Taking in young people facing problems yet seeking autonomy
 Pahou, Littoral, Bénin

 

THE CONTEXT OF YOUR INITIATIVE

The development of our towns has created problems when it comes to absorbing the huge number of people who migrate from villages to big towns. These migrants do not have any professional qualifications and their behaviour risks destabilising them.

This is how we come to meet young people on the streets, people who’ve come out of prison, whose family relationships have broken down, are unemployed and who don’t have anyone to talk to about their problems. Our community was set up to offer these destitute people an alternative way of life, to listen to them, offer them stability, train them in how to farm, breed livestock and fish so they can reintegrate into society and find work.

THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT AS PART OF YOUR INITIATIVE

20 companions live at the community, where they’re starting a new chapter in their lives, listening to each other, receiving training as well as farming, breeding livestock and fish.
The companions also sell the community’s produce and second-hand items in Cotonou.

WHO IS INVOLVED FROM OUR GROUP?

20 companions, 4 staff.

WHICH PARTNERS ARE YOU WORKING WITH ON THIS INITIATIVE?

- the state agricultural services
- agricultural schools and universities
- Emmaus Angers, Emmaus Annemasse, Emmaus Geneva, Emmaus Villafranca.

Emmaus Pahou’s work has enabled young people to be taken off the streets, welcomed, listened to, trained and involved in agricultural, livestock and fish farming activities.
Most of these young people have been reintegrated into their villages to set up and run market gardens or breed livestock.
We have also set up a microcredit programme for young destitute women and a programme to defend the right to healthcare (mutual health scheme)

FUTURE PROSPECTS

- To increase the number of companions and interns
- To improve our production tools
- To set up a second, fully equipped market garden centre
- To pool our knowledge with other Emmaus groups to build capacity
- To equip the healthcare centre and run it
- To improve the organisation’s reporting tools
- Develop microcredit funds
- To set up a formal partnership with the Emmaus groups

SHARE YOUR PROGRESS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THIS INITIATIVE

Since we set up in community in Pahou in 2003, over 100 companions and interns have passed through the community. Over 50 have returned to their families and we have a core group of 15 companions who live and work in the community. Over 300 people benefit from the mutual health scheme and over 400 people from the microcredit programme.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVE?

The state services, schools and universities know about us; each year they send us over 20 interns and students
Our project has enabled us to set up exchanges with students from the school
‘St Aubin de la Salle’ in Angers (France). The students came to install solar panels which light the entire community.

WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS?

We want to buy a pick-up truck to replace our current one, which has been running for 13 years.
We also want to find resources to run all our activities, to ensure their sustainability and bolster the ongoing projects.

About

 2360

Initiative sponsors

TOHAN Thibaut


Location

Pahou, Littoral, Bénin

Struggles

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