Volunteer with Children in Togo
- Placement locations: Lomé
- Types of care projects: Childcare centers, kindergartens, and nurseries
- Age of children: 0 - 18
- Number of people cared for: 8 - 60
- Role: Volunteers work on achieving the goals set out in the Care Management Plan, including running educational games and group activities, and providing emotional support.
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Volunteering in a childcare center, kindergarten, or nursery in Togo can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Whether you are on a gap year, vacation from university, or coming to volunteer development work as a career break, you will have a role to play and your contribution will be valued.
The number of vulnerable children, like street children, in Togo is a problem for the country's rudimentary social welfare services. In the care centers that do exist, staff struggle with limited resources to feed, clothe, and educate the children in their care. Staff often don't have the time to provide the individual support and attention that these children need so they can have as normal a childhood as possible.
Projects Abroad volunteers help by spending time with the children, playing with them, and putting a smile on their faces. Whether you are taking a group out for an afternoon to the nearby beach, helping older children with homework, or playing a game with the younger ones, you will be an essential part of their development.
Volunteering in Childcare Centers in Togo
Projects Abroad works with several different childcare centers in Lomé, the capital of Togo. Many of the country’s most vulnerable children end up at these centers, which are privately owned and vary in size. Some are home to mostly young children and others have adolescents and young adults. If you would like to work with a certain age group please request it when you apply.
The most rewarding tasks involve helping the children with their homework, teaching hygiene, and setting up group activities. Volunteers can also help with daily tasks such as preparing meals and cleaning up. Some volunteers choose to set up regular social activities for the children like sports or arts and crafts lessons.
My hands were perennially full for my two months in Togo—there was always one child or another pouting that they had to wait until the next stroll to get a hand to hold. Their stories were touching and personal. Some were sick, some were lonely, but all were bright and open. They just wanted someone to hold on to. Read more...
Volunteer in Kindergartens in Togo
It is also possible for Care volunteers to work in kindergartens and nurseries with babies and young children. It is important to teach them basic behavior and life skills, such as treating people kindly, cleaning up after themselves, and having proper manners. The nursery has a playground outside and plenty of space for outdoor activities.
Volunteering at a Care Placement in Togo with Projects Abroad
In whichever Care placement in Togo you find yourself, you need to be ready for a challenge. Many of the children need a great deal of support and there will undoubtedly be children who have health problems or need special attention due to disabilities. Patience and positive reinforcement are essential.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Togo Care Management Plan.
The Projects Abroad team organizes regular workshops for our Care volunteers. The workshops provide an overview of the care system in Togo and the background of the placement where you are working. You will receive advice and suggestions regarding activities to try out at your Care placement. Volunteers in Togo also have the chance to attend a more general inter-cultural workshop that gives more information about Togolese culture and how this relates to your work.
Any extra interests or skills that you have can be put to good use, so please let our local staff know about them when you apply. Though French ability is not required, it is helpful to be able to communicate with the children and staff.
Did you know? In Togo, illegal child labor is not properly policed, as many children below the legal age of 14 work on family subsistence farms.
Volunteering in Orphanages in Togo
Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in Togo. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.
This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in Togo, volunteers will work in placements like day care centers, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.
The General Care Project in Togo is available from two weeks if you do not have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills volunteering abroad as a professional in Togo. If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Togo.
I still remember my first day when the children surrounded me, showing me their toys and stroking my legs! I was quickly set to work hand washing some of the clothes with two of the older children – a three man job that I never fully got the hang of! Other jobs included washing up, sifting corn and helping to prepare food for lunch. Read more...