Fundraising Information and Important Dates:
Departure from the USA: August 8th, 2024
Departure from Togo: August 16 or 17th, 2024
To support your trip and make tax-deductible donations, individuals can follow these guidelines:
Check Payments: People can send their contributions by check to "HOPE Commission." They should attach a separate note indicating your name. Please instruct them to leave the memo line of the check blank. Checks should be sent to the following address:
Hope Commission International PO Box 2613 Loganville, GA 30052
Online Donations: Alternatively, supporters can make donations online. However, please note that online donations may incur a processing fee of 3.5%. Be sure to provide them with the necessary online donation information or a link for this option.
Encourage potential donors to specify your name with their contributions to ensure that the funds are allocated correctly to support your participation in the ministry trip to Togo.
About Togo (West Africa)
Togo's history is fascinating and has undergone significant changes over the centuries. Here's a brief overview:
Before the late 15th century, there is limited historical documentation about Togo. However, signs of Ewe settlement can be traced back to several centuries before the arrival of Portuguese explorers.
Various tribes, including the Ewe, Mina, and Guin, migrated into the region from different directions, settling along the coast.
The Mina people, in particular, played a significant role in the slave trade that began in earnest in the 16th century. They became intermediaries and agents for European slave traders, traveling north to purchase slaves from northern tribes like the Kabye.
European forts were established in neighboring Ghana (Elmina) and Benin (Ouidah) but not in Togo due to the absence of natural harbors. Instead, Togo's coastal region became a major center for European slave raiding activities, earning it the name "The Slave Coast."
In 1884, Germany signed a treaty in Togoville, declaring a protectorate over a coastal territory. Over time, Germany extended its control inland.
As it became known, Togoland was regarded as Germany's model colony because it was self-supporting.
British and French forces occupied Togoland during World War I, ending German rule in the region.
Following the war, Togoland was divided into two League of Nations mandates: British Togoland (administered by Britain) and French Togoland (administered by France).
After World War II, Togoland underwent a series of political changes, including referendums and negotiations between the British and French administrations and the local population.
In 1960, Togo gained independence from France and became the Republic of Togo, with Sylvanus Olympio as its first president.
This overview provides a glimpse into Togo's history, including its pre-colonial period as a significant center for the transatlantic slave trade and its transition to colonial rule under Germany and subsequent administration by the British and French. To explore more details, refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Togo or consult other historical references on Togo's history.
Purpose of the trip
The primary need for the August 2024 (Hope Expedition) ministry trip to Togo is to support the Hope Commission International's youth discipleship effort, mainly focusing on Children and youth outreaches and evangelism. Like many African countries, Togo has a significant youth population, and these young people often face numerous challenges and may feel that their future is hopeless.
The team's mission is to creatively share the message of hope and transformation through open-air outreach events in various areas of the capital city, Lome. Additionally, we have two Children and youth clubs (Hope Clubs) already established in the city, which the team may work with or support in some capacity.
The purpose is to bring hope and help to Togo's youth population through outreach, evangelism, and discipleship, focusing on creative and impactful ministry in a culturally diverse environment.
The language is French; is it standard French?
As for language, French is, at this moment, the official language in Togo, and it is widely spoken, especially among the youth in the capital. However, the day-to-day communication language for many people in Togo is Ewe or Mina (the same with different accents). Some youth have some knowledge of English, making it possible for English-speaking individuals to navigate and communicate in Togo.
Do you require individuals to travel with you to complete some training?
Regarding training, I will hold virtual orientation meetings before the trip, typically numbering around 4 to 5 sessions. During these meetings, we will pray together, answering questions. These meetings cover various aspects, including cultural competency, principles of cross-cultural short-term ministry trips, and fundraising. These sessions prepare team members for their ministry work in Togo.
Participants need to be aware of these essential details to ensure their safety and compliance with entry regulations. To summarize:
Yellow Fever Vaccination: Togo is in the tropical zone and requires visitors to have a yellow fever vaccination. Participants should have a valid yellow vaccination card to enter the country. If they haven't received this vaccination before, they should do so before the trip.
Malaria Prevention Medication: Since Togo is in a malaria-endemic area, it is recommended for participants to take malaria prevention medication for the duration of their stay. They should consult a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable medication and dosage.
Entry Visa: U.S. citizens traveling to Togo require an entry visa in a passport that is still at least six months valid at the date of entry into the country. The good news is that obtaining a visa for Togo is relatively straightforward, as it can be applied online. Participants can expect to receive their visas upon arrival at the airport in Togo. However, following the specific visa application instructions and providing any necessary documentation is essential.
Additional health and travel requirements details will be provided during the orientation sessions to ensure participants are well-prepared for their journey to Togo. This information will help ensure the safety and well-being of the team during their time in the country.