Dapaong is a market town situated in the Savanes region, the northernmost region of Togo. Bordered by Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the west and Benin to the east, the region is less developed and poorer than other areas in Togo.
Dapaong is a market town known for its traditional artisan crafts. The region is particularly affected by the harmattan, a dry desert wind that begins in the Sahara and blankets much of the area in dust during the winter months.
Subsistence farming means reliance on yields
The primary means of survival in Togo is subsistence farming. The farm households in northern Togo typically store much of their own food production for their own consumption. This is mainly sorghum, millet and maize.
Poverty levels in the region are high due to poor agricultural yields, unreliable rainfall, lack of alternative income sources and lack of cultivable land. A large proportion of the population endures a hunger gap of between two and five months a year.
Children live in poverty and are forced to work
Many children in this region are engaged in labour activities, a vast part of them in the agricultural sector and the illiteracy rate is high. Children can be at risk of losing parental care due to the harsh socio-economic environment and also the high incidence of HIV/AIDS.
Children whose parents are living with HIV often experience hardship, and many suffer neglect for long periods of time and others become orphaned.
Women and children at risk of trafficking
Due to the region’s proximity to other countries, women and children are at a high risk of being trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation, especially young girls. Although the government has taken measures to protect children, many of their basic rights remain unfulfilled.
What are doing to help?
Our SOS Children’s Village in Dapaong consists of a community of SOS families, an SOS nursery, and a primary school, as well as our social and medical centres, which are open to the whole community.
SOS families give a new home to up to over a hundred children, providing a family setting in which they can grow and thrive. The school offers quality education to children from the Village and from the surrounding communities. The SOS nursery has the capacity to care for up to 50 children and in the SOS school 120 pupils can receive primary education.
Our social and medical centre offers primary health care and HIV/AIDS prevention workshops to 12,000 patients every year, while also helping numerous families grow strong and provide a better upbringing for their children. We work with local groups to ensure children have access to education as well as essential health and nutritional services. Families may receive food and medicines and children may be given scholarships so they can attend school.
With your support children and families in Dapaong will find the help they need to enjoy the childhood they deserve. You can help by sponsoring a child today.