Togo Girls' Dormitory
From Peace Corps Wiki
Info about the Togo Girls' Dormitory
This project aims to build a girl’s dormitory in the largest town in a Togolese district. As many Togolese families do not believe that education for their daughters and sisters is a worthwhile investment, at a very young age girls find themselves in situations in which they lack any control. Families rarely think of girls as valued members of the community. This mindset, combined with extreme rural poverty, often results in girls being subjected to child trafficking or forced marriages (where girls are exchanged for money, goods or animals).
When families are unable to support their daughters financially to go to school or leave their villages, girls find other means to receive financial support. It is common for girls to meet older men who can support them financially, but at a price. Perhaps the girl will receive a room and food to eat but she will also be subject to the desires of the man at all times, leaving her little time to study, and giving her little agency in making wise decisions that would protect her from early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, with only one high school in the geographically huge district, many girls from distant villages lack the means to move into town to attend high school. Discouraged by this lack of opportunity, they usually drop out of school and find themselves in one of the above-mentioned circumstances.
The girl’s dormitory constructed for this project will house 38 girls each year who would otherwise be subjected to the above conditions. In the right environment these girls will succeed—they are intelligent, motivated and strong. The goals of the center do not stop with the 38 girls living there yearly—the girl’s dormitory will serve as a tangible reminder to the community that girl’s education is a worthwhile goal, worthwhile enough to have a large compound devoted to it.