NGO Rebuilding Children's Lives in Togo Gets Boost from NGOsource
Vero was the eighth of 15 siblings living in the small West African country of Togo. At an age when her focus should have been on schoolwork and friends, she found herself orphaned when her parents died from AIDS-related causes. Rather than subjecting herself to her abusive foster parents, Vero ran away. She lived on the streets for two years and then endured three years as a victim of child trafficking. In 2013 she was brought to La Conscience, an NGO in the capital city Lome, for healing and rehabilitation.
La Conscience is a child trafficking prevention and rehabilitation center. It focuses on providing children victimized by trafficking a safe, nurturing space with access to traditional education as well as pathways for older children to learn trades and other skills. To date, the center has helped more than 26,000 children. More than 18,000 of the children assisted by the center are survivors of trafficking.
For years, La Conscience struggled to find grant funders. U.S. grantmakers were hesitant to give to foreign NGOs due to the expensive and convoluted nature of international grantmaking. That is where NGOsource comes in. NGOsource streamlines international grantmaking, which allows U.S.-based foundations to give to foreign NGOs with greater ease. In 2013, La Conscience received funding from the Greenbaum Foundation an NGOsource customer that strives to end human and nonhuman suffering.
With their new funding partner, La Conscience was able to increase access to primary-school education and provide teenagers with literacy classes. With NGOsource, La Conscience will have greater access to other funding partners that share its vision of abolishing child trafficking.
In her second year with La Conscience, Vero is training to be a dressmaker. She dreams of opening her own center to support children victimized by trafficking, and she talks with others about how she would like to travel the world to meet other inspirational youth.