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TOGO: Salesians focus on child trafficking dangers

Taltha Kum-Togo

Training to raise awareness held for 55 children in vulnerable situations

Salesians Missions in Togo.

TOGO

(MissionNewswire) A group of people from Taltha Kum-Togo worked to raise awareness among children in vulnerable situations about the dangers of child trafficking. A total of 55 children, including 55 boys and 10 girls, benefited from the training. The presentations focused on the causes, consequences, and practices of child and human trafficking, as well as ways of denouncing and deterring such practices.

A Salesian said, “The children who attended the presentation were touched from the bottom of their hearts and are determined to fight against child trafficking. Together, let’s say no to smuggling and trafficking in persons.”

Salesians across Togo are working with street children and other populations who are vulnerable to trafficking. One of the centers is the Don Bosco Immaculate Child Protection Center, which was created in Kara in 1985 to provide shelter and support for street children. Salesian missionaries help engage them in productive activities to deter them from delinquent situations. Salesians also facilitate social and family reintegration.

The center provides support for youth between the ages of 5-17 who come from towns and villages in Togo. The youth live on the streets or are in conflict with the law, victims of early marriages, or orphans. While at the center, they attend primary, middle and high school. The center also provides trade courses for older students, which include carpentry and automobile mechanics.

In Kara, many youth do not have access to education, and youth unemployment is very high. Most young people have unskilled jobs and precarious working conditions, which makes them even more vulnerable. Salesian education is sometimes the only education they are able to access to become productive members of their community.

At the center, youth can receive help with their homework or tutoring if they are struggling with a school subject. The center also provides educational talks every Friday evening. During these sessions, youth have the opportunity to learn social skills for better engaging with peers, adults and their community.

More than 80% of Togo’s rural population lives in conditions of poverty making the country one of the world’s poorest, according to UNICEF. Children in the country suffer the most, with close to 50% of those living in poverty under the age of 18. One in eight children will not reach their fifth birthday and the number of children who drop out of school because their parents cannot afford to educate them is high. Children are also often forced to work in exploitative and dangerous conditions to help support their families.

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Sources:

Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Child Protection

Don Bosco Child Protection Newsletter Embrace January-March 2024, Page 25

Salesian Missions – Togo

UNICEF – Togo

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