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A new farm

We initialized the actions of the Association in 2008 with the creation of an agro-pastoral farm. This farm is now independent and we thought it would be interesting to continue the experiment, on slightly different grounds. We are about to formalize the acquisition of a small farm (4 acres) in a pleasant area and with a water source, on which they have already started planting vegetables and that we entrust to a small family of Sagbadaï.

Les tomatesArrosage

Arbre fruitierTopinambour


Education, Primary and Secondary

One of the great satisfactions, is the new secondary school, built in record time last year and opened in June and is now fully operational. With four classes, since September, more than 80 college students, twice last year, are now accommodated in a new building instead of huts made of wooden poles and palm leaves. A Director and a new teacher, appointed by the state due to the increased number of pupils, have strengthened the team of teachers, the vast majority are voluntary and only paid by parents.
We were also delighted to see that the primary school building (3 classes) which we built 2 years is used this year for a primary class CE2 and 2 children's classes (nursery ), created this year. 55 young students from 4 to 6 years, who are new enthusiastically introduced to community life and early learning under the supervision of 2 new mistresses, it is a great step forward for this community.

Nouveau collegeClasse college

We also profited from our visit to put the finishing touches to the secondary building with the completion of interior and exterior painting by our local contractor.
Teaching was a little disturbed by the national strike of teachers, during our visit, which did nor prevent a joyful inauguration of the building, with speeches, dancing and music!
To assist teachers, we have also allocated funding to the primary and secondary levels, to buy books and teaching materials, some teachers do not even have books for teaching!
And finally, we have created a SPESS scholarship for the best student in their final class each year at the secondary, to allow him to continue his studies (in Sokodé) for three years. We will finance his teaching and his living expenses (housing, food).

Inauguration primaire 2Peinture primaire



The dispensary at Sagbadaï

 Priority 2015: the dispensary and Health ...
After years of our interventions more devoted to education, we decided, in agreement with our members to focus our efforts on health, particularly for the benefit of the renovation of the small clinic in Sagbadaï. 600 clinic or USP (Device Care Unit) exist in Togo, animated by small medical teams under the supervision of a nurse. Very few specialists, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand (1 pediatrician and gynecologist for 630 000 in the Central region ...), a CHR and a small hospital in Sokode So most people go to the USP's for almost all care and prescriptions. In addition the concept of social security is virtually non existant, so we understand the interest to strengthen the quality of local institutions. The health of more than 3,500 inhabitants of Sagbadaï and surrounding villages depend on our actions
Table accouchmentplafond dispensaire
 After several meetings with the teams and the committee, the priorities were defined as follows:

- Renovation of water supply (connection to the well, submersible pump, generator, internal piping and valves)
- Summary Installation of electricity (some lighting points via generator). Note that the electrical connection to the national grid is announced to the village to the end of the year. Can we believe it as the elections are near!!
- Construction of outdoor showers for patients of the clinic and the adjoining nursing home.
- General refurbishing (cracks, ceiling, painting)
- Replacement of tiles in the hall and the delivery table.
- And of course providing basic drugs (painkillers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories)

bebe maladeMedicament pour dispensaire

Visit Sagbadaï March 2015

After a few days of recovery (rehabilitation and climate), following the return of Nigel and François Monday after 3 weeks in Togo, here is a first summary of the mission "Sagbadaï 2015".

First, a big thank you to you all for your memberships and donations that enable the actions and interventions of our SPESS Association with the local population. We can testify to the precariousness of all, teachers, small farmers, parents and children, but also their great pleasure to participate with us to improve their condition.
They send to our members and donors a warm and grateful hello and also a long and beautiful life.

Strengthen the presence of our Association on the spot ...
Before leaving for the this mission, we decided to strengthen our presence on site at Sagbadaï, organizing the continuity of our actions in our absence, and by making our Association better known with the authorities:
- A sister Association SPESS Sagbadaï has been formally established, governed by a board of 9 members, chaired by the current President of the Village Development Committee of Sagbadaï. It is this committee that we will entrust the implementation of projects on site, once confirmed budgets and priorities. And to ensure the Authorities support, if needed, we have presented our Association to the Head of State (the "Canton Chef"), followed by the Head of Sokode (Prefet), and finally to the Chief medical officer for the region. These contacts were much appreciated by our members and they can facilitate our work on site.

Other articles on our stay will follow::
Togo 2015 NPJ tele 85Togo 2015 NPJ tele 89Tairou 68 32Tonton pentax 65

Continued actions...

Visit to the direction of different sectors

At last we have managed to meet the Prefet of Sokodé, ancient Regional Directorof Farming and Fishing, this Monday morning at the prefecture. We were accompanied by our friends Tairou and the chief of the town of Sagbadai.The meeting was very agreable and we have exchanged thoughts on our association, the priorities , the education and the health. The Prefet was very interested and encouraged us to continue our activities for the good of the community. We offered a tee shirt and cap to the Prefet with our logo and we also took a few photos of the meeting for our site and the social medias.

