Bringing Prosperity to Gbomsamba, the TTO Village

Gbomsamba, a village that is one of the most economically vulnerable rural communities in Togo has been put on the Map with TTO’s intervention. In an ongoing efforts to address rural poverty in support of the Agenda for Prosperity, the Authority  in 2013 launched an ‘Adopt a Village’ development plan covering broad development indicators such as education, health, agriculture and food security, clean water and sanitation and women and youth empowerment.This development scheme is a vision of our Commissioner-General, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara who has always maintained that the Authority’s approach to corporate social responsibility is both pragmatic and genuine, and goes beyond philanthropy to sustainable community development.  While the Authority has been engaged in several philanthropic activities such as food aid donations to vulnerable groups as part of its support to the fight against Ebola, it is slowly being identified as an important corporate stakeholder in community development and poverty alleviation. Above all, this commendable village development plan is people-driven and guided by community needs.

The Chief of Gbomsamba Village, Pa Alimammy Turay explains that the project addresses specific community needs because community members have been actively involved from the onset in selecting and prioritizing development activities undertaken by the TTO.  He said since the outbreak of Ebola, the Authority’s focus shifted to health and nutrition with Management making frequent visits to the village to educate community members on healthy practices to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus like hand washing while providing food aid to the 70 households in the village. He said this has ensured that the entire community has access to a proper diet and stays healthy throughout the outbreak. Indeed, not a single case of Ebola has so far been reported in Gbomsamba.

While the Ebola prevention sensitization and food aid is on-going, the village development plan has commenced in full force as the Authority is now turning to other areas of interest such as education, agriculture and women’s empowerment. “We want to support the people of Gbomsamba and help them break free from poverty. This is why we are helping to educate their children, empower their women, improve their schools and water facilities,” the Commissioner-General Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara stated.  The Authority has invested in boosting community infrastructure by refurbishing not only the primary and junior secondary schools and providing basic school supplies, but also crumbing houses in the village—a move that has been applauded by jubilant residents mindful of the challenges of a leaking roof during the raining season. Soon the people of Gbomsamba will boost of a library and computer school, clean drinking water facilities and solar energy supply in the community.“Our living standards have improved since TTO’s intervention in our village”, said Pa Samba, a blind man of around 90, the oldest man in the village.

As part of a sustainable development approach to poverty reduction which involves increasing people’s capabilities for self-reliance through access to resources like health, education, land and credit; the TTO over the weekend invited officials from the First International Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture to dialogue with farmers on commercial farming initiatives and micro-credit opportunities for community members who wish to start their own business. Explaining the rationale behind this partnership, the Commissioner-General said the aim is to give all community members the skills and opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty and sustain basic livelihoods like food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. She said on the one hand, to maximize any return on agricultural investments, community members need information about how to better manage their farms as well as how to explore opportunities and services being rendered by the ministry. On the other hand, women need information on how to access credit to set up their own businesses to provide for their families and assistance in business planning. It is her belief that this would ensure the ‘Adopt a Village’ project is implemented sustainably with the necessary community participation and ownership.

This view was reiterated by the head of the five-man delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Sheku Jusu who explains that to succeed in boosting agriculture in the community, create jobs and enhance economic development; the TTO needs a robust educational support programme. According to Mr Jusu, farmers, particularly those in the north need to adopt new farming practices if they are to better manage their farms as businesses. He said this is why they are being encouraged to be involved in cash crop farming such as the ongoing Cashew Nut Project. He added that alternative income and livelihood opportunities have been well thought-out by the Ministry to motivate village farmers to take up Eco-friendly farming activities—especially with regards to charcoal production— that would ensure that communities not only have the means to access incomes from their farms,  but also protect and preserve the environment for posterity.

The Authority has been working in building strong relationships with the Gbomsamba community through frequent visits to strengthen commitments from the community leadership in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of the ‘bringing prosperity to Gbomsamba’ development project. As Gbomsamba is gradually transformed to a model village that the country could be proud of, it is clear that if replicated in other villages, our ‘Adopt a Village’ scheme will definitely promote rural development in Togo.

