7 Beautiful Open Letters from Togolese Mothers in Compassion’s Child Survival Programme

In their own words, seven Togolese mothers share the incredible impact of Compassion's Child Survival Programme.

Looking at 16-month-old Akouvi’s bright eyes and shy smile, it’s hard to believe she was once one of the world’s most vulnerable babies. She was born in Togo, West Africa.

According to UNICEF, the West African region has the highest under-five child mortality rate on the planet. In 2019, UN data indicated about 67 in every 1000 Togolese children died before reaching their fifth birthday.

That’s why Compassion’s Child Survival programme exists.

The early years of life are a crucial period in the development of a child. Our Child Survival programme supports babies like Akouvi right from the womb to their first birthday while providing education and support for caregivers like Rebecca, Akouvi’s mother.

In their own words, Rebecca and six other mothers share the incredible impact of this care—one that can make a difference in lives for generations to come.

As the old African proverb says, “If you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. These are the remarkable stories of mothers in Compassion Togo’s Child Survival programme. Thank you so much for making them possible!

“We hope other women will benefit from this programme.”

Mother Rebecca holds her baby Akouvi

I thank God for the lives of the people involved in Compassion and especially the donors who support this programme through their funding.

I am Rebecca, a mother of two children. It is a great joy for me today to share the good works that this project keeps doing for my child and me. This programme has brought a great change in our lives.

During my pregnancy, thanks to this project, I have followed all the prenatal consultations, and all the tests were done. I gave birth in good health.

This meant a lot to me. Because of our low income, I had never been able to receive prenatal consultations during my previous pregnancies.

Since my child Akouvi has been a part of this programme, we manage to eat at least three times a day. I can even vary the diet of my children - something I have never been able to do before. In addition, we have learned income-generating activities like making cakes and liquid soap to sell. These will enable us to be economically self-sufficient.

In short, this project has brought a great change in the life of my family and me. We hope that other women will be able to benefit from this programme too. May God grant health to the donors, the partner church, and Compassion; may He bless the works of their hands.

“My caesarean was paid for.”

Mokpokpo holds her baby Ayikoe

Dear sponsor,

My name is Mokpokpo; my daughter is Ayikoe Winny.

18 months ago, I was pregnant for the first time. The person responsible for my pregnancy—I cannot call him the father of my child—had abandoned me. I was left alone with the expenses. I had no money for prenatal visits. I couldn’t make ends meet.

Thanks to [the Child Survival initiative], I was taken care of by Compassion’s partner in the seventh month of my pregnancy. All the expenses—from the hospital care to my delivery—were paid for by the programme.

This was incredible because I have sickle cell anaemia. It means I had a higher chance of preterm labour and other complications. During my delivery, I had a cesarean section. Again, all the expenses for me and my baby were paid for by the Child Survival programme.

Thanks to the teachings I received, I have learned a lot: how to read and meditate on the Bible, how to raise a child to be obedient and how to be an independent woman. A Child Survival staff member visits me at home to share the lessons. She trains us on how to take care of ourselves to have better health, how to breastfeed my child, plus advice on hygiene, nutrition, and planning. The programme also helps me with food and hygiene kits.

I thank God for the lives of our leaders from the Child Survival initiative. May the Almighty bless them and help them in their activities.

“I LEARNED A TRADE.”

Adjowavi and her baby daughter Alexine

Dear donors,

I greet you in the beautiful name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My name is Adjowavi. I am 20 years old, and I live with my family in my grandfather’s house. The father of my child and I are not married, and he does not take care of me, nor his child.

I come from a very poor family, and there was nobody to advise me or to help me become what I wanted to be. I lived in great sadness. I used to walk from house to house to find domestic work. With the little money I received, I fed myself and took care of my baby. However, there were times when I couldn’t find any work, and we were left hungry.

Through the Child Survival initiative and your support, I started to learn a trade. Today, I am an apprentice seamstress. Thanks to your help, my child and I are no longer starving. I receive food, hygiene kits, clothing, and advice. Today, thanks to you, there are people who take care of me.

I would like to sincerely thank you, first and foremost, and the actors of this project.

May God bless you abundantly, protect and keep you all.

“I now have hope to give birth without difficulties.”

Mother Essi and baby Emmanuel

Dear sponsor,

My name is Essi.

I’m a mother and have a disability where one side of my body is paralysed. When I discovered I was pregnant, I was very upset. During my previous pregnancy, I never went to a health facility for a prenatal consultation and gave birth at home. My baby died.

In my community, I heard that the women who are in the Child Survival initiative give birth in the hospital, and that encouraged me. I was very excited to hear the news that I had been registered into the programme too.

