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Lome, Togo
All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 3
Category: Other
Host ID: 40915
Country: Togo

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Last Updated: November 15, 2016

This is a postcard and translation project that works like a megaphone out in the world: Imagine you could say one thing to everyone else in the world, what would you say? People send us their ideas on a postcard and we help translate it into local languages all around the world. It is an international media project for intercultural dialogue and language diversity.

The project is mainly organized by students from Togo and Norway. We also have a huge network of volunteers from all over the world helping to push the project forward and translate people thoughts and ideas into their native languages.

The local branch in Togo is there to organize and translate the postcards we get and to promote reading and writing in our local languages. Our members in Togo are still mostly students (in linguistic, history, law, geography, literature, sociology, and the list goes on) but we aim at extending our reach to everyone and anyone in the city and across the five regions in the country.

Our small office is situated next to the awesomely big university campus in Lomé. To be precise, we are next to one of the southern campus entrance called la porte Adéwi (meaning the Adewi door). To go all the way from the Northern part to the southern part of the campus takes around 30 min by foot. That's how big it is.

We are looking for volunteers to help build our organization in Togo. Our office is still a little bit empty and things are not too organized yet, so we would need self-driven volunteers that can suggest fresh ideas and help push the project forward.

Many people in Togo do not speak English so it would be a great asset if you could speak French.

We will give priority to those who have good communication skills in both English and French. Knowing other languages is always appreciated as our main theme is exchanging cultures and languages through warm and rich discussion.

Examples of things you can do:
- Help with social media
- Create media content; Photo & video
- Help with design
- Spread information at the campus
- Organize meetings with the students (practical help / presentation on a wide variety of topics)
- Keep office open in the morning.
- Help teach/fix/maintain computers and internet (we use Ubuntu, it is good if you know a little bit about it)
- Help with web programming
- Help to improve the office (infrastructure, functions, accommodations, etc) and discuss how to improve the project.

You can also come up with your own suggestion and expertise if there are things you know you're good at which could be helpful. The most important thing is simply to come and join us on our project and keep up the good spirit we have here with your own special personality, determination and kindness.

We can help adapt a working plan for you that fits with your internship requirements.

We have two sleeping rooms at our office: a single bedroom and one for up to two people sleeping on a double-sized bed. It is all newly renovated with brand new beds (with strong mosquito nets!), shelves, and a new bathroom with toilets and shower with running water. Thus, we can host two or three volunteers at the same time.

We only offer you accommodation. However the food is at your own expenses. That said, no worries! There are many places outside