Young man with oil cans converted into hand washing stations
Togo – May 7 2020

Young people in Togo show heart-warming ingenuity in the pandemic

In Togo, a group of thoughtful and inventive young people who found themselves unable to continue with their work-based training, took the initiative to learn a new skill and help others cope with the impact of the virus.

The enterprising young people from Dapaong in Togo had the ingenious idea of turning old oil cans into hand-washing stations. Given that the coronavirus pandemic has meant that people need to increase their hand washing at a time when they have much less money to pay for extra sinks, this creativity is really making an amazing difference.

They asked a plumber to show them the basics of how to turn an old, unused oil can into a hand washing station, then they went around each of the 12 houses in the village in Dapaong ensuring every one of them had their own hand-washing basin. They then went on to equip the community houses, the youth facilities and all the public spaces of  SOS Children's Villages Dapaong with these makeshift sinks.

“As new apprentices, we were very passionate about the project and we carried it out with great enthusiasm. These old oil cans, used as containers, already have an opening through which the water will pour out; it was a matter of cutting a circular hole where the tap will perfectly fit, then insert it and that’s it,” Elodie, one of the enterprising young people, proudly said.

What these young people have created is a very inventive and cost-effective initiative that many other communities can learn from. They have passed this knowledge on too, so others in the village are now able to make this kind of device that everyone can use for hand washing to protect co-workers and the children under SOS Children’s Village care from the virus, as well as other diseases.

The Programme Director, Mr Assamagan Anoumou, said:

"A crisis can happen any time, and unfortunately, most of the time, when it hits, there is no budget to cope with it and so we have to be very creative. The work that the young people have done is incredible, thoughtful work. I am delighted with their creative genius.”


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