Fondacio in Africa : 40 years of commitment

Playing helps develop the child's emotional and social skills. The Fondacio community in Togo organises activities every Wednesday from 3pm to 5pm at the community house.

The first phase of the Congress will start tomorrow in Togo. A forum, about "Social Entrepreneurship and Professional Integration of Young People", will be held on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February 2022. Let’s grab the opportunity and look at the projects carried out by Fondacio and its partners in Africa.

Twelve projects

Fondacio has been active in Africa since the 1980s. Local communities have started social projects, such as training centres or well building. "All of the projects result from a local initiative. They can be compared to small shoots that have grown and developed," says Caroline Jouan, General Secretary of Fondacio.

The “Programme Afrique” (Africa Program) was created in 2015 to gather all these projects. It became the “Bureau Afrique” (African Bureau) in 2020. It is now recognised as the legal representation of Fondacio in Togo and Africa. Currently, the Bureau has four members and a supervisor.

It supports 12 projects:

  • In Togo: les Amis pour une nouvelle génération d’enfants, Ange (Friends for a New Generation of Children); Le Jade – Pour la vie! ; Sichem / Agro DR; Asfotode; Success +; and the Institut de formation Fondacio (IFF) in Africa.
  • In Burkina Faso: Macy Ountaani Primary School (EPMO) and the Lycée pour la Promotion des Jeunes (LPJ).
  • In Ivory Coast: Biblioverte and Atchorrotch.
  • In Benin: Sô-Zounko.
  • In Congo: Divina.

Six programs

Through these 12 development and solidarity projects (PDS), six programs are implemented by Fondacio with its partners on site:

  1. Education
  2. Protection and rehabilitation of children
  3. Socio-professional integration
  4. Health
  5. Water and sanitation
  6. Protection of the environment

1. Education

A total of 8825 young people benefited from the program in 2020. Tutoring was offered to the majority - primary and secondary school children in difficulty - several times a week. Schools received furniture and teaching materials (tables, benches, textbooks, squares, compasses, etc.). 53 people, including 42 women, also learned to read and write.

Four projects (Sichem, LPJ, Succès + and Sô-Zounko) have libraries. Students and teachers can consult and borrow books. Sichem and LPJ have multimedia libraries. They organise computer training for young people, aged 8 to 20.

In addition, children are given the chance to participate to socio-cultural activities. In 2020, 2,300 young people took part in spelling and arithmetic competitions, talks, film screenings, dances, storytelling and theatrical activities. The goal is to highlight the artistic talents and leadership skills of young people.

"This is different. It is a fun educational medium that helps reinforce their education," emphasises Caroline Jouan. "It involves games and dances, but also talks – “causeries” - about hygiene, a movie, politics, sex education..."

2. Protection and rehabilitation of children

The NGO Ange works to improve the lives of vulnerable children coming from poor families. It carries out awareness campaigns in the communities (talks, discussion groups and media coverage). It also welcomes about a hundred children in its two centres. They come from the street or from the Brigade for minors.

In 2020, nearly 112,000 meals were served; 185 children from the centres and the street received medical care. Ange also works to reinstate children into a family setting that is supportive of their development. In 2020, the NGO helped 52 children find a family.

3. Socio-professional integration

This is the theme of the forum to be held this Saturday and Sunday in Lomé, Togo. You can watch it live on YouTube.

Thanks to the actions of IFF Africa and the Atchorrotch center, this program has benefited more than 500 people in 2020. Atchorrotch trains women in sewing. IFF Afrique offers both a long training course (9 months) and short sessions (3 to 30 days) in agricultural entrepreneurship. IFF Afrique also helps young people to choose their school orientation.

With professional training, young people can earn a living. They can take charge of their lives. They regain their self-esteem and dignity. Working gives them a sense of value in society. It also helps to fight against rural exodus and illegal migration.

4. Health

Africa suffers from a lack of facilities and qualified staff to treat respiratory diseases, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and malaria. Fondacio improves healthcare access in Togo with two partners on the ground: Jade in urban areas and Asfotode in the countryside. In 2020, 9303 consultations were carried out. 93 births were accompanied.

Jade has also provided healthcare, analysis, treatments and psycho-social follow-up to 1156 people living with HIV/AIDS, including 686 orphans and vulnerable children. This allows them to regain their dignity and to avoid stigmatisation in their environment.

