17.

A good news to start this day : the mechanic of Dapaong brings back the Pajero car, which is fixed and even washed. The fuel pump was cleaned up and the clutch disk changed for a cost of 53.800 FCFA, or 82 €.

The group split up today. Françoise and Clémence are doing to visit the Aicha, Duty and Sadjo families, which are sponsored by the association. Departure from the Center at 8:00, with the sociologists Parfait and Maurice, and Richard as driver, in the direction of Dapaong. On the way, we stop at one of the Protestant High School of Dapaong to meet with Buty, a 9th grade student visually impaired; This is my first encounter with an educational institution. All the children are in uniform, are greeting us and seem to be happy to meet with us. (A lot of excitement in the schoolyard, the noise level is the first thing that struck me, and the class room are filled with young students).

Then we head toward the isolated villages in the Savannah region.Few minutes after we are on the bush lanes. The landscape is unbelievably beautiful, and I decide to stay in the back of the 4×4 to better enjoy the view, the green vegetation, and the bright sunlight. We arrive now in the family. The language barrier prevents us communicate but, luckily, Parfait is our translator. Every family is happy with the education and the behavior of the children when they are back home during the school holidays. We bring back with their thank-you presents, a cock and a hen which will finish in the chicken coop, or in the kitchen later on …

Time to drive back, after this tense moments in the families. Today we were able to connect the children with their families, to take into account the difficulties encountered in their real world, but also the parents satisfaction concerning the welfare of their children in the Center environment.

On their side, Claude et Marie-Paule attend an event of the TandjouaréDapaong Rotary Club, which consists in the official hand over of a batch of computers, the inauguration of two sport fields, one for volley-ball the other for basket-ball. They are donations to the students and teachers of the girl high school Mô Fant of Dapaong, and for this event the girls wore their colorful sportswear.

This ceremony took place in presence of the Bishop of Dapaong, the prefect of Tône (who scored the first basket – see picture below), the regional education director and the club members.

Thursday October 18.

A meeting with the administrators takes place this morning to exchange ideas on the preparation of a project for the institution, with a three years activity forecast for the Don Orione Center. Support on the methodology will be provided by Françoise (she is managing a French structure helping mentally disabled people), but first, she needs to meet each staff member to formalize in writing the current job descriptions.

Isabelle (retired nurse) and Clémence (newly graduated nurse) spent their morning time with the nursing team. Here, a medic who practice within “basic” structure, takes in charge the patient with simple disease. Twice a week, a doctor takes care of the more complex pathologies. Currently, the primary reason for consultation is the malaria.

The children hosted in the Center also receive yearly three small check-ups. But the most amazing for Clémence and Isabelle was the difference in the work organization between here and France.

Marie-Paule spends a lot of time wandering around the Center with children in their wheelchair, playing with them under the straw roof (see picture), and in the evening she helps them with their homeworks exercises.

In the afternoon we meet with Nanipo, a young girl also sponsored by the association. She left school ince several months and she follows a sewing training apprenticeship within a shop facing the Bombouaka market. This young girl had a difficult journey, with her dad who committed suicide four years ago, and her mother who died last year due to the infection of a persistent leg abscess. Nanipo’s handicap strongly improved, and now she leaves with her older brother in the family “soukala” (rough hut), but she is always monitored by the Center external service.

Next we go visit the “Fablab-Ortholab” in Dapaong, which was built inside the Regional High School for Technical Education and Professional Training, and with the partnership of the local JUMP Lab’Orione association. Afo and Jacques explain to Isabelle, Françoise and Clémence what is this big project which aims at bringing modern technologies in the Northern Togo. Thanks to the OrthoLab, our Belgium partner Roberto, member of HP&O, can manufacture prosthesis with help of a 3D printer, making the free software at the service of the youth and reducing the disability in North Togo ( French link ).

Extracts from : Voyage de solidarité 2018 de nos amis de YovoTogo

Image Source : YovoTogo