On November 9th BØRNEfonden celebrated its 20th anniversary in Togo. Government representatives thanked BØRNEfonden for the great effort in the country and two former sponsor children told about BØRNEfonden's importance to them.
BØRNEfonden 20 birthday was celebrated properly in the Togolese capital Lome. 170 guests, including representatives from the Government of Togo, Danish companies, international and national NGOs participated. BØRNEfonden’s CEO Bolette Christensen was also present.
It's great to see how collaboration between BØRNEfonden and local authorities, national and international NGOs give positive results, said Bolette Christensen.
Among the results over the last 20 years counts 256 schools, 80 kindergartens and 18 libraries in 28 communities in poor rural areas where BØRNEfonden works.
But particularly in the health sector, where the focus has been access to clean drinking water the results are remarkable. Only within the last five years, 75,000 people gained access to safe drinking water. BØRNEfonden in Togo drilled 40 wells, repaired 110 existing wells and supported 238 local water committees to maintain the pumps and manage fees collected from consumers.
BØRNEfonden received many words of praise along the way. Togo's Minister of Development Djossou SEMODJI, on behalf of the government, thanked BØRNEfonden for its work and many achievements. He stressed that he looked forward to many years of future cooperation.
Also former sponsored children told what BØRNEfonden had meant to them.
After I left school I came to a technical school and became a carpenter. Today I have my own carpenter's shop and trains apprentices”, told M. Abdoulaye ISSAKA,— M. Abdoulaye ISSAKA
"After I left school I came to a technical school and became a carpenter. Today I have my own carpenter's shop and trains apprentices", told M. Abdoulaye ISSAKA,
"I come from a poor family from the country, but having been on one of BØRNEfonden summer camps it dawned on me that all men are worth something. I got enough confidence to get an education. I have a BA in economics and is now employed in Togo Post Office", said Adjoa ADJIMON.
A "Children Government", also turned up to the anniversary. They work with children and young people's rights and the group consisted of children from the poor rural areas where BØRNEfonden is present. They told about their work with children's rights to include the right to go to school, protect themselves from violence and get good hygienic conditions at the school.
It made a great impression to experience the youth presentation and involvement in their volunteer work. It is an important task they have undertaken to fight for their own and other children's rights, said CEO Bolette Christensen.
As in the other program countries where BØRNEfonden work all development activities in Togo is aiming at creating a better future for children and youth. The focus is on health, education, income generating activities and children and development.
A total of 12,000 children in Togo are supported by a sponsor.