Togo: Strengthening child protection centers to meet norms and standards of child accommodation and nurturing


Project regions: Plateaux, Centrale and Kara in Togo


Project title: Promoting civil society centers for child protection, implementing national norms and standards and introducing an approach based on children’s rights


Duration: 15 November 2019 to 30 April 2023. The project has been concluded successfully. A film documents the results (in French language).


Local implementing partner: CREUSET-Togo

Short Description

The Child Protection Centre Kandyaa, which was built up in a joint project of CREUSET and KiRA, has established itself as a role model for protection centers in Togo. In a nationwide evaluation of 120 child protection facilities, Kandyaa was considered one of the few centers to be meeting norms and standards for child reception centers. Others were judged to be in need of improvement, not functional or were even found to be mistreating their wards. With this project, CREUSET now wants to pass on its experience in setting up, running and managing a child protection centre to 6 other institutions, and to support them in meeting national and international standards. This includes the renovation or construction of currently harmful or dysfunctional dormitories, play areas and sanitary facilities, as well as the introduction of a pedagogical approach based on children’s rights. This project also emphasizes transparent (financial) management and income-generating measures for more financial independence.

Initial Situation

Many children in Togo live in precarious situations. They may be victims of violence or may find themselves expelled from their families or stepfamilies on accusations of witchcraft. Many of these children end up on the streets, where they may fall into the hands of child traffickers or be thrust into exploitative (slave-like) working conditions.


About 4.000 of these children find refuge in child protection centers. Due to its good reputation for working with children in need, CREUSET’s center Kandyaa frequently receives children referred by social workers, judges, police units, local and traditional authorities or other agents. As a result, Kandyaa daily reaches its limits of capacity. In Togo there is thus a great need to strengthen further child protection facilities.


Six centers are accompanied by this project. They take in children from difficult social backgrounds (orphans, children living on the streets, children accused of witchcraft, children from unstable family circumstances, etc.) and offer them protection. However, they lack a pedagogical concept which includes regular activities with the children (i. e. socio-educational, play, sports or arts), considers child participation and includes a concept for their reintegration into their families and communities. 

Out of order: sanitary facilities in one of the centers

On their premises, the centers currently lack areas for sports and play or common rooms for eating and learning. The toilets and showers are in disrepair, are unhygienic and not separated by gender. In some cases they are completely nonfunctional, forcing the children to hide in the bushes. The supply of electricity and drinking water is inadequate in quantity and quality. Sleeping rooms need reparation due to heavy wear, broken windows, pests or poor electrical installations. Some dormitories are dark and poorly ventilated, which not only poses health risks but also attracts insects. Beds and mattresses in most places are not sufficient for all children and are falling apart. The hygienic conditions for the storage of food supplies and food preparation need to be improved. There are no chimneys or extraction shafts for the smoke and food fumes above the cooking places. There is a great need for kitchen utensils, but also for sports, play and learning materials.


The responsible personnel of the selected centres are very committed to the well-being of children and show great voluntary involvement, but they currently lack the financial and human resources as well as specific know-how to meet the basic conditions of reception and care for children. The project supports and accompanies them in this regard.

Aims of the Project

The project contributes to strengthening the protection of children in 3 of the 5 regions of Togo.


Project objective: In six child protection centers in Togo, the admission and accompaniment of children comply with children's rights as well as with national norms and standards.


In particular:

  1. The accommodation conditions for children in 6 civil society child protection centers have improved and meet national norms and standards.
  2. The staff of the six centers take care of and accompany children in need following a working approach based on children’s rights.
  3. The viability of the six centers has been sustainably strengthened.
  4. The decentralized public services and civil society institutions in the project communities support the work of the child protection centers (in concertation).

Main Project Activities

With this project, CREUSET and KiRA want to pass on their experience in setting up, running and managing a child protection centre to six other institutions and support them in meeting national norms and standards. This includes

  • The renovation or new construction of currently harmful or dysfunctional premises, play areas and sanitary facilities in 6 selected centers.
  • Supporting self-sufficiency and income-generating measures so that the centers can be managed sustainably and continue to meet the basic needs of children in need
  • Training and monitoring of the personnel for introducing a child-rights-based pedagogical approach and transparent (financial) management.

Other measures include support/networking of centres in their social and political environment, such as:

  • Working with media (especially radio programmes) and information events to inform the population about the importance of the centres and their need for support, as well as about parental responsibility
  • Strengthening children and youth groups in the project communities to enhance exchange between children inside and outside of the centers, to reduce the stigma of children and facilitate their reintegration into the community after leaving a center
  • Networking for the exchange of experience and joint lobbying of child protection institutions towards state authorities
  • Working with local, religious and traditional leaders as well as government agencies (social services, judges, police, etc.) to assist in the reintegration of children


Project costs: 640,120 Euro


Financial partners:

  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Sternstunden e. V.
  • KiRA, i.e. donations


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