Different Path One Year On: How Your Generosity is Bringing Hope

It was incredible to see the Different Path appeal raise £2.2 million – your donations were matched by the UK government. One year on, this means that we’ve been able to open 20 new projects and continue funding three existing Child Survival projects.

team cutting ribbon

Last year, you gave generously to help mums in Togo give their babies the best start in life. Just look what your kindness has achieved!

Good nutrition, access to medical help and a caring community can do so much to support new mums and their babies. In Togo, this support can make the difference between life and death. That’s why your generous donations to our Different Path appeal mean so much.

In 2019, it was incredible to see the Different Path appeal raise £2.2 million - your donations were matched by the UK government. One year on, this means that we’ve been able to open 20 new projects and continue funding three existing Child Survival projects. Excitingly, there are also at least 25 new projects in the pipeline.

Each Child Survival project that you’ve funded in Togo is now giving hope to young lives. While COVID-19 restrictions have posed some challenges, the projects have adapted to continue to serve new mothers and their children in their communities. We're continuing to support mums and their babies by carrying out regular home visits, helping to pay medical bills and providing nutritional supplies. The photos below were taken before social distancing measures were introduced.

Take a look at the life-saving new facilities for yourself.

child survival building

It’s official! Thanks to your support, another Child Survival project is opened in Togo. 

small baby

Babies are carefully monitored and given the help they need to survive and thrive, including their all-important immunisations. Here, Nurse Afenou Florence cares for baby Anani after a six-week postnatal check. Baby Anani is doing well, and the doctors gave mum advise about hygiene, the value of breastfeeding and sanitation to stay safe from diseases.

child survival project room

The new facilities include a play room to nurture young children, keeping them safe and active while their parents learn new skills or attend medical appointments. “They also have a room where our children can stay to play when we come to the project,” says new mum Akposso Obidon.

“The project workers also informed us that each month, we will be receiving some gifts to help us take good care of our children. This gives me great joy and I thank God for Compassion and for their partnership with the church in our community. I pray that God will bless them so they continue to help us.”

mums celebrating

A crucial part of the project is that mums and their new babies are welcomed into a loving, supportive community, based in their local church. “I am very happy because this is an opportunity for the church to reach out to the unreached, the little ones or babies who are even not yet born, and start to impact them from the womb of their mothers,” says Pastor Kpadenu Kokou Paul. “The church is truly mobilised, and the women performed dances to show their happiness.”

Compassion health care worker

Compassion health worker Soklou Adjima Rebecca helps to identify women in the community who might benefit from the project. She says, “I did door-to-door visits to talk to the women and to register them in to the programme. I have noticed that many women suffer a lot from poverty, and they cannot get enough food to eat at home. They can’t afford to go to the hospital.”

group chatting

Without the Child Survival projects, pregnant women would struggle to get the help they might need. Yet once enrolled, there’s a wealth of support available during pregnancy and beyond. Women can access medical check-ups, trained assistance during labour and a supportive community as well as education on infant health, nutrition and hygiene.

Soklou Adjima Rebecca says, “We enrol women living in extreme poverty into Child Survival. The project provides for their needs, the women can learn many things from the curriculum, we also take them to the hospital to ensure they are healthy. Besides, we need to make sure their babies are in good health through good feeding so their growth will be balanced.”

It’s not just medical help that new mums receive. Mums can access vocational skills training to help them provide for their young children as their families grow. One new mum says, “Today we learnt an income generating activity that is making cookies. You don’t need a lot of money to start selling cookies. With a very small amount, you can start a business.”

mums and babies

The new project is already beginning to change the future for young families in the community. Nurse Rosliane, says, “In terms of childbirth rate in the community, per month we should normally have at least 15 births. But sometimes, we only register 2 or 3 births. I believe this is a very good opportunity for pregnant women to have prenatal consultations and they will give birth in good conditions. Consequently, there will be a decrease in the rate of mother or infant death during delivery.”

community of mums

Defli Akpene, a caregiver, agrees that the outlook for mums and babies is already changing for the better as a result of these funded Survival projects. She says, “In the past, many women lost their babies at birth and some babies were born premature and sick. By God’s grace, we no longer experience the same situation because we are benefiting from this intervention.”

child survival project

Thanks to your generous giving, the project has been bringing joy not only to new mums and their babies, but to the whole community. Pastor Ameganvi Komi Assidzrado extends his thanks to you and to everyone who has helped to make this transformation possible. He says, “My heart is so filled with joy today that I lack words to express it. I can feel the same joy in the community. What I can say is to thank those who have made it possible to have this Child Survival project. Heaven will bless you in abundance. We believe that salvation has come into our community now.”

On behalf of Defli, Akposso, Akouvi and the hundreds of mums who you’re supporting, thank you! You truly are bringing hope. Watch this space for further updates about the impact your donations are having.

Find out more about Child Survival and our Different Path appeal.

WORDS : Compassion International

PHOTOS : Compassion International



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