5. Water and sanitation

"In sub-Saharan Africa, only 24% of the population has access to a safe source of drinking water. Basic sanitation facilities, not shared with other households, are reserved for 28% of the population" (United Nations World Water Development Report, 2019).

In Togo, Asfotode has built three blocks of public latrine and three drinking water points. This benefits about 6,000 inhabitants. During the Covid-19 crisis, all SDPs installed temporary or permanent handwashing facilities.

6. Protection of the environment

Sichem / Agro DR and IFF Africa promote nature-friendly agriculture. Farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs are trained in agroforestry. They learn how to use natural inputs (biopesticides, biofertilizers). Biblioverte and Asfotode raise awareness about environmental protection. Together, these four SDPs planted 2000 trees in different localities in 2020.

In addition, Fondacio and its French partner Armor have tried out - with Sichem and Sô-Zounko - small solar lighting devices to improve the education of children. Sichem, thanks to its partner TMSU International, has also acquired a biogas installation for cooking and biofertilizers.

Now, let's have a closer look to the projects run in Africa :

Ange (Togo)

Ange is an NGO (15 permanent employees) that protects and defends street children, in two centers: “Dans la maison de mon père” (“In my father's house”), in Lomé, the capital of Togo; and “Mon refuge” (“My refuge”), in Dzogblakopé, north of Lomé. It is an important actor recognized by the Togolese authorities. Children represent almost half of the population in Togo (3 million minors in 2020). The dislocation of families, poverty and the inadequacy of the fight against juvenile delinquency explain the abandon of children in the streets.

In addition to providing psychological and educational support, Ange finances the children's schooling. The PDS provides them with food and healthcare. On average, 40 to 50 children are sheltered in the Lomé centre, and 20 in Mon refuge. The location of Mon refuge, in a rural area, enables a more sustainable rehabilitation of the children. Nearly 2,500 young people have been looked after by Ange to date, of whom more than 600 have gone to school. Ange has a library for the children, also opened to everyone in the neighbourhood.

Le Jade – Pour la vie ! (Togo)

This association opened a specialized medical centre in Togo, in 2002, on the border with Ghana. It aims at helping and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS, in an area of high migration, prone to sex trade and social delinquency. Home visits are organized. Le Jade - Pour la vie ! also acts in favor of the families of people living with AIDS, especially children and orphans. In 2020, 2070 patients were taken care of.

Sichem / Agro DR (Togo)

Sichem is an agropastoral centre based in Dzogblakopé, nearby Lomé. Students are trained in various fields: carpentry, masonry, agriculture (in partnership with IFF Afrique) and sewing. The site is divided into five sectors: the reception, with catering and accommodation; construction of schools; education; animation of village communities; animal and vegetable production (pig, sheep and goat breeding, reforestation, etc.).

In 2020, 42,000 inhabitants of three cantons benefited from Sichem's support and training. In total, more than 6,000 young people are welcomed in one of the 128 schools supported by the centre (100 schools, 22 junior high schools, 6 high schools), of which 20 were built by it. After Sichem builds a school, it runs it for several years. Sichem pays the teachers. If the school functions well, Sichem hands it over to the State. From a private school, it thus becomes a public school.

Then, Sichem ensures the maintenance of the material. The centre trains school directors as well as teachers in various fields. It supports the reinforcement of teachers' pedagogical capacities, helping them face the problems of dropouts and overloaded classes of 80 to 120 students. Sichem has also opened two libraries.

Asfotode (Togo)

This project was born in 1996 in Assomé, 30 km north of Lomé, on a large piece of agricultural land called "Nazareth". Two years later, in 1998, it was joined by the Saint-Etienne health centre. The two entities were brought together in 2016 under the name Asfotode. This name shows the partnership between Assomé, Fondacio and Togo Debout, a Belgian association.

Today, the project is based on three axes: rural economy; health (consultations, deliveries, pharmacy, prevention) and well-being; education (with tutoring), culture and traditions. 605 people benefited in 2020. Nearly half of them were children who received tutoring.

Success + (Togo)

This project was born in 2008, within the Fondacio community house in Lomé. The children and teenagers of the Hountigomé neighbourhood came there in the evening to use the light to review their lessons. From there, a project of school supervision, socio-educational animation and the creation of a library was set up.

In 2019, more than 900 young people participated in Success + activities. They were nearly 500 the following year, a drop due to Covid-19.

