TOGO is a West African country in between GHANA and BENIN. The main economic activity in Togo is agriculture. However, it ranks as one of the highest impoverished countries in the world. The rate of women’s economic activities represents 53.5 % and proves that women are very active in this country helping to supply for the family. Because of this, they experience a greater respect from their husbands and children, plus empower their family with two meals a day and often times, an opportunity to go to school.
The Micro Finance program began in Togo January 2009 that was inspired from a partnership between MEDIC International and Mercy Ships. This program was to help Mercy ship patients, particularly women, who were in need of business development. We had educational and training workshops in 11 villages where we helped create sustainability for 497 women. Since then, we have helped thousands of men and women establish small businesses throughout Togo. Much of our partnership is with local churches and a portion of the profits go back to the local pastors.
In many of the villages, Compassion International offers education as well as feeding programs for the children. This is very complementary to the great opportunities we offer in microfinance. For this reason, MEDIC Togo has been able to progress very quickly with its program.