Gbomsamba, a village that is one of the most economically vulnerable rural communities in Togo has been put on the Map with TTO’s intervention. In an ongoing efforts to address rural poverty in support of the Agenda for Prosperity, the Authority  in 2013 launched an ‘Adopt a Village’ development plan covering broad development indicators such as education, health, agriculture and food security, clean water and sanitation and women and youth empowerment.This development scheme is a vision of our Commissioner-General, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara who has always maintained that the Authority’s approach to corporate social responsibility is both pragmatic and genuine, and goes beyond philanthropy to sustainable community development.  While the Authority has been engaged in several philanthropic activities such as food aid donations to vulnerable groups as part of its support to the fight against Ebola, it is slowly being identified as an important corporate stakeholder in community development and poverty alleviation. Above all, this commendable village development plan is people-driven and guided by community needs.

The Chief of Gbomsamba Village, Pa Alimammy Turay explains that the project addresses specific community needs because community members have been actively involved from the onset in selecting and prioritizing development activities undertaken by the TTO.  He said since the outbreak of Ebola, the Authority’s focus shifted to health and nutrition with Management making frequent visits to the village to educate community members on healthy practices to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus like hand washing while providing food aid to the 70 households in the village. He said this has ensured that the entire community has access to a proper diet and stays healthy throughout the outbreak. Indeed, not a single case of Ebola has so far been reported in Gbomsamba.

While the Ebola prevention sensitization and food aid is on-going, the village development plan has commenced in full force as the Authority is now turning to other areas of interest such as education, agriculture and women’s empowerment. “We want to support the people of Gbomsamba and help them break free from poverty. This is why we are helping to educate their children, empower their women, improve their schools and water facilities,” the Commissioner-General Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara stated.  The Authority has invested in boosting community infrastructure by refurbishing not only the primary and junior secondary schools and providing basic school supplies, but also crumbing houses in the village—a move that has been applauded by jubilant residents mindful of the challenges of a leaking roof during the raining season. Soon the people of Gbomsamba will boost of a library and computer school, clean drinking water facilities and solar energy supply in the community.“Our living standards have improved since TTO’s intervention in our village”, said Pa Samba, a blind man of around 90, the oldest man in the village.

As part of a sustainable development approach to poverty reduction which involves increasing people’s capabilities for self-reliance through access to resources like health, education, land and credit; the TTO over the weekend invited officials from the First International Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture to dialogue with farmers on commercial farming initiatives and micro-credit opportunities for community members who wish to start their own business. Explaining the rationale behind this partnership, the Commissioner-General said the aim is to give all community members the skills and opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty and sustain basic livelihoods like food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. She said on the one hand, to maximize any return on agricultural investments, community members need information about how to better manage their farms as well as how to explore opportunities and services being rendered by the ministry. On the other hand, women need information on how to access credit to set up their own businesses to provide for their families and assistance in business planning. It is her belief that this would ensure the ‘Adopt a Village’ project is implemented sustainably with the necessary community participation and ownership.

This view was reiterated by the head of the five-man delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Sheku Jusu who explains that to succeed in boosting agriculture in the community, create jobs and enhance economic development; the TTO needs a robust educational support programme. According to Mr Jusu, farmers, particularly those in the north need to adopt new farming practices if they are to better manage their farms as businesses. He said this is why they are being encouraged to be involved in cash crop farming such as the ongoing Cashew Nut Project. He added that alternative income and livelihood opportunities have been well thought-out by the Ministry to motivate village farmers to take up Eco-friendly farming activities—especially with regards to charcoal production— that would ensure that communities not only have the means to access incomes from their farms,  but also protect and preserve the environment for posterity.

The Authority has been working in building strong relationships with the Gbomsamba community through frequent visits to strengthen commitments from the community leadership in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of the ‘bringing prosperity to Gbomsamba’ development project. As Gbomsamba is gradually transformed to a model village that the country could be proud of, it is clear that if replicated in other villages, our ‘Adopt a Village’ scheme will definitely promote rural development in Togo.

