The Village of Joy is a centre that welcomes orphan children and accompanies them as they grow in Atakpame, Togo. It is currently made of three houses and is hosting around 40 children. The centre is officially recognised by the State and it cooperates with the national social services. 13 ‘mothers’ are guaranteeing assistance on day-night shifts and are looking after the children together with educational, health and administration staff. The children’s nutritional needs depend on their age. Providing them with food and micronutrients through balanced meals is the main goal for the fight against malnutrition.
Togo’s government declared the first Covid-19 infection case on 6th March. Since then, despite the lack of an effective health care system, the country has given some health instructions for prevention, without any fund for device purchases.
The Village took action to protect children, educators and personnel from any potential infection. PRO.SA Foundation has guaranteed the centre funds to buy hand sanitizers, bleach, chlorine and materials to produce masks. The children themselves have been involved in a workshop where they create face masks out of paper and fabrics. Through this playful activity they can learn how to change their behaviour in a context of emergency. For example, washing their hands is perceived by them as a recreational moment and yet it is fundamental in the fight against the virus. A bell rings 7 times a day to remind everyone to line up and wash their hands with gel or soap.
The staff working at the centre live in marginal villages and they are at risk infection. So, it has been decided to give them masks and sanitizers in order to protect their families too.