Comboni Missionaries have seen the struggle with the youth in order to have access to proper training in carpentry, welding, tailoring, hairdressing, electrical and solar installation, art and design, brick-laying, plumbing, bakery and catering. Due to, the high cost of the training in private institutions and the lack of support by families who are unable to afford it, is causing an increase in unemployment in the country of Togo. The aim is to strengthen local training centres to be equipped with the proper equipment and qualified personnel in order to deliver better services to all people in the region and other parts of the country. In addition, it enables greater training opportunities among both women and men by creating self-reliant strategies.
The current population of Lomé in 2022 is 1,926,000 inhabitants. The vulnerable youth are coming from the rural area to raid motorbikes in the city. These youth are more than 40 % in the city of Lomé. The target groups are street children or street youth, primary school leavers as well as victims of gender-based violence (GBV).
The Comboni Missionaries name the project “Hope for Hope Garden”. It is a multi-faceted project for vulnerable youth to address the issue of formal training and the decrease of unemployment among women/men and youth, with 70% of women and 30% of men youth benefiting from this training, which is going to be available.

  1. Context
    Comboni Missionaries is a Faith Based Organisation (FBO) registered to offer social, health and economic services to youth in Togolese districts. The organization has a long history of working with youth and poor communities by providing specialized vocational skills and job apprenticeships to young women and men (a process of building resilience through providing informal skills, development, and training to young people for self-employment) in Togo and other neighboring countries. Comboni Mission provides training and apprenticeship in bricklaying and concrete practice, carpentry and joinery, bakery, welding and fabrication, electrical repair and maintenance, sunflower processing, hairdressing, tailoring, and briquette making in line with the Skilling strategy.
    However, the youths alike, face multiple challenges in meeting their basic needs despite support from various actors and stakeholders in the region. The greatest of these challenges is unemployment and in the current post-COVID-19 context, the challenge has become even greater with the various disruptions created in the effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Over 3.1 million people in the country have slipped into poverty with the nationwide lockdown, the closure of schools had left children redundant for the whole year 2020 and the closure of borders has affected the import and export of goods and services across the world.
    The school dropouts are unable to go back to formal education, there is a lack of alternative learning opportunities like skills development due to the limited availability of Vocational Training centers (VTC). This action will provide opportunities to the youth through the provision of marketable skills and entrepreneurship training to increase productivity, employability, and engagement in sustainable livelihoods for self-reliance. There is a high level of dependence among youth. This mindset is one of the main obstacles preventing economic growth in Lomé. To address this, we plan to provide our learners with basic entrepreneurial lessons, life skills coaching and lessons on peaceful co-existence using the diverse experience of the Comboni Missionaries. This thinking and strategy are in line with the Skilling-Togo-Strategy whose main purpose is to create employable skills relevant to the labour market and with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which focus on vocational development to address unemployment.
    The planned engagement into training in the Kpalimé area is conceived as a pilot multi-stakeholder initiative in the context of the SDGs to facilitate a people-centred community empowerment response for the youth. The goal is that vulnerable youths – particularly those for whom life may have lost meaning as a result of violence, loss of loved ones-assets-community, forced displacement, Gender Based Violent (GBV) and sacrificed ambitions – should have regained their innate sense of self-esteem and acquire skills and abilities to self-actualize. The imperative of promoting community empowerment as a vehicle for building the social and economic self-reliance of youths in Togo is in line with the SDGs. Youths in Togo lack spaces and structures to create a sense of community and recreate meaning following the expectation of better life opportunities that brought them into the town. The Comboni Missionaries Centre project (2HG) is introduced on the assumption that community empowerment is necessary for building resilience and self-reliance through a process of enabling communities to increase control over their lives, providing the means by which community members influence the social and economic aspects of their lives positively and enabling individuals acquire a sense of worthiness through working with others for a collective cause.
  2. Description of Action
    This calls for the need to promote resilience among the vulnerable youth community as an approach to ensure sustainable solutions for greater self-reliance and economic integration. To achieve this, Comboni Mission will provide instant training, for 175 youths in a range of trades including bakery, confectionery, catering, tie and die, and tree planting. Additionally, 140 beneficiaries will be selected for work-based training in hairdressing, tailoring, shoes making plumbing, metal fabrication maintenance and phone repair, computer repair, Solar installation, and maintenance. In total 315 beneficiaries (70% female, 30% male youth, ensuring mix in our selection). The training will be delivered in SIX (6) cohorts over a period of 14 months. Parallel to the vocational training all students will visit courses in FLES (Financial Literacy Entrepreneurial Skill) to improve their entrepreneurial skills and help them to set up a microenterprise after the training. The Trainers at Comboni were trained to provide the FLES training integrated into their vocational curriculum.
    As the construction of the center in the new location, location situated halfway between Lomé and Kpalimé, the trainers and the trainees will use those opportunities to quip themselves and have a better experience for their future. It will skill and job apprenticeship. The construction will start as soon as funding is available.