The Rangers Charity Foundation is proud to announce the completion of its inspirational two year project with the world’s leading children’s organization, UNICEF to reconstruct and equip seven vital healthcare centres in Togo, West Africa.
Thanks to the commitment and generosity of everyone connected to Rangers, these life-saving centres are now fully operational and are already helping thousands of children and their families.
The £200,000 project is providing better access to basic medical care, water and sanitation facilities and life-saving nutrition for malnourished children in some of the poorest areas of Togo.
The funds raised by the Foundation have also helped to train health care professionals, provide emergency transport, install water and sanitation facilities, create a child friendly room in each centre and fund communication materials to help educate the local community on how to keep their children healthy.
Togo is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. It is estimated that only 20% of the population have enough money to feed their family. 8 out of every 100 children die before their first birthday, while 15 in every 100 do not see their fifth birthday.
In rural areas only 39% of people can access safe drinking water and one in every 200 women die in childbirth. In Southern Togo, 62% of the population face an hour’s walk to access health services, even in an emergency, and often the cost of medical care is too expensive for the average family to afford when they finally get there.
Thanks to our project with UNICEF, the Rangers Charity Foundation is making a real and tangible difference to these appalling statistics, proving that change is possible where the will exists. Everyone connected to the Foundation and Rangers Football Club can be very proud of what has been achieved in Togo, as the case study below proves beyond doubt.
Etoke’s Story – A New Beginning for the Community of Solla
Straddling the border between Togo and Benin lies the village of Solla in Kara. Most of the 4,000 people who live in the village work as subsistence farmers. Kara is extremely poor and a hard place to survive - 33% of children are stunted due to malnutrition.
Just past the market in Solla and adjacent to the local primary school lies the Health Centre which was recently completely renovated and equipped thanks to funding from the Rangers Charity Foundation.
Kosua Sasa and her four year old daughter Yokambiwa are waiting patiently in the Health Centre for Kosua’s younger sister Etoke, who has just given birth to a healthy baby girl.
Etoke had previously given birth to three children but sadly all died within their first year of life. For the first time, Etoke has felt comfortable delivering her baby in a Heath Centre thanks to the improved facilities funded by the Rangers Charity Foundation.
UNICEF’s renovation package included a complete overhaul of the Health Centre with new floors, ceilings and doors, providing greater sustainability, cleanliness and privacy. Four showers, four improved latrines and adjacent hand-washing facilities have also been built to ensure the centre is hygienic and safe.
The Health Centre’s nurse Kondi believes the new facilities have allowed women to place more trust in the health care on offer as they now believe the facilities are safer and more hygienic than giving birth at home.
“Since the renovation of the Centre, about 16 women a month are giving birth in the maternity wing, an increase on pre-renovation figures,” she explained, “About 25 pregnant women are also currently attending ante-natal sessions held every Wednesday at the Health Centre.”
Etoke also received pre-natal care at the centre, including vitamin A, folic acid and iron supplements, advice on diet, preparation for delivery and an HIV test. Staff at the Health Centre have received training in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and AIDS. Etoke’s new born baby will also benefit from post-natal care sessions and a UNICEF supported immunisation programme.
Etoke’s sister Kosua believes the Health Centre will prevent some of the problems she experienced when she delivered her own daughter four years before.
“When I gave birth to Yokambiwa, complications arose,” she explained, “I was referred to Pagotou hospital (over 35km away on a dirt track). I had to be transferred there while I was in labour - it was very painful and frightening. In the end, Yokambiwa was delivered safely in the hospital through a caesarean section.”
Thanks to the Health Centre’s renovation, the maternity wing is now able to deal more effectively with complicated cases, thus reducing the need for patients to make the difficult journey to hospital.
Solla’s Health Centre and the others like it across the region are already making a huge difference to their communities and will provide a lasting legacy for many years to come by continuing to help around 125,000 children and their families, providing a happier and healthier future for Togo’s poorest children.
Note to Editors:
For further information on The Rangers Charity Foundation visit the official website and Facebook page at www.rangerscharity.org.uk and www.facebook.com/officialrangerscharity, call 0141 580 8775 or e-mail email@example.com
The Rangers Charity Foundation (Scottish Charity Number SC033287) exists to bring Club, supporters, staff and players together in a unique way to help make the world of difference to thousands of lives through a range of charitable work. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2002 it has donated over £916,000 in cash awards and over £1,259,000 of in-kind support to hundreds of groups and individuals, making a combined total of over £2,125,000. Further information on the Foundation and its work can be found at www.rangerscharity.org.uk
Exclusive Rangers photography is available online at www.paphotos.com
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk