The project supported by COLAS : rehabilitation of child workers in the Hanoukope market

Discover the video of the spotting in TOGO and click to "Learn all about the projects " to know more about the activities of the Center KEKELI in Lomé.


Togo (officially the Republic of Togo) is a country in West Africa bordered by Benin to the East, Burkina Faso to the North and Ghana to the West. It extends to the south to the Gulf of Benin. In total it has 1700 km of borders.
Togo has a surface area of 56 785m2, is 600 km long by 50 – 150km wide
There are about fifty different ethnic groups in Togo, the most numerous of which are the Ewe (in the south) that accounts for 22% of the population, the Ouatchis with 10%, the Kabiyé (in the north and centre) with 13% and the Tem, Bétammaribé and Moba-Gurma (north).

The region was heavily affected by the slave trade run by various colonial forces from the 15th Century on. It was only in the 19th Century that the country adopted an agricultural economy under the leadership of migrant Danes and Dutch and former slaves. In 1883, Chancelor Bismark declared a protectorat that was signed in 1884 by King Mpala III on the banks of Togoville. The region was named after this town.

In 1914, following pressure from the English forces in Ghana and French forces in Benin (coming from Dahomey), the German Governor was forced to step down and the country was divided into two – Togo as it stands today, under the authority of the French and British Togoland that was incorporated into Ghana.

Togo became a part of French Western Africa up until the UN sponsored referendum organised in 1958. On April 27th 1960, Togo was proclaimed an independent Republic.
Togo was awarded a seat at the United Nations in September of that year.
The country faces major challenges in terms of economic development and the reintegration of certain northern regions.
Lomé is a key port through which regional merchandise and local raw material exports (minerals, coffee, cotton) transit. Tourism in the region is also growing.

However, in order to meet the Millennium Development Objectives - of which Togo is a signatory - much remains to be done in terms of providing access to healthcare and education as well as combating child labour. That is why in 2008, the Government decided to introduce free primary school education. Policies to promote access to health insurance systems are currently being tested amongst the rural population. Similarly, the cancelling and spreading out of the country’s foreign debt should provide the financial resources required medium term to invest in policies to combat extreme poverty.

The KEKELI centre, that Colas has chosen to support, focuses on providing access to schools and education for the children working at the Hanoukopé market in Lomé.
The KEKELI centre is also a member of the RELUTET network set up by the Togolese authorities with local NGOs and the support of the French Embassy to combat the exploitation of children and child slave trade in Togo.


Created in November 2006 by the Carmelite Sisters of the Charity of Vedruna, the KEKELI Centre is a secular organisation based in the heart of the Hanoukopé market in Lomé.
Its objective is to protect, safeguard the wellbeing and promote the reinsertion of the children working at the market or victims of violence or sexual abuse.

KEKELI has a centre where it can welcome the children working at the Hanoukopé market, listen to their needs and provide education, recreational and cultural activities.
There are two centres: a Day Centre, which is open every day, for the children and adults from the Hanoukopé market, and a Home and Shelter for young girls, victims of sexual abuse.

The KEKELI Day Centre

The Day Centre is open to children aged 2 – 18. It provides a number of activities and support for children that work or hang out at the Hanouopé market. It provides them with a place to play, rest, talk, listen, learn, discover culture and receive therapy to help them find a balanced life and regain their dignity. This program comprises a number of different activities (learning to read and write, acting, dancing, sewing, coaching in family life, plastic arts, gym, etc) in order to help children develop new skills that have nothing to do with selling. The Day Centre has a well stocked library for use by its members, other children as well as adults. The end objective is to get children back into normal education through extra coaching and by paying their school fees.

The « KEKELI » Home and Shelter

The Home and Shelter is for young girls that have been victims of sexual abuse. It provides them with accommodation and a sheltered environment where they can start to rebuild their lives. The KEKELI team also provides psychological, medical and legal support.

And as a second step, the team of educators provide socio-educational and professional support to help reinsert these girls into their home environments where possible.

Link :



Togo – key figures

Type of Government: Independent Republic since 27th April 1960
Président: Faure Gnassingbé

Total population (2009): 6 618 613 inhabitants
Urban population: 41,3%
Rural population : 58,7%
Women : 51,3%
Men: 48,7%
Capital City : Lomé, 737 751 inhabitants (2006)
Surface area (km²) : 56 785 km²

Key resources: phosphates, cotton, coffee, commerce and port services

Average life expectancy (2008) : 63 years
Literacy rate (% of people aged 15 or more) (2008) : 65%
Percentage of children in education (2008) : 87%
Percentage of children completing primary school education (2008) : 61,4%


Bureau International du Travail
> See the website
> See the website


News of Kekeli

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Child Labor in the Hanoukopé market

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The project supported by COLAS : rehabilitation of child workers in the Hanoukope market

Discover the video of the spotting in TOGO and click to "Learn all about the projects " to know more about the activities of the Center KEKELI in Lomé.

Read more
La collecte

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