Now I am in my eighth month of pregnancy. Thanks to the Child Survival programme, I am receiving specialist prenatal care at a big hospital. The programme not only covers my healthcare costs, but things like my transport fees to travel to the city.

It is with great joy that I am writing this letter to sincerely thank Compassion Togo and our sponsors for the good works they do for us and especially me because this programme has given me the hope to give birth without difficulties.

May God bless them abundantly in the name of Jesus Christ!

*Note: Essi gave birth to a full-term, healthy son at a medical facility on 27 May 2021. She named him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’.

“Now I walk with my head up.”

Mazalo and baby Deborah

Dear sponsor,

My name is Mazalo, I’m the mother of Deborah. I have two children and no job.

I thank the Lord for Compassion UK, Compassion Togo, and the leaders of the Survival initiative. We didn’t have food to eat, and my children were always sick. Thanks to the programme’s food donations, we manage to eat.

My whole household can now wash and shower properly thanks to the hygiene kits. My child and I are always treated in case of illness; our health is totally taken care of by the project.

Thanks to the teachings and advice given, my old habits have improved. I couldn’t run a small business because I couldn’t save money, but now I can save money to start it.

I used to be ashamed to walk in front of my friends because they laughed at me because of my poverty. But now I walk with my head up. My husband didn’t care about me, but now he listens to me, and we discuss ideas together.

Now, I have hope that I have a future and that my children have a future too. Before, I was completely desperate. I thank the great God who brought this programme to us.

May God bless them richly.

“I jumped for joy.”

Dora and Leon

Dear sponsor,

I am Dora. I am a mother of three children. My five-month-old son, Léon, is part of the Child Survival programme. My husband is called Yao.

When I was in my first month of pregnancy, my husband had a motorcycle accident. He can no longer use his left arm. He was a driver, and his injury means he is no longer able to work. Without his income, I couldn’t follow the prenatal consultations properly. I couldn’t pay for the prescriptions and tests, and we couldn’t make ends meet because he was no longer working.

I usually sold things to help support our family, but with the pregnancy, my health didn’t allow me to continue working. I was sick all the time and was anxious about needing medical treatment because we didn’t have money.

One day, I heard about the Child Survival initiative. I went to see them and asked them to register me. I was at home when the Child Survival volunteer came to tell me that I had been registered. I jumped for joy and thanked God for His mercy. Since then, I have received health care, food, and hygiene kits.

I thank God for the life of the sponsors and donors for all that they do in the life of our families. And I pray God to protect you and keep you safe from coronavirus. Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!

“Thank you for your help in feeding our babies.”

 

Mother, Judith and baby Esther

Dear sponsor,

My name is Judith, mother to Esther. With this letter, we greet you in the name of our Lord. I am proud of Compassion for its Child Survival initiative, which allowed me to give birth for the second time to a beautiful daughter in good conditions.

During this pregnancy, I was able to follow all the health advice and tests, including an ultrasound. In my first delivery, I did not have this chance because of our financial situation.

The day of my delivery, I did not suffer like the first time, thanks to the Child Survival programme. After the delivery, I received a kit filled with items which allows me to take good care of my baby.

With this letter, I would like to thank the entire Compassion team and the Great Commission Church for this support on behalf of my baby, my husband, and my entire family. My beautiful baby is doing well and is in good health. And thanks to the Child Survival programme, I believe that my baby and I will always remain healthy.

Our life has changed since I entered the Child Survival programme. We thank you so much for your support that helps us out of poverty. We also thank you for your help in feeding our babies and making sure they grow up in good conditions. May the Almighty reward you a hundredfold for all your blessings towards us.

A Life-long Impact

Practical support from our Child Survival programme has a life-long impact on babies and toddlers and their entire family. It’s an impact that can extend for generations. With the foundations set for good health and development, these children—and their caregivers—are being empowered to become all that God has made them to be.

All the babies in the programme are invited to join Compassion’s Child Sponsorship programme to continue receiving the care and support they need – making sure each child continues to be known, loved and protected.

To all who support our Child Survival programmes in Togo, thank you for investing in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children!

DONATE TO CHILD SURVIVAL

This work has been made possible by the generous support of sponsors and donors and UK AID which matched public donations to the ‘Different Path’ appeal which enables Compassion to improve pregnant women’s access to antenatal check-ups and trained birth attendants, offer life-saving assistance including basic healthcare, hygiene, nutritious food and safe water, as well as providing mentoring, support and spiritual guidance for families.

Compassion International

Words by Compassion International


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