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vendredi, 06 septembre 2019 09:04

Compassion Top Students Awarded

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©AfreePress-(Lomé, 6 Sept 2019)- For the 4th time, Compassion International Togo awarded its top students who have successfully passed various exams with highest performances. From the Primary school certificate to the university entrance diploma, they were some one hundred and six (106) students to receive school supplies, Christian books, bicycles and scholarships. Some even received cash. 

This event called “KALOS” which means “Excellence”, is an opportunity to the Church and Compassion to promote formal education of children and young people from low-income and disadvantaged families. It also boosts children's academic results and develops in them the culture of excellence, one of Compassion’s core values.  

Mr. Kodjovi Gbekou, representing Compassion’s National Director revealed that “Education is one of the main pillars of Compassion’s holistic child and youth development program”.  “To date, 55% of beneficiaries are in primary school, 35% in secondary school, 5% in university and 5% in vocational training” he added.

On behalf of the Minister of primary and secondary schools, M. Felix Edjam congratulated the beneficiaries for their hard work and engagement towards excellence. “With you, the government is sure the future of our nation is assured”, he articulated. To lay emphasis on his thought, Mr. Edjam quoted Nelson Mandela, “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in future as future leaders”. For him, there won’t be any change if youths don’t seriously grab opportunities to focus on Education. 

He then encouraged them to keep up the good work they have started, as they run away from bad companies. He also seized the opportunity to appreciate Compassion and its church partners. “The government, through my voice, appreciates Compassion International for its huge actions in the country” he concluded. 

The “KALOS” Award ended an educational and professional orientation week organized by Compassion International and its partners. 

Coming from all the regions of the country, the recipients and about one thousand five hundred (1,500) other students were gathered from the 28th to the 30th August 2019 at the Togolese Trade fair center (CETEF) of Lomé for an educational and professional orientation. This meeting is timely as national statistics reveal that more than 50% of students at all levels and from different branches are not comfortable with the choice of their university stream. Most of them waste one of two years to settle themselves before identifying their suitable branch. Some even abandon their studies because they have wasted resources without any tangible results. Thus, Compassion organized these orientation days to help improve the educational and vocational orientation of secondary school students so that they can make appropriate choices regarding their school and career plans. 

With a large smile and hearts full of joy, the recipients celebrated the faithfulness of the Lord, together with their mentors and pastors invited for the circumstance. 

Operating in Togo since 2008, Compassion International covers all regions of Togo, either through QAVAH, its community development program, or through its formal partnership establishing Child Development Centers (CDCs). To date, Compassion partner with 278 local churches with more than 66,000 beneficiaries across Togo.

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 6th August 2019)- The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Kossivi EGBETONYO visited on Friday, 2nd August 2019, the site of Kamina located in the municipality of Atakpamé (158 Km north of Lomé), was informed AfreePress Agency news.

This visit is part of the valorization of the historical sites and tourism according to the policies of the National Plan of Development (NPD).

M. EGBETONYO seized the opportunity to meet with the local authorities, the population and the folk groups in order to discuss various themes related to NPD. He made sure that the information provided about the area and the existing documentation of the town of Atakpamé, be made accessible to the department of tourism. 

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation plans to develop Kamina as a world-class historic site. The Ministry intends to rebuild the site in order to create employment and wealth for the local population, according to Mr. EGBETONYO. 

As a reminder, Kamina is a historical site where the Germans installed the radio which connected Togo to Berlin during the colonization era.

Afle Yao

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 6th August 2019)- Some investigations have been carried out for years amongst agents at the Togolese Revenue Agency. Those investigations are a follow-up after discontinuation of customs operations in the database Sydonia. According to experts, the investigation was conducted in order to find out incriminating evidence of funds embezzlement. 

Notwithstanding this act of this act of "sabotage", the investigators and publishers were able to find out the agents responsible of the embezzlement and the findings of the investigations revealed that more than seven billions of Francs CFA were taken out of the Agency’s accounts. 

On the 2nd August 2019, names like Séwanou Mensah (the cashier), Lémou Tcha (the computer technician), Amazounou David (forwarding agent), Garba Awali (customs agent) and Edah Kékéli (customs broker) who have been placed under arrest since 2015 appeared in the Court of Assize of Lomé. 

In court, the defendants have all confessed of having embezzled each, 8 million Francs CFA. But according to the Agency, the defendants have embezzled an estimated of 17 billion Francs.  

The State prosecutor requested six years’ of imprisonment and a fine of up to 17 billion against the defendants.  

The defense attorneys, for their part also condemned this act of corruption of their clients but have questioned the audit report submitted by the Department of the Togo Revenue Agency.

