The ‘Education Togo Switzerland’ project aims at sustainably improving the living conditions of students and their families in one of the poorest countries on earth.
We are a team of 9 students at the University of St. Gallen and support the NGO Education Togo, which has recently built a school in a Togolese village for 14-19 year old students close to the city of Sokodé.
Besides supporting the school with much-needed materials and books for the students, we also want to provide them with a chance to help themselves economically. At the moment the average income in Sokodé is about EUR 30 a month. However, one man can have up to 5 wives, which in turn have an average of 5 children each. Therefore the families often do not have enough money to support all family members, which leads to about 25% of the children dying from malnutrition or diseases and another significant portion being trafficked to neighboring countries, mainly Nigeria.
We can create the most sustainable impact, if we leverage our core competencies: know-how in setting up and running businesses.
Therefore we want to support young entrepreneurs who have business ideas, which they can start in their summer vacation and then run during the school year. This will provide the students with enough money to support a part of their family, allow them to go to school and also help the local economy (current GDP per capita is around USD 300).
A team of 3 members of our group was on-site a few weeks ago and ran first workshops with 30 select students in order to identify business ideas and to teach some basic business principles. There we have seen that many such ideas exist, but spotted two problems:
First, they don’t have the business knowledge to carry their ideas forward. Here we can help. The second part of the group (6 people) will go to Togo at the end of May/beginning of June to host training sessions, coach, and discuss the identified projects with the entrepreneurs (such as how to plan a business, how to do accounting, which customers to target, how to distribute the products, etc.).
Second, the initiators lack the necessary financial resources. Here we need your help. The 30 students need approximately EUR 400 in seed capital to get their businesses started.
By supporting us, you give us the chance to execute the project, which will save a number of students from slavery and kick-start their small economy, so that the community can better sustain itself and improve the living conditions of the local people.