Gbomsamba, a village that is one of the most economically vulnerable rural communities in Togo has been put on the Map with TTO’s intervention. In an ongoing efforts to address rural poverty in support of the Agenda for Prosperity, the Authority  in 2013 launched an ‘Adopt a Village’ development plan covering broad development indicators such as education, health, agriculture and food security, clean water and sanitation and women and youth empowerment.This development scheme is a vision of our Commissioner-General, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara who has always maintained that the Authority’s approach to corporate social responsibility is both pragmatic and genuine, and goes beyond philanthropy to sustainable community development.  While the Authority has been engaged in several philanthropic activities such as food aid donations to vulnerable groups as part of its support to the fight against Ebola, it is slowly being identified as an important corporate stakeholder in community development and poverty alleviation. Above all, this commendable village development plan is people-driven and guided by community needs.

The Chief of Gbomsamba Village, Pa Alimammy Turay explains that the project addresses specific community needs because community members have been actively involved from the onset in selecting and prioritizing development activities undertaken by the TTO.  He said since the outbreak of Ebola, the Authority’s focus shifted to health and nutrition with Management making frequent visits to the village to educate community members on healthy practices to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus like hand washing while providing food aid to the 70 households in the village. He said this has ensured that the entire community has access to a proper diet and stays healthy throughout the outbreak. Indeed, not a single case of Ebola has so far been reported in Gbomsamba.

While the Ebola prevention sensitization and food aid is on-going, the village development plan has commenced in full force as the Authority is now turning to other areas of interest such as education, agriculture and women’s empowerment. “We want to support the people of Gbomsamba and help them break free from poverty. This is why we are helping to educate their children, empower their women, improve their schools and water facilities,” the Commissioner-General Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara stated.  The Authority has invested in boosting community infrastructure by refurbishing not only the primary and junior secondary schools and providing basic school supplies, but also crumbing houses in the village—a move that has been applauded by jubilant residents mindful of the challenges of a leaking roof during the raining season. Soon the people of Gbomsamba will boost of a library and computer school, clean drinking water facilities and solar energy supply in the community.“Our living standards have improved since TTO’s intervention in our village”, said Pa Samba, a blind man of around 90, the oldest man in the village.

As part of a sustainable development approach to poverty reduction which involves increasing people’s capabilities for self-reliance through access to resources like health, education, land and credit; the TTO over the weekend invited officials from the First International Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture to dialogue with farmers on commercial farming initiatives and micro-credit opportunities for community members who wish to start their own business. Explaining the rationale behind this partnership, the Commissioner-General said the aim is to give all community members the skills and opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty and sustain basic livelihoods like food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. She said on the one hand, to maximize any return on agricultural investments, community members need information about how to better manage their farms as well as how to explore opportunities and services being rendered by the ministry. On the other hand, women need information on how to access credit to set up their own businesses to provide for their families and assistance in business planning. It is her belief that this would ensure the ‘Adopt a Village’ project is implemented sustainably with the necessary community participation and ownership.

This view was reiterated by the head of the five-man delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Sheku Jusu who explains that to succeed in boosting agriculture in the community, create jobs and enhance economic development; the TTO needs a robust educational support programme. According to Mr Jusu, farmers, particularly those in the north need to adopt new farming practices if they are to better manage their farms as businesses. He said this is why they are being encouraged to be involved in cash crop farming such as the ongoing Cashew Nut Project. He added that alternative income and livelihood opportunities have been well thought-out by the Ministry to motivate village farmers to take up Eco-friendly farming activities—especially with regards to charcoal production— that would ensure that communities not only have the means to access incomes from their farms,  but also protect and preserve the environment for posterity.

The Authority has been working in building strong relationships with the Gbomsamba community through frequent visits to strengthen commitments from the community leadership in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of the ‘bringing prosperity to Gbomsamba’ development project. As Gbomsamba is gradually transformed to a model village that the country could be proud of, it is clear that if replicated in other villages, our ‘Adopt a Village’ scheme will definitely promote rural development in Togo.