Project 10: Fonds Enfant Soleil
Community mobilization for the education and social integration of orphans and vulnerable children in rural areas of Togo
Children and youngsters supported: 1 300.
Budget: € 402 793.
Many children are deprived of their right to education in Togo, especially in rural areas. More and more orphans and vulnerable children are missing out on school. This is why Le Ronier, a member organisation of IDAY-Togo, initiated the programme “Fonds Enfant Soleil” (FES) in 2007. It aims at securing the schooling and social integration of orphans and abandoned children in rural areas in Togo, so as to prevent that they miss out on basic education and end up on the street or in delinquency. The scheme builds on the core social values of family and solidarity and focuses on education as a key to these children’s future and to the development of their community. It seeks to strengthen the social fabric through grassroots initiatives and creativity that enable rural communities to contribute actively to quality education for all and local development. Contrary to orphanages and other institutions, the FES programme is designed to maintain and build on the social bondage between the children and their social environment; it is also much cheaper than institutionalising abandoned children, and relies on the mobilisation of local resources and creativity.
By 2014, the programme was implemented in 14 villages and had already benefited over 520 children. This project is the extension phase aimed at further developing and strengthening the programme through various activities: revolving support to participating families – either foster families for an abandoned/orphaned child, or destitute families – to generate additional income from small livestock; development of community income-generating activities (cultivation and livestock); strengthen the FES savings and credit schemes at village level; and help the FES committees transition into full-fledged cooperatives.
– The communities of 15 villages are aware of the importance of child care and education.
– About 1 000 families (foster and destitute families) participate in the programme and become self-reliable to take care and school their children and foster children.
– More than 1 000 orphan and vulnerable children of age 5-14 are schooled and integrated into foster families.
– FES Village Committees are created, trained and registered as cooperative in each participating village. They are financially autonomous and self-managed.
– The learning environment in schools improves thanks to additional community resources allocated to the education.
– The government’s contributes increasing support to the programme.