PEACE CORPS PROGRAM OVERVIEW
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Peace Corps’ proud service in Togo. Since 1962, over 3,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served here. Volunteers work at the grass roots level to support rural Togolese communities to achieve their development objectives and share American and Togolese culture. With the exception of the current global evacuation due to COVID-19, Peace Corps Togo has hosted Volunteers throughout its history, including during challenging periods when many international organizations withdrew.
Peace Corps is present at the invitation of the Government of Togo; programming is determined in collaboration with line ministries to support the achievement of Government of Togo objectives in rural communities. All Volunteers, no matter their sector, will work in support of government efforts to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19. PC Togo currently implements projects in health, education and agriculture.
To contact Peace Corps in Togo:
+228 22 21 06 14
Peace Corps Volunteers: Selection, Training and Service
Peace Corps Volunteers reflect the diversity of America united behind a shared purpose. The Peace Corps actively recruits Americans with a wide variety of experience, ages, and perspectives so we can share our nation’s greatest resource—its people—with the communities we serve.
Peace Corps Volunteers are U.S. citizens who are selected and sent to partner countries according to their skills and experience as well as the development needs of those countries. In Togo, new arrivals participate in an 11-week language, technical, and cultural training program. At the end of this training, they take an oath of service and are posted to Togolese communities, usually for two years. Peace Corps is responsible for Volunteer training, technical support, and health care. Host country communities share responsibility for Volunteer housing, safety, security, work and more.
Ongoing projects are below.
Education: Targeting English Education for Change (TEECh)
Education Volunteers in Togo make a positive difference in the lives of their middle school students. Peace Corps’ Targeting English Education for Change (TEECh) project was developed in collaboration with Togo’s Ministry of Education to reduce a significant shortage of qualified English teachers. Volunteers work to strengthen their students’ English skills through innovative, participatory teaching methods in the classroom and through English conversation clubs and other extracurricular activities outside the classroom. They also support their Togolese counterparts to improve their teaching skills through coaching, peer observation and feedback.
On average, girls in Togo achieve less well academically than their male counterparts, and drop out more often in middle and high school. TEECh Volunteers work to improve girls’ academic outcomes by incorporating gender equitable practices into schools and through efforts to reduce institutional gender-based violence. Volunteers facilitate dialogue with school communities including administrators and parents on positive masculinity, organize boys’ clubs to encourage boys to help with household chores, and coach girls on life skills and menstrual hygiene management.
Agriculture: Promoting Agriculture Education for Sustainability (PAGES)
As climate change affects West Africa, and with disruptions in supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic, food security is a real and growing concern for many Togolese families and communities. Peace Corps Togo created the Promoting Agriculture Education for Sustainability (PAGES) project to support the Ministry of Agriculture’s priority goal– to ensure sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all. Volunteers with PAGES work with local counterparts to provide training and technical assistance to smallholder farmers and community gardeners to adopt sustainable, climate smart agricultural techniques. PAGES Volunteers work hand-in-hand with farmers to introduce and co-train a variety of on-farm activities such as soil and water conservation, inter-cropping techniques, and small animal husbandry.
To encourage sustainable farming practices well into the future, PAGES Volunteers also work in middle schools. Students learn and practice sustainable techniques that they share with their families now and continue implementing for years to come. In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers work with students and fellow teachers to establish school gardens, practice agroforestry, and to institute composting and other green technologies.
Health: Community Health Education and System Strengthening (CHESS)
In Togo, expectant mothers and young children run a too-high risk of mortality and illness. The majority of maternal and child deaths are preventable, however. In rural communities, accessibility to health facilities, resources and information may be challenging. Working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health, and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Peace Corps developed its Community Health Education and System Strengthening (CHESS) project. Volunteers with CHESS live and work in rural communities, supporting health system strengthening efforts with local health care workers. Some health systems strengthening activities that Volunteers implement with these work partners include: improved monitoring and evaluation, project planning, and improved documentation.
In addition to this important work with health care providers, Volunteers and their counterparts organize pre-natal consultations, infant growth monitoring activities, and behavior change communication to promote the uptake of healthy behaviors such as vaccination, the use of insecticide treated bed nets and appropriate care seeking. Through these efforts, Volunteers contribute to real and lasting improvements in the health of the communities they serve.
Gender equity and women’s empowerment
Volunteers receive training on gender-equity challenges in their communities and implement activities like “gender race”, training on flexible gender roles, and female role model shadowing. PCVs also train on Student Friendly Schools to foster change among their communities.
Following training, Volunteers work with community counterparts to support and encourage vaccination, promote COVID-19 prevention measures such as social distancing and masking, and educate community members on care seeking.
Volunteers are trained to implement malaria prevention activities in their communities. These activities include: celebrating malaria prevention days, sensitizing community members on bed net use, and supporting bed net distribution campaigns. In collaboration with Community Health Workers (CHWs), they follow up with pregnant women on Intermittent Presumptive Treatment for malaria.
Volunteers work with members of their host communities to increase food security and promote the uptake of nutrient-rich diets. They support growers to adopt new techniques in food transformation and conservation, perm gardening, and other sustainable technologies.