AGSP/Togo At a Glance:
During Year 6 of AGSP, World Education continued work with its three partners, Programme d’Aide Humanitaire aux Cas Sociaux (PAHCS), Association pour le Développement Intégral de la Femme et la Jeune Fille (ADIFF), and Structure Institutionnelle de Recherche Action et d’Appui aux Initiatives de Base (SIRAIB) in Togo to provide scholarships to 2,150 continuing AGSP scholars of whom 1,216 are girls and 934 are boys (See Table 1. The geographic focus of program implementation includes the Plateaux, Savanes, and Centrale regions of Togo (see map above). Together, the partners implemented the program in 103 schools in the country. The NGO partners were not allowed to select additional scholars to replace those who left AGSP at the end of Year 5. To date, 11,371 scholarships have been awarded to 8,028 girls and 3,343 boys in Togo (see Table 2).
Table 1 AGSP Scholars in Togo Year Six
The distribution ceremonies were well attended by school administrators, teachers, mentors, and local authorities, members of the selection committees, beneficiaries and their parents. NGO partners distributed scholarship items during the first half of the year, including items in the package such as sportswear, shoes, desks and chairs, school supplies (books, pens, pencils, and math tools), school uniforms and bags, and lamps. Distribution of scholarships amongst the various NGO partners for this academic year is indicated in the Table 2.
Table 2. AGSP Scholarship Distribution in Togo
There are currently 202 mentors in Togo. Mentors have been actively involved in monitoring scholars’ attendance as well as their academic and social achievements. This year, partners focused on implementing remedial classes for scholars, continued sensitization campaigns on issues such as child trafficking, early marriage and other practices that negatively impact girls’ education, organized health education talks in schools to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and held informational meetings with scholars to promote mutual support amongst them and encourage them to adopt responsible behaviors during holidays and vacation periods.
The mentors include teachers, school directors, housewives, and PTA members. A mentoring plan was drafted for each district in collaboration with key partners. Mentoring activities have mainly centered on raising awareness about and preventing the worst forms of child labor, HIV/AIDS awareness and remedial classes. The three NGOs organized a Training of Trainers workshop on the USAID Girls Mentoring Resource Guide. The training of trainers also addressed appropriate procedures, forms of conduct including interpersonal communication, participatory approaches, and monitoring and evaluation tools that can be used to navigate mentoring progress. The training took place in SOKODE on the 15 and 16 of January 2010. The training was facilitated by the National AGSP Consultant. In addition to the six trainers from the NGOs, other local AGSP stakeholders including representatives from the Parent Teacher Association, and volunteers from the Peace Corps participated in the training. Remedial classes during the second half of the year really focused on preparing students for the end-of-year examinations.
Other mentoring activities take on many different forms. One NGO partner reported that its mentors are in the schools each day and do an activity with the students before classes being. The mentors actively used the Mentoring Resource Guide, after participating in a Training of Trainers workshop facilitated by the NGO partners. From the Guide, three main topics were chosen and a series of discussions were developed for use by the student clubs. Students then presented the topics using different forms of debate and discussion. The series deal with gender equality issues, rights of the child (and girls’ rights in particular), the importance of educating girls, and health discussion on HIV/AIDS prevention and unwanted pregnancy prevention. Sections of the series’ discussions were broadcast on national radio.
NGOs involve the community in many aspects of the program and often design specific activities to raise awareness, solicit support and enhance community participation in program activities. For example, in order to support AGSP scholars in their learning, teachers, parents and school directors discussed possible strategies to support scholars, such as the need to change teaching methods and the need for remedial classes. Parents and teachers have also come to agree on the importance of purchasing and using mosquito nets to prevent child deaths caused by malaria. Through networking, PAHCS formed a relationship with the NGO, Handicap International who provided tricycles to twenty PAHCS managed AGSP scholars with disabilities to help them travel to school each day. From the start, community support and participation has been an integral part of this program. It gets the students to talk to their parents and teachers, opening up communication, starting a dialogue, and the flow of information.
HIGHLIGHT: AGSP Country Consultant Albarka AboukerimThe three NGO partners in Togo each gave recognition to Mr. Albarka Aboukerim, the AGSP country consultant responsible for supervision and coordination of the AGSP in Togo, for his active role in the mentoring activities. During Albarka’s field visits, he assessed the quality of the work being done by the mentors, and he advised them on how to apply what they had learned into practice. The mentors and the school directors also expressed appreciation and already said they hope to have another refresher training during the coming school year.
Ambassabors' Girls' Scholarship Program (AGSP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development