Kékéli Festival” initiated since 2016 by the NGO ASTOVOT, is in its 5th edition this year. This festival is a vehicle for promoting Togolese culture in all its diversity through local artistic and folklore groups. The theme of this year’s edition is “Women, pillar of environmental protection”. Women have an important role to play in the preservation of the environment and natural resources and in the promotion of sustainable development. In Togo, for example, the main responsibility for providing for the household falls on women, especially in rural areas, and they largely determine consumption trends. Thus, women have a fundamental role to play in the adoption of sustainable and environmentally sound consumption patterns, natural resource management and production. This project encourages women to become more involved in environmental protection activities through the organization of cultural and community activities. As usual, a cultural event will be organized at the end of the project where various folklore and artistic groups from the village will perform. It will also have other cultural activities around the theme of this edition, namely: fashion show in traditional dress, skits, Batik, health of public places … etc… This Festival is for Astovot, a space for intercultural exchange and citizen expression.
Aims of project
– Organize cultural and community activities involving the participation of women and girls in environmental protection ;
– Promote local artistic and folklore groups by providing them with a framework for expression designed to raise awareness of the issue of environmental preservation through eco-gestures;
– Encourage the immersion of international volunteers in peasant families within the framework of cultural exchanges ;
The first phase :
– Formation of the volunteer art group ;
– Group rehearsals (percussion, singing and dancing) ;
– Organization of exchange meetings around the theme of publishing (local development actors, village associations, women’s groups or cooperatives…) ;
– Batik workshops ;
– Sketch montages around the theme;
– Actions of salubrity and environmental protection in the village ;
– Accompanying artistic and folklore groups in the preparation of the festival ;
– Immersions of international volunteers in the peasant families;
The second phase : Organization of the festival (invitation of the folklore and artistic groups ; logistics, design of the communication supports, sound system, installation).
– Arrangement of the hall or place of the show and installation ;
– Planning of activities (group performances, sketches, fashion show…etc.)
Thus, the festival will take into account the staging of the different folklore groups and also that of the volunteer group. It would be the place of expression and valorization of the Togolese culture.
NB : Various prizes and certificates will be awarded to the different groups.
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.
The village of Kuma-Apoti is one of the ten villages of the Kuma Canton. It is located northwest of the town of Kpalimé. Its relief consists of a vast plateau and wooded mountains. Kuma-Apoti is located in a humid zone and its climate, very particular for Togo, is much cooler and “temperate” than that of Lomé. The economy of the village is essentially based on agriculture, around which gravitate some commercial, artisanal and tourist activities. The agricultural sector employs about 80% of the population. The productions from which the population draws a meagre income are coffee and cocoa. Food crops ensure the subsistence of families: cereals (maize), tubers (yams, manioc) and legumes (beans). The region, which is fairly fertile, also allows the cultivation of fruits (banana, seedling banana, pineapple, orange…etc.).
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.