SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Togo)

The Togolese Republic, also known as Togo, is a small West African country located along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It has a population of around 8.5 million. While many languages are spoken in Togo, the official language is French. Togo is culturally rich with a blend of several ethnic and racial groups. It has a good growing climate that supports its dependence on agriculture. Even so, most Togolese are very poor, and few have access to education and sufficient nutrition.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Togo since 1979.

Children are at risk

Children in Togo face many issues including a lack of education and access to healthcare, malnutrition, and child labour. Although there has been some improvement in recent years, the poverty rate is over 50%. Children suffer most from the effects of poverty. A lack of proper medical facilities means that children often die from preventable illnesses. Children from families experiencing hardship often leave school to work. Common forms of child labour include sexual exploitation, forced begging and agricultural work.
Years old is the age of the average citizen in Togo

Rapid population growth

Like most African countries, Togo has experienced rapid population growth over recent decades. This has made Togo disproportionately young, and the age of the average citizen is 18.5 years old. However, rapid population growth is outpacing development progress, so that more and more people have limited access to services such as health care or sanitation. This reinforces the vicious circle and leads to many people living in poverty.

Of Togolese live below the poverty line of 1.25 USD per day


Togo is the tenth poorest country in the world, and about 50% of Togolese people live below the international poverty line of 1.25 USD per day. Female-headed households are most affected by poverty. Women remain more vulnerable, because they have less access to education and work. Children in disadvantaged households often leave school early to help support their families. Only around half of children between 13 and 15 attend school and only a quarter between ages 16-18.

Of children aged 5 to 14 are forced to work

Child exploitation

Around 30% of children aged 5 to 14 are engaged in labour activities. Most children from rural areas work on family farms while those who live in urban centres engage in small-scale trading or domestic service. Children also work in rock quarries where they have to transport heavy stones or extract sand that is used for the production of bricks. The commercial sexual exploitation of minors, in particular young girls, is common in some areas of the country.

Together we can make a difference for children in Togo

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical services
Were possible
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Komla joined the family strengthening program and she and her children received access to health care and other material support to improve her family's living conditions. Her children also attend school and her eldest is learning to sew for a vocation (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Togo).

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives