Nowadays, it is clear that the socio-economic situation of parents influences the education of their children. If the parents are comfortably off, children can easily go to school; if the parents are poor, children drop out of school, or have no access at all to school education. This means that even during school hours, some school-age children are hanging around on the streets and at rubbish dumps. They are looking for scrap metal or to push carts to earn money and pay for their needs at school or at home. As their parents are poor and do not even have arable land, they are not able to afford living costs or their children’s school fees. Is it not dreadful to see these children “these adults of tomorrow” in these situations? What needs to be done to facilitate and promote education for these children facing hardship?
In order to do our part in trying to resolve this problem recognised as an “evil of the century”, M.A.R.S (MOUVEMENT D’ACTION POUR LE RENOUVEAU SOCIAL [ACTION MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL RENEWAL]) runs socio-humanitarian initiatives to enable these children to go to school, just like other children. It also promotes education in the most remote areas by making school supplies, uniforms and school fees available to underprivileged children.
At the start of each school year, assistance from supportive communities enables M.A.R.S to provide school supplies to children in hardship, to promote education for all in Togo. Some of these children benefit from payment of school fees (tuition) and breakfast during the academic year. For young people who can no longer attend school, their socio-professional training and breakfast costs are covered.
Activities undertaken within this project are:
• Raising awareness among parents on educating their children
• Distribution of school kits to disadvantaged children (pupils)
• Making school uniforms for underprivileged children in Sagbado and Noépé.
• Payment of schools fees for children in private and semi-private schools.
• Regular monitoring of children cared for by M.A.R.S in the schools.
• Supervisors (teachers from Sagbado and Noépé)
• Chair of the Parents’ Association
• 12 volunteers
• 4 M.A.R.S employees
• Ministry of Education and Professional Training in Togo
• Ministry of Social Action in Togo
• Emmaus Åland (Finland) and Emmaus in Saint Etienne and its region (France)
At the start of each school year, assistance from supportive communities enables M.A.R.S to provide school supplies to children in hardship.
Some of these children benefit from payment of school fees (tuition) and breakfast during the academic year.
For young people who can no longer attend school, their socio-professional training and breakfast costs are covered.
M.A.R.S has been running this initiative since 2012. It has developed even further, with the creation of a rural school in Noèpé.
• Developing partnerships with Emmaus groups and other partners to share experiences on education and solidarity actions.
• Organising exchange visits of volunteers, leaders, friends and companions to promote volunteering and education in Togo.
• Promoting the sponsorship and twinning system to facilitate access to education for disadvantaged children in Togo.
Thanks to this initiative:
• People in rural areas have become aware of the importance of school education in their children’s lives.
• From 2012 - present day, 300 children have been able to study normally.
• 13 children, who benefitted from this initiative in the past, are now taking care of other underprivileged pupils.
• A community school was set up with local people in Noépé.
Yes, thanks to this initiative we have developed partnerships with the government to cover the construction costs of the school facilities in remote areas of Togo.
• Increasing the quantity of school supplies distributed to children at the start of every school year.
• Obtaining more grants from partners to pay for school tuition and breakfast for the increasing number of poor children in our care.
• Setting up a school cafeteria within the Noépé community school to reduce the distance children have to travel.