In Togo, many people are still unaware of the basic gestures for rescuing victims of a road accident or an incident affecting the physical body. In view of the increase in road accidents in recent years in the town of Kpalimé, the NGO ASTOVOT has been implementing a training and awareness project on “life-saving gestures” for the past three years. The project consists in raising awareness and training in particular motorcycle taxi drivers commonly called “Zémidjan” and in general all road users on life-saving gestures so that they can have basic knowledge in the field of first aid in case of traffic accidents or other incidents (trauma, cardiac arrest, bleeding … etc.). This project will not only enable the beneficiaries to have reactions adapted to first aid but also the necessary provisions to prevent, limit or remove an imminent danger in the event of an incident and also how to alert the emergency services.
Aims of project
• General objective
The overall objective is to contribute to the awareness and training of local communities on “life-saving gestures” for a better care of victims in case of any accident before alerting the rescue or emergency services.
• Specific objectives
– Strengthen solidarity between citizens through the learning of first aid techniques ;
– To train the volunteers on first aid gestures so that they in turn become trainers on the project;
– To sensitize and train motorcycle taxi drivers and the population in life-saving gestures through practical demonstrations at the different parking points in the city ;
Each edition, the project is supported by a team from the National Federation of Civil Protection of Togo (FNPC). This training will focus on learning the first aid gestures.
The trained volunteers will in turn train motorcycle taxi drivers and other road users on different first aid modules. They will set up a detailed programme to provide first aid in different places in the municipality with the authorization of the town hall.
The main lines of the training will be: “Securing the scene of the accident and the people involved – Assessing the victim’s condition – Asking for help – Dispensing first aid.
The basic gestures that will be taught are : Choking – Bleeding – Unconsciousness – Cardiac arrest (first aid and defibrillation) – Heart attack.
Housing conditions are generally basic (especially in rural areas). The group is housed together in a house in which the volunteers have to share the rooms (usually 2 to 4 rooms). We have small mattresses and plastic mats that will be used as bedding for the volunteers. Because housing is often not equipped with beds. However, volunteers can provide small air mattresses or small floor mats, sleeping bags, mosquito nets …etc.
Volunteers prepare their own meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on site. The dishes are varied and diverse with local and imported ingredients provided. However, the diet of each volunteer is respected and taken into account in the preparation of the meals. During the international days decreed on the workcamp, each group of volunteers (Europeans or Togolese) can present a typical dish from their country or continent.
As part of the international workcamp, several activities are organized: discovery walks, hikes, festive outings, cultural meetings. These activities allow volunteers to get in touch with local populations but also to discover Togolese culture.
During the weekends, group excursions are organized to discover the tourist sites of the region where the construction site is located. It should be noted that the participation (transport, visiting fees and other costs) of these activities are covered by the volunteers themselves.
NB : Internet access and electricity are limited depending on the project areas.
The NGO Association Togolaise des Volontaires au Travail (ASTOVOT) has more than 60 years of experience in the service of international volunteering and especially in the field of intercultural exchanges between young people from all countries of the world. Every year, it welcomes many volunteers from all over the world to Togo for its various short, medium and long-term volunteer projects (3 weeks to 12 months) as part of international solidarity actions. A founding member of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS-UNESCO), ASTOVOT is in partnership with several volunteer organizations in Europe, Asia and Canada. The projects focus on community development through education, health, the environment and intercultural learning. These projects are open to anyone who has acquired significant knowledge and skills related to the mission, wishing to enrich their experience and contribute their professional know-how. Our overall objective is to contribute to the development of the people involved in the projects and the beneficiary communities.
French and English are the two languages of the project. However, French is the official language spoken in Togo. It is advisable for English-speaking volunteers wishing to participate in this project to have a minimum level in French, because a large majority of local volunteers and communities have a low level in English.