Sunday, 22 April 2018

Togo: Signing Off Togo Saying "Un Grand Merci" To All!

It is hard to believe that Team Togo 2018 has completed 12 days of distributions already. It seems like we just got here and now we are saying farewell to our Togolese Overseas Volunteer Partners (OVP).

Today’s distribution in “30 Aout”, near Kpalime, took only 75 minutes to complete. That included special time playing with the children, listening to them sing their Togolese songs, and then having them clap rhythmically to the harmonica music of the dueling Culbertsons.

When the last bedkit picture was taken, all of the volunteers joined the children for a picture of the 6,000th bedkit and the recipients. It was a moment to celebrate. Our OVP team leader then arranged for us to visit the homes of four of the bedkit recipients; two from this year and two from previous years. The children, some of whom were orphaned and living with their siblings and their grandmother, proudly showed us the ‘SCAW’ mattress and mosquito net that they used where they slept. One of them then showed us his cardboard box desk where he used the ‘Academy’ math set, note books, pencils and some other items to do his homework with. His grandmother was justifiably proud of him. All of the items that he received two years ago are still in good condition because they are so valuable to him.

We had time to pack before our OVP volunteers started to arrive for the farewell party. What heartfelt joy and comradeship. They brought traditional Togolese food, which was enjoyed by all present after speeches by Laurent Dekalikan and Bill Sergeant, who thanked everyone for the making the distributions a huge success through their hard work and dedication. We then sang our respective National Anthems and joined the OVPs in a joyous dance, conga style, while our hosts sang a traditional Togolese song. It was an experience that will not soon be forgotten.

In closing, Team Togo 2018 want to say ‘un grand merci’ to all of our donors and especially to our Overseas Volunteer Partners who worked long and hard during each the distributions, sometimes being on the road at midnight in order to have the mattresses and bedkits at the distribution site.

Bill Sergeant
Team Togo 2018
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