Mayor Gunn Edoé talks about the hopes that he associates with the project
Gunn Edoé is the mayor of the coastal town of Agbodrafo in the south of the country, on the vast lagoon between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Togo. It is situated approximately 30 km from the capital, Lomé, and has around 90,000 inhabitants. A small number of them live outside the town in the village of Dévikinme. This is where the training centre is being built for disadvantaged school leavers as part of a joint project by Miles & More and help alliance.
Mayor Edoé gives an update on the construction work, and explains what the project means for him, his town and the entire region
Giving young people a future
“I have always wished we had a training centre like this here in the region. Since decentralisation, plenty of young people leave school with good qualifications, but very few of them go on to do further training. When I ask them, ‘With such high marks, why don’t you go on to study?’ or ‘Why don’t you do an apprenticeship, as there is a real lack of skilled workers in this region?’ I always get the same response: ‘My family can’t afford it.’”
“It’s high time that we changed that. We live in a region that has a great deal to offer in many respects: we have the ocean, we have the lake, we have a rich coast. We even have a phosphate treatment plant. What’s lacking is a skilled workforce. Skilled workers come in from other parts of the country, and in many cases they even come from abroad. That will be different in the future. Everyone should be able to learn and work according to their talents and abilities. That’s good for the people themselves, for their families and for our entire region.”
Thank you for your support
“The training centre is the first step in this direction, and an important one too. It is a step that we couldn’t have taken without the active support of help alliance. That’s why I would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank-you. To the people at help alliance, who are giving their time and energy to drive our project forward. And to all the members of Miles & More, whose many donations are funding the construction work. Please keep going. Every one of your miles reaches us and will change people’s lives forever.”
The first training cohort
“At the beginning of the 2023 academic year, the first young people will be taught at our training centre. I have just found out that our first students will be a group of young women. I’m really pleased about that, because I’m deeply committed to supporting equality. It’s great when women get the same opportunities on the labour market as their male counterparts. For this to happen, they need an equally good education. We want to play our part in that - throughout Agbodrafo and at our new training centre in particular.”
Komia Roger Gbekou, photographer
“I am thrilled to be part of this fantastic project and I will do everything I can to document the progress of the centre and introduce you to the people involved in the project.”
Komi Avenunye Adegnon, architect
“I’m familiar with conditions on the ground and know what young people need. I’ll put my heart and soul into ensuring the success of the project.”
Wiyaou Takpeke, construction manager
“Training young people means a lot to me and my company.”
Benjamin Wuikpo, joiner
“I completed my training in the previous project. I now wish to pass on everything I learned there to other young people.”
More information about the project
Life in Togo
This small country in West Africa has a population of eight million and is slightly larger than Switzerland. Two-thirds of the people live from agriculture. Even though all children have to complete six years of compulsory education, there are many who leave school early. One in three adults is illiterate. The country's education system lacks infrastructure, equipment and qualified teachers. Even if they complete their schooling, the labour market situation for young people is precarious. There are too few training places that qualify people for the jobs needed on the ground.
Together with Miles & More, help alliance - the charitable aid organisation of the Lufthansa Group and its employees - aims to improve this situation long term with the “Modern training centre for a sustainable future” project.
The project director's vision
Jean Adadevi, Senior Consultant Finance Solutions and Products at Lufthansa Systems in Hamburg, is the project director and has been working with help alliance for a long time. He says: “Education in any form is the key to combatting global poverty. This applies to Africa in particular. I grew up in Togo myself and only escaped a life of poverty thanks to my good school education. That's why I consider the planned training centre to be a very important investment for enabling young people to have a better future.”
A vision arose from his commitment in Togo: a place where young people can receive qualified bilingual training that will give them a future with greater opportunities.
This vision is now becoming a reality. Plans are in place for a training centre with modern workshops and classrooms; construction began in early 2022. The “Modern training centre for a sustainable future” will be a top priority for both help alliance and Miles & More over the next two years. With the help of your mileage donations, the project is set to be completed by the end of 2023. From then onwards, around 100 disadvantaged school-leavers every year will receive practical training in subjects like mechanics, organic farming and food processing.
This ties in with the Miles & More approach to sustainable social commitment and, together with help alliance, supporting people in the poorest countries in the world. Consisting of teaching and administration buildings and three workshops, the training centre in Togo is intended to be fully and exclusively funded with mileage donations from the Miles & More community. That's EUR 300,000 for the construction phase in 2022.
Creating a future with miles - in leaps and bounds. Jean Adadevi is delighted that construction is progressing so well thanks to the support of Miles & More members.
We will update you regularly on the progress of the project here and in Miles & More media.
Creating theoretical training spaces and practical workshops.
Modern yet down-to-earth, and built from traditional, local materials.
Laying the foundation stone
A formal ceremony is held with all the project partners to mark the start of construction.
The civil engineering phase
The foundations are laid and the first brick walls are under construction.
More projects funded through your mileage donations
Fifteen years ago, Miles & More teamed up with help alliance, the charitable aid organisation of the Lufthansa Group, to make the world a slightly better place with the help of Miles & More members.
The miles donated have been supporting many projects in the fields of education, work, income, medical care and nutrition since 2006 - with many more set to follow. We will be presenting the most important of the many projects to you over the next few months.