 

« The audit report submitted by the Agency, was a report made from 2008 to 2012 while the defendants were recruited in 2011. Which could mean that other agents were also responsible of this act of corruption within the Institution. In conclusion, the five men are not the only ones responsible of the amount of money embezzled», said Mrs. KELOUWANI Malia, member of the defense attorneys. 

However the jury did not take into account that plea, condemning the five men to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of 17 billion Francs CFA to pay as compensation to the Togo Revenue Agency.

Afle Yao

 

A validation workshop gathered since yesterday about fifty actors around the National Child Welfare Policy at the Saint Georges Hotel in Tsévié, a city located about thirty kilometers north of the city of Lomé. 

This workshop will focus on the 2019-2030 National Child Welfare Policy, which is a response to the major challenges and issues identified in the analysis of the situation in child protection sector. Its overall objective is to ensure the well-being of children through the promotion of child and family protection, the promotion of survival, birth registration, and improved governance of the sector. 

Mr. Victor TOGBE, representing the Prefect of Zio, emphasized on the importance of the of the child holistic development, an action that is at the heart of the government's program. The 2019-2030 PNBE therefore draws its foundations from the major challenges related to child protection; the Head of State's vision of society from which the Government's General Policy Statement is derived, national policies and strategies, in particular the National Development Plan (PND 2018-2022) and the national framework applicable to child protection. It takes into account the African Union's Agenda 2040 for Africa's Children, the ECOWAS 2020 Strategic Framework for Strengthening National Child Protection systems and the various international and regional commitments on children's rights. 

For the National Director of Compassion International Togo Mr. Antonin AZOTI, whose organization is a partner in the framework of the PNBE validation, the global development of the child is the unique concern of his organization. That is why he is pleased to be present at this critically important workshop. "We believe that the protection of children is at the heart of God. It is also a response to Christ's mandate to care for and protect His little ones," he said. 

Speaking in turn, Mr Stanislas BILEBA, General Secretary of the Ministry of Social Action, Women Promotion of and Literacy, representing the Minister, insisted on the fact that the national policy in question corrects some irregularities because he said, "it is reproached to him for making more reference to international priorities, to the detriment of the legitimate aspirations and needs of the grassroots populations".

It is important for Togo to have a new policy, a national reference framework, that is better adapted to the best interests of the child to better prevent violations of his or her rights and to respond more effectively to his or her specific needs, while taking into account the immediate environment. Clearly, it is important to go beyond protection to consider the child's needs in a comprehensive way so as to ensure the child's overall well-being.   

It should be recalled that this workshop is an initiative of the General Directorate of Child Protection supported by its technical and financial partners such as UNICEF, Plan Togo and Compassion International Togo. 

Compassion International Togo believes that children must be known, loved and protected. In 2018, it directly trained nearly 2000 people on child protection issues. The trainers then extended their knowledge to more than 5000 workers in child development centers.

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 23rd July 2019)-Lomé is hosting a regional workshop on methodological guide of indicators relating to international migration workforce and tools of collection of statistics. Organized by   the International Centre for the development of Migration Policies in collaboration with the ECOWAS committee of finance and technical support; it gathers experts from nine countries of West Africa.

The opening ceremony was presided over, on this 22nd July 2019, by the General Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Labor, Administrative Reform and Social Protection, Assih Atissim; the representative of the ECOWAS Commission, Aleves Georges, was present as well.

The Lomé workshop, according to the organizers, is part of the Support of the free movement of people and goods project, as well as the migration in West Africa project launched in 2013 by ECOWAS, with the support of the European Union. The aim of this meeting is to maximize the potential of the development of free movement by supporting the effective implementation of the free movement of people’s protocol and ECOWAS’ common approach of migration.

During the five days of work, the participants from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo will have to test their developed skills in order to agree on the next steps to be taken for the implementation of their information system on the labor market and the migration in the ECOWAS area and Mauritania market.

According to Lamine Daffe, project manager at the (ICMPD), it will be a matter of carrying on the promotion of economic integration, which will benefit the whole of the community’s member states.

« One of the characteristics of this integration is the facilitation of the community’s citizens’ movement, included in the protocol on the free movement of people, the right of residence and establishment which will be celebrated this year by the way”, he implied.

As a reminder, the ICMPD is an intergovernmental organization that promotes innovative, competent and tenable migratory policies.

Translated by O. Yao Afle

©AfreePress-(Lomé, le 23rd July 2019) - Muslims from Togo will travel to Mecca for the pilgrimage (HADJ 2019) on the 24, 25 and 26 July 2019. It has been announced on Monday 22nd July during a press conference in Lomé by the HADJ organization committee in Togo.

