One of Africa’s smallest countries by land area, Togo nonetheless holds it own as one of the more culturally diverse countries on the continent. Settled amid a small strip on the Atlantic coast, throughout history Togo has been a site of cultural and linguistic infusion stemming from all over sub-Saharan Africa. Making the leap to volunteer abroad in Togo is a great way to experience an oft-overlooked African nation, while helping bring opportunity to sectors of the population that continue to be plagued by poverty and inequality.
Togo is located on the Atlantic coastline of Western Africa and is bordered by Ghana to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, and Benin to the east. Though it is one of Africa’s smallest countries, Togo’s nearly 8 million citizens brings it nearer to the middle of the pack in terms of population size. Togo’s landscape is varied, ranging from the flat marshlands of the south to the rolling hills of the north, and most of the country is situated in a tropical climate zone.
With roughly 1.5 million citizens living in its metropolitan area, the capital city of Lome serves as the primary administrative, economic, and cultural nucleus of the country. Because of its size and centrality (Lome is home to ten times as many people as any other city in the country), the capital remains generally the most popular destination among international aspirants where to volunteer abroad in Togo.
If you want to volunteer abroad in Togo away from the big city, then smaller urban areas such as Kpalime can also offer a more intimately immersive experience. Some volunteer projects in Togo which are anchored in these cities will additionally enable you to regularly serve in nearby rural areas.
Projects & Placements
Togo has one of the lowest rankings in the world on the Human Development Index, as it continues to face many challenges impeding its rise to stability and prosperity since independence. Some of the most productive areas in which to volunteer abroad in Togo thus include education, human rights, medicine, and nutrition, all which can help to bring valuable social services to underserved sectors of the population.
The country’s infrastructure also remains largely underdeveloped, which can spill over to harm economic and social growth in other areas. Within this realm, additional fields you can volunteer abroad in Togo within include construction, agriculture, small business, and community development, all which can help contribute to economic progress.
You can generally choose to volunteer abroad in Togo for as short as just a few weeks or as long as up to a full year and beyond. Many global volunteer organizations will partner with on-the-ground grassroots organizations in Togo, which accordingly have a continuous need for volunteers to help fulfill their work. There is much work to be done, so research a lot of different volunteer abroad programs in Togo to find a project that feels like the perfect fit!
Costs & Affordability
While by definition you will not be paid for your services as a volunteer abroad in Togo, many programs will help compensate you in other ways such as providing for meals, housing, and transportation. Togo is an affordable country for most volunteers coming from the industrialized world, but upfront program fees can still often be pricey; be sure to check out our fundraising page for information on how to get started covering the costs of your trip!
Accommodation & Visas
Individual homestays or other such group living situations are typically the most popular form of accommodation while you volunteer abroad in Togo. Locals will prove overwhelmingly hospitable to be sure; just keep in mind that because it is a developing country, you may not have access to luxuries such as air conditioning, hot water, or internet access depending on where you are stationed.
You will also need to apply for a visa beforehand in order to volunteer abroad in Togo, a process which your volunteer program will generally help guide you through. The exact visa you need may vary with factors such as your home country and the duration of your stay, so check out our Togo Embassy Directory for more information regarding your individual circumstances.
Benefits & Challenges
Grow. Regardless of what field you wind up volunteering in Togo within, the amount of personal growth you will undergo by living abroad and engaging the country through service cannot be overstated.
Give. The fundamental purpose of volunteering is to give your time to a worth cause to help others. In Togo, where large sectors of the population suffer from lack of social services, your efforts can go a long way.
Learn. Togo’s history is a potent teacher; from it’s ancient roots through colonization to its current state of affairs, the country has remained at the center of it all in West Africa.