It takes a village to empower a child. When you sponsor a child, you become part of our global Compassion village. It’s chock-full of remarkable humans all over the world who are advocating for the futures of children in extreme poverty through the local church.
Every person at a child development center has a role to play in a child’s life. There are pastors, tutors, accountants, coordinators, cooks, directors, social workers, health care workers, the list goes on and on … and we think you should get to know them a little.
Meet 11 members of our global village from four different church partners in Togo. They share from their hearts about what it’s like to care for the babies, children and teens in their communities who you are sponsoring.
Senyo Adjovi, Center Director
“This playground helps children to blossom. We wanted to find something that would enable them to have fun apart from the curriculum lessons.
“It’s very important to work with children. Because if you take a small child, you can build his mind. You can impact his life so that tomorrow we see him becoming what you want him to become. I see the kids who were 6 and 7 years old when we started, and who are now 13 and 14. They are now teenagers in the church and they do well. I always ask my volunteers:
“In 10 years, what will be the impact of our work in the lives of these children?”
Nicholas, Health Care Specialist
“Sometimes I’ll ask the children what they want to be when they grow up. And they’ll say, “I want to become a doctor.” So I ask them why. And they tell me that every time they see me show up, wearing my white coat, they feel like they can be successful, too.”
Solange Lawson-Lavi, Accountant
“I am the center’s accountant, but the most rewarding part of the job is when the kids have problems and they come to us because we are here to help them.”
Justin Amegnibo, Center Coordinator
“When I’m out in the community and the children see me and scream, ‘Coordinator, Coordinator,’ it makes very happy.
“My advice to other center coordinators is to remember that this is not a regular job. You are a minister of God and you should keep in mind that you are not just doing it for the children; you are doing it for the Lord. Even if there are challenges, you should keep that in mind.”
Elia Bassama, Social Worker
“This job isn’t easy. You’re not here for the money. You’re here for the children. You sacrifice yourself for children. Don’t get annoyed when things do not move as you want. You should take it as a work of God and have patience.”
Fernand Hloinvi, Center Director
“Most of the families in this community practice Voodoo. We fight for these children. For a child, the battle starts before they are even born. A family will ask the gods if it is a good child or a bad child. Sometimes they’ll do everything they can to kill that child before they are born. Sometimes, a child will be raised under the influence of evil spirits. We fight for these children.”
Carole Miate, Social Worker
“As the social worker for the center, I have to train the volunteer teachers. Before the teachers teach the children, I have to teach them. I also check on all the children who are absent from the center and see why they did not attend. When a child is sick, I also have to take care of them and make sure they are getting treatment.”
Bomboma Soguibe, Pastor
“You see those children there? There are pastors among them, great evangelists among them. So children’s ministry is very important and I do not joke about it because if we miss ministry to children, so we miss all the ministry.
“It’s my job to continue working the partnership [with Compassion] to make it better and do what I can to improve it. It’s not only the children that are supported by Compassion, but when children who are not part of the church are supported, they can bring their parents and others in the community to the church.”
Agent de Sante, Center Director/Coordinator
“The kids who come to church here don’t get the nutrition they need at home. This is the place where they get it. Some of the children will only eat half of their food so they can take it home and share with their brother or sister. This porridge is good for the kids. We make it from scratch. It helps them grow healthy. At first, they didn’t like it. But my secret? Add a little milk. Now, sometimes, when I don’t prepare it, they’ll come and say, ‘We want that porridge!’”
Fabrice Adakanou, Tutor (9-to 11-year olds)
“We first clean the center when we arrive on Saturday. Then we have devotions and breakfast. After breakfast, we go to our classrooms and start with the spiritual lesson and move on to the physical, cognitive and social-emotional teachings. Then we continue with letter writing and child protection. Next, we have lunch. After the lunch, we have some extracurriculum activities like shoe making and music. At 2 p.m. we’re free to go home.
“This week, we will learn about Adam and Eve, how to keep our bodies clean, how to improve our performance in writing, how to care for the security of ourselves and others, and how to encourage our sponsors.“
Adjo Gado, Cook
“I wanted to be a part of the center because the center came to help us and it’s not right for others to do everything. It’s our responsibility to bring our hearts and do what we can.“
Aklombessi Koffi Hyacinthe, Pastor
“When we reach out to women, we reach out to the whole community.”
“Here in Togo, in villages, it’s hard for women and girls to go to school. They get married too young. I’d love for girls to spend more time getting their education. I’ve noticed that they only start, and don’t finish. But if they go to school, girls can be anything they want.
“I’d like to thank the sponsors. They don’t come here. But they ARE here. Without them, we couldn’t do that much here. And without us, their money could do nothing here. I really see that we are partners. We’re working together for the same master.”
These are just a few of the dedicated child advocates that work with us. We partner with nearly 200 local churches that serve more than 50,000 children in Togo. And their loving work is made possible by you!