In all, 2225 Togolese citizens will go to Saudi Arabia for the HADJ 2019 expected to take place from 9th to 14th August 2019. It is the number required by the Saudi Arabian authorities in Togo, according to the HADJ organization committee.

As a reminder, the pilgrimage is one of Islam’s five pillars that every Muslim must accomplish at least once in their life, if they have the means. The Mecca (Saudi Arabia) is the place where millions of Muslim pilgrims from all around the world, accomplish the recommendations of the Prophet Muhammad.

Translated by O. Yao Afle

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 23rd July 2019)- The High Council of the Togolese Diaspora (HCTE) launched by the Minister Robert Dussey to ensure the Togolese diaspora to be well structured and become an ideal partner of the Togolese citizens, causes feelings of mistrust and questions from the Togolese diaspora in Belgium, an organization of Togolese citizens living in Belgium. 

In an announcement released on the 16th July, the organization has denounced the conditions under which HCTE was established and called upon the Togolese diaspora not to support the minister Dussey’s approach.

48 hours after the announcement release, the minister Robert Dussey stepped out to the plate answering point by point to the criticisms raised by the Togolese diaspora in Belgium. « The High Council of the Togolese Diaspora is a recommendation of the meetings held in 2014 in Africa, Europe and America. No one can fraudulently use your personal data for any appropriate purpose in Togo. Our commitment as authorities is to serve the population. We need you to get registered», Twitter comments of the Minister to the Togolese Diaspora.

According to the Minister, the establishment of the High Council of the Togolese Diaspora (HCTE) is a part of the « vision of the government to work towards strengthening its policies toward the Togolese diaspora. This initiative is to improve the partnership between the government and the diaspora». « The minister wishes to clarify that one of the key recommendations is the establishment of the High Council after some meetings held in Paris, Montréal and Lomé in 2014. Thus justifying the project as a priority to the Togolese government toward the diaspora. Furthermore, the minister would like point out that in many West African countries, the High Council playing a major role between the diaspora and the government, is an institution often promoted by national authorities», the minister’s announcement released on the 17th July 2019.

Robert Dussey, in the press release, calls upon the Togolese diaspora to « stop any action of misinformation about HCTE ».

The High Council of the Togolese Diaspora (HCTE), noted by the Minister of foreign Affairs and African Integration, will be an advisory body, non-partisan, non-discriminatory and non-profit. It shall not be affiliated to any belief orientation nor political philosophy. It seeks to bring foreign Togolese citizens together regardless of origin ; ethnic, religious, social, gender and profession or opinion : to promote human rights defense and their common rights and interests, to foster and support the contribution of Togolese citizens in all different domains of economic development, environmental, social and cultural, to ensure the active participation of the diaspora in the public affairs and provide supports to Togolese diaspora citizens living in difficult conditions.

Translated by O. Yao Afle

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 22nd July 2019)-The 25th edition of Miss Togo 2019; the contest of the most beautiful girl of Togo was officially launched with the « super-regional » in the northern regions.

The super-regional held in Kara, has ended on Saturday 20th July 2019 with the holding of the pre-selection ceremony at the Palais des Congrès of Kara.

In all twenty-two (22) candidates, eight (8) were selected to continue the adventure. 

The members of the jury after counting, have announced Mrs Aïda YOMBO, 19 years old, height 1.71, studying accounting as the winner of the super-regional Miss contest, Kara 2019. Mrs EKLOU Akouvi Edith Nadi and DARO Nourah finished as 2nd and 3rd.

Five (5) other candidates have been selected to represent the region of savannas, Kara and Central during the final. They are Mrs DARTEY Dédé Hosanna, GNAMAH Essohanam, TOMLIWA Badjayema Joël, AMEDEVI Adjowa Fidèle, and PETEMA Essomada.  

The super-regional date of Lomé has been set on Saturday 27th July 2019 at Grand Rex for the pre-selection before the grand final at Palais des Congrès of Lomé.

Afle Yao

 

 

 

 

 

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 19th July 2019)- The second ministerial conference on promoting religious freedom was launched on Thursday 18th July 2019 in the United States of America. Organized by the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, this meeting, which was attended by the foreign minister of Togo, Prof Robert Dussey aims to « identify » the challenges, the means of combating religious persecutions and discrimination and ensure respect for religious freedom. 

This meeting which brings together religious leaders, ministers, civil society organizations, international organizations representatives, seeks to reaffirm international commitments that promote religious freedom. 

The minister of foreign affairs and African integration, Robert Dussey has made statements on the efforts in terms of promoting religious freedom and the measures taken to combat violent extremism in Togo. « Religious freedom is one of the modern difficult issues, which pose a threat in many regions in the world. If this is not a new issue (...), in its present form, it is expressing concern and it has to be seriously addressed », says Prof Dussey who believes that religious freedom suffers of blindly obscurantist, violent fanaticism and dogma. 

« Whether in Somalia, Mali, Nigeria or Burkina Faso, people’s lives are threatened. Religious sites are taken as targets. Mosques, churches, and synagogues are burned down, priests and imams are murdered. Mosques and tombs of saint Muslims were vandalized in Timbuktu by Ansar dine in Mali », he added condemning those murderous attacks against Christians and Muslims all over the world. 

The minister of foreign affairs has also welcomed the efforts made by African countries regarding this issue. « African States are making extraordinary efforts in order to guarantee the exercises of religious freedom which are fundamental human freedom. They must protect the exercise of religious freedom against extremism and terrorism », he urged. 

Togo’s commitment according to Mr. Dussey, results in the establishment on the past 15th of May, of an interdepartmental committee to prevent and combat violent extremism. « Its policy aims to protect the citizens and also expression of individuals’ freedom, mainly religious», added the minister of foreign Affairs.

Afle Yao

© AfreePress- (Lomé, April 12, 2019) - Parents, children, administrative authorities, religious and donors ... were present this Thursday, April 11, 2019 alongside the leaders of SOS Children's Village for the inauguration of the new premises of the Atakpamé Program, Kamina (about 15 km from the city of Atakpame).

This building is in addition to that of Afeye Kpota, to extend the activities of this institution to a greater number of children in need of protection in the Ogou prefecture.

From SOS homes to the computer room to rooms and playgrounds, everything is there to provide a warm home for the children of Kamina. "This new village supports the Atakpamé Program to improve the quality of care, living standards and development of children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care through their access to services. basic essentials, "Arcadius Toeppen, Director of the Program at Atakpamé, said during the ceremony.

The village plans to provide some 1,586 children - who have lost family care or are at risk of losing it - to growing up in a protective family environment by 2020.

Indeed, the analysis of the situation of children that SOS Children's Village realizes each 3 years, revealed in 2013 that in Kamina, out of the 420 children counted, 23 (5%) have already lost parental care , 153 (36%) are at high risk of losing it among them there are 244 children who live with both parents but sometimes in difficult economic conditions.

Across the city of Atakpamé, the survey reveals that 1,818 children or 5% have lost care while 15,519 (40%) are at high risk of losing it. "With these villages we build families for children, help them to design their own future and take part in the development of their communities," said SOS Children's Village National Director Togo, Ms. Bakoussam Manzi-Nika.

The SOS Children's Village Atakpamé program is created with the sole purpose of improving the situation of children in the Plateaux region through interventions in three (3) areas.

The first concerns the implementation of a care program for children and young people and takes into account the SOS family components integrated into the communities, the Foster Family Promotion, the transit house for the reception and counseling of trafficked children and a family strengthening program.

The second area facilitates access to quality education for children and young people. The third is oriented towards promoting quality health care for children.

"Today, communities benefiting from SOS programs are more sensitive to the rights and protection of children and the importance of quality alternative care and show progress towards sustainability and resilience. ", Welcomed the International Director of SOS Children's Villages for West and Central Africa, Benoît PIOT.

Advances saved

After the launch of the Program in 2017 in Atakpame, we can already note the construction of 6 family houses in the Kamina and Afeye Kpota communities and two transit houses in Kamina; Admission of 13 children to SOS families including 06 girls, 03 children in foster care including 01 daughter and a daughter in a transit house. Similarly, 801 children and 224 families are admitted to the family strengthening program.

The program also transfers skills to families and communities. This through an exchange with child protection actors, on the care of SOS Children Village Atakpamé.

To date, 20 host families are accredited and trained. In addition, the renovation of 6 school buildings in 4 partner schools, the construction of 4 blocks of school latrines and drilling.

Still in the logic of skills transfer, 70 teachers have had their capacities strengthened.

As a result, the program allows communities to develop a functional community protection mechanism.

SOS Children's Village is an international, apolitical and secular social development organization that respects the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is present in 135 countries around the world and has been working in Togo for 40 years. Today it operates on four sites (Lomé, Kara, Dapaong and Atakpamé) thanks to the support of benefactors of Sweden in this case the company AstraZeneca and The Astrid Lindgren Company.

Since 2017, she also benefits from an annual grant from the Togo government

A.Y.

 

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