The country is very underdeveloped economically. The basis of its economy is agriculture, generating around 40% of the GDP and employing around 60% of the working population. Togo is among the countries with the lowest level of social development.
- poverty is everywhere, especially in the rural areas, where around 69% households live below the threshold of poverty
- the basic factors that lead to poverty are: lack of food security, insufficient access to health care, unemployment and insufficient number of jobs, especially among the younger generation
Two years ago, you had the opportunity to meet Marie Claire from Togo. The little girl was born with a knee joint defect. Doctors in Lomé weren’t able to help her and recommended a wooden prosthesis as a temporary solution. The little girl wasn’t able to attend school and only dreamt about playing with her peers. We managed to find orthopedists from Germany in neighboring Burkina Faso and promptly scheduled her for surgery knowing that we needed to act before she grows. Today, Marie Claire is studious and does well both in school and on the playground. She likes to help her mom out with household chores and has completely forgotten about the issues with her leg. Restoring her health was possible thanks to Jérôme, a physiotherapist educated in Switzerland, who works for and is paid by the Good Factory – as well as you. Marie Claire absolutely adores him.
Marie Claire’s happy ending is not the last of our orthopedic activities in Togo. Missionary Gosia Tomaszewska has paved the way for specialists who regularly visit Burkina Faso and she is an expert when it comes to untreated joint diseases in children. It is thanks to her vigilance that Good Factory was able to take in two-year-old Hanifat (title picture). Upon meeting her while travelling between projects, she immediately knew what to do. Just like Marie Claire, the little girl had an issue with her knee joints, only in her case both of her legs had to be operated on. The surgeries are already behind her (the second one was just a few days ago). Hanifat has recovered well and her parents still cannot believe that we were able to help. Without using big words and making empty promises, we got straight to work. They were initially cautious but seeing what we do has made them believe that their daughter’s complete recovery is possible. In fact, it’s already started right before their eyes.
Our partnership with orthopedists also allowed us take care of nine-year-old Bilal. One of his legs has been developing more slowly from birth. As with the rest of our patients, no one was able to diagnose him and assess the chances of improving his condition. We ran all necessary tests on him. So far, he has received a special prosthesis to relieve his spine. His next appointment is soon, and we will then know how doctors are planning to proceed.
As usual, all these smiles in the pictures are thanks to you! By joining the Team of Angels project, you can be directly involved in all actions led by Gosia Tomaszewska. Thanks to you, we help other children fulfill their dreams of health. Gosia Tomaszewska constantly commutes back and forth between Togo and Burkina Faso and she needs you very much to continue her work.
Finally, let’s catch up with Marie Claire. Remember her? Her mother had a hard time making ends meet. We helped her daughter but we also wanted the single mom to get back on her feet. We fulfilled her dreams by giving her a sewing machine along with all the tools and materials needed to open a dressmaking shop. She already has a sign with her business’s name: Gracias Couturem, along with first orders and clients. Our involvement in this family’s every day life is slowly coming to an end. Of course, we will visit them regularly, but you can already be proud of the fact you completely changed their lives in just two years.