On Tuesday morning we visited one of the small hospitals of Sokodé for a meeting with Doctor Sablikou Oladé, Director Prefectoral of the Health (DPS), who is resposable for all the small dispenseries in the region of Sokodé.We were accompanied by Aniki Lamatetou and Tairou. The atmosphere of the meeting was again very good and the director thanked us enthusiastically for our work. We discussed the problem of the dispenseries and what could be done. For our next voyage we will coordinate with the authorities of Togo and France so that we can transport the medical equipment within the rules and regulations set out by the international community.

On Tuesday evening we met and discussed with a young pediatre from the CHR of Sokodé, the doctor Yvon Agbeko.

Existing actions and a view of the situation

We have given priority these last few days to finalise the projects for the dispensary. It is not easy to be in agreement with certain builders who want to have the maximum money in advance even before they start the work !! It is true that certain components necessitate a trip to Lomé to buy them so we finally arrived at a compromise which was reasonable.

As for the painting of the primary school inside and outside, the work has started since last Friday and should be finished by Tuesday. The inauguration is fixed for Friday afternoon before our departure in the presence of the local authorities.

The teachers of the primary and college had already discussed with us their requirements and they have now given us a formal list. However our priorities with the dispensary does not allow us to leave a sum of too great importance, but it will allow them to renew all their books for the teachers for all subjects. Reading through their requirements we can already envisage for next year a sum of greater importance , roof of two buildings to be done, new building for a nursery school, which they have just opened and are using part of the primary for the moment, extension of the college as in three years it will not be big enough and why not a lycee one day !!

We have also nearly finalised the creation of a sholarship each year for one pupil each year to go to the lycee at Sokode to pass the A-levels. For most of the families it is impossible to send their children to further education due to the lack of funds as the pupil has to find lodgings and food in Sokodé.

We have now practically finalised the buying of the land of 2 acres. It is well situated, the ground is relatively fertile and there is a good source of water, the necessary elements required to succeed. Our friend Moise has already started work two months ago, planting tomatoes, melons, cabbages, traditional crops, topinambours, onions, shallots, fruit trees etc. The season of rain will be there in two months which is the period of great activity as it is within this three month period where the maze and other traditional crops are grown that will give them the food to live throughout the rest of the year.

First days

We are moving forward in a positive manner with our projects. As mentioned the major project is to refurbish the dispensary and get electricity and running water into the building. We are awaiting the estimations of the builder which we should get in a few days time.

We took all the medical supplies and Equipment to the dispensary and they were over the moon. We also donated all the clothes, toys, footballs and shirts to the President of the villagers to be distibuted to the most needy.

Today we have a meeting with President of the village development comittee to discuss the question of buying a small piece of land.

Tomorrow we have an important meeting with a group from Sagbadaï to set up the Togolaise SPESS association which will be an important step in keeping projects moving in our absence.

Meeting with county chief (chef canton) was cancelled but will be held at beginning of next week along with a meeting with the regional state authority (Prefet).

Monday we will also have meetings to discuss with College and Primaire their needs for books.

The departure

The departure of François and Nigel this morning via Paris. The cases full ( 60 kilos of medical equipment, clothes, presents, sports equipement, etc..

Arrival in Togo this evening at 19h30. Departure early tomorrow morning for Sokodé, a trip of between 5 and X hours!!!

We are using the waiting time in Roissy to finalise our plans, to send the last e-mails and to prepare ourselves for the change. (food, climate, people..)!!!

Keep in touch here or on Twitter or Facbook.



The Next Departure

On Monday 3rd March François et Nigel leave for Sagbadai where they will spend 3 weeks. There are many things to do. Firstly there is the dispensary where all has to be redone starting with the solaire panels which will permit the use of a refrigerator to keep the important medical essentials like the vaccines. A pump will also be installed to allow the use of running water as well as toilets being built. Lastly the poor room where the women give birth will be completely refurbished.

Also we will buy 2 acres of land for another farm where we will install some of the poorer villagers.


Nos objectifs SPESS


The SPESS was founded in 2008 in Brittany as a non profit making association to support the disadvantaged and the poor in Togo.
The original idea was to develop a farm and traditional cultures in the small village of Sagbadaï, located 300 kilometers north of the capital Lome in the province of Sokode.

We then focused more on the questions of education and health. In 2012 we started the project of building a solid school building (for primary classes) in order to allow children to be educated in decent conditions. In 2014, we built the college buildings to enable a better continuity between primary and secondary education as many primary-schooled children drop out due to a lack of facilities and finance.

Health is also a main priority and it is imperative to improve the existing local infrastructure to allow access to care for the poor. One of our main projects is to renovate the old and dilapidated dispensary in Sagabadaï. They have no running water, no electricity and no real equipment.