IFF Africa (Togo)

Artemisia production at IFF Africa.

IFF Africa opened in 2002, along the lines of other Fondacio institutes around the world. It provides human training, focused on project management in the field of sustainable agriculture. Indeed, it is difficult for farmers to live a decent life from their work in Togo, hence the massive rural exodus of young people. Training them in farming is meant to revitalize the rural environment, where lie development opportunities.

Since its creation, IFF Africa has trained more than 1500 people. Its key programs are:

Macy Ountaani Primary School (Burkina Faso)

The Macy Ountaani Primary School (EPMO) is located in Tambiga, in the bush, 30 km from Fada N'Gourma, in the east of the country. It was born in 2001, at the initiative of a local association linked to Fondacio in Burkina. Over the years, permanent buildings have been built to accommodate children from the area. It saves them from walking more than 7 km each day to the nearest public school. A school canteen is provided at lunchtime.

EPMO is poor in basic equipment and infrastructure, but very rich in motivation of its teachers! Until September 2020, the school had 132 students. The number of students had been increasing steadily for several years, until the school closed in September 2020, due to increased terrorist threats. Indeed, the Tambiga area is one of the most affected by the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso.

Since 2015, the country has been caught in a spiral of violence attributed to jihadist movements affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization. They have left at least 2,000 people dead and 1.4 million displaced. A military junta overthrew the government in January 2022. According to the military, the governement was not doing enough to protect the population from jihadists.

Lycée pour la promotion des jeunes (Burkina Faso)

The LPJ is a junior high school which was created in 1997, in Fada N'Gourma (eastern Burkina Faso). Classes are run both during the day and in the evening. Students prepare for the “Brevet d'études du premier cycle” (BEPC). Evening classes are for young adults who have dropped out of school. A high school cycle opened in September 2019.

The LPJ counts nine classrooms and an administrative building. Students and teachers also have access to a library and multimedia library. Currently, the LPJ welcomes more than 450 students during the day, and 250 in the evening.

Biblioverte (Ivory Coast)

Since 2018, Biblioverte has been awakening students in Bouaké (central Ivory Coast) to environmental protection. Reading clubs were created in pilot schools in the city and its surroundings. An inter-school competition and a big "eco-citizen walk" are organized.

A small library, with readings on the theme of ecology, is installed in the winning school, after the competition. Green spaces are created in the schools. In 2020, 300 children benefited from this SDP.

Atchorrotch (Ivory Coast)

The Atchorrotch centre trains women in sewing.

The Atchorrotch center trains school dropouts, particularly girls, in sewing. It is based in Bouaké, the country's second largest city, in the N'Gattakro neighborhood. In 2020, about 20 young people were trained. The purpose of the center is to host socio-educational activities, such as talks, a library and film screenings. The center also serves as a gathering place for Fondacio's community activities in Côte d'Ivoire.

Sô-Zounko (Benin)

In Sô-Zounko, a lakeside town located north of Cotonou, Fondacio carries out literacy activities, especially for women. It also provides schooling for children in difficulty. The language spoken, toffin, is different from that spoken in Cotonou, fon. Therefore, literacy courses in Fon and French are offered. Children are welcomed in a small library. In 2019, 26 young people and adults took literacy classes. More than 120 children received tutoring.

Divina (Congo)

The Divina Centre, located in the capital city of Brazzaville, provides tutoring and educational support to youth in the Ngamakosso neighbourhood. It helps pay school fees. It offers socio-educational and sports activities. Every month, about 50 children benefit from the project's activities, led by Fondacio volunteers in Congo.

Fondacio : a human vocation

Fondacio is made up of a community of about 3,000 people. They are committed to a network of more than 10,000 friends who support the missions throughout the world. All are driven by the desire to respond to the essential aspirations of our contemporaries: living authentic relationships, finding meaning in life, engaging in greater solidarity...

Each year, more than 100,000 people benefit from the activities carried out in some 20 countries around the world. In each country, Fondacio members are involved in solidarity development programs to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable. The projects are opened to the entire population, regardless of political or religious affiliation. Actions are carried out in collaboration with local civil and political structures.

In its actions, Fondacio seeks to integrate all the dimensions necessary for the sustainable development of territories (education, professional training, health, economic development, social integration). Even if certain situations require urgent action, Fondacio's work is long-term and therefore leaves time for training local actors.

Fondacio : a human vocation