Kathleen (right) with Crown Prince Togoville (left in white)
Embracing Life in Apégamé
Agou-Apégamé began in 2010 with two pilot classes in a place given by the village chief. Embracing Life restored the roof and installed a solar panel. The literacy project initially generated a lot of interest from the local population. They taught not only "Ewe" (the mother tongue) and French (the national language), but also arithmetic and general knowledge.
In 2011, 65 people took the courses, 95% of them women! The same year we bought our own terrain. In 2012, we had three classes to our disposal, on our own premises: for the more advanced, the least advanced and the novices. 25 women and 1 man graduated, but after the graduation ceremony in March 2016, the new class of students asked for money to come to the lessons, which we deeply regretted. The lessons were interrupted. We hope to start again with the right attitude in the future!
Agou-Gadzépé started in November 2015, currently 16 women. Three of them have not missed a lesson yet!
Kpando by car, a one hour drive. The road is in a very bad state and required skills from the driver's to get there! If you sit with seven men, like sardines, in one and the same car, it's really an adventure! But with what enthusiasm we were welcomed there. In total, 40 students, men (9) and women (31) attend the lessons.
The lessons take place in the school building where we have the opportunity to place a solar panel so that evening lessons can be given. There is a demand for reading glasses, exercise books and ballpoint pens.
A positive thing is that they took the initiative themselves to work in the field, and with the money earned, buy the chalk for the schoolteacher necessary to write on the blackboard. An example to Apégamé !!!
Gadja, there was not enough time to visit this village. They have already contacted us several times to come and give them literacy classes.
Togoville, is on the road to Lomé to Benin. In the past, it was a kingdom, but no longer recognized as a kingdom. A descendant of the royal family wants to convey the story. He is known for representing and defending the authenticity of the African people. On her first trip to Africa in 2005, Kathleen met Crown Prince of Togoville for the first time in Plakoo-Mlapa. His charisma fascinated her. When the opportunity presented itself she visited the prince.
On Saturday, June 24, 2017, she visited the Prince for the 5th time, with Alexander and Nele. During the interview, Kathleen asked why he did not record his knowledge and wisdom in a book. His answer was: If he wrote in French, it would be the foreigners who would read it. Why not in Ewe, the local language, Kathleen asked. He replied that his people could not read ... and Kathleen reacted spontaneously: if you can provide the space and appoint a teacher, we'll do the rest!
A historic and magical moment. The Prince accepted this challenge and when Kathleen returns to Togo at the end of September 2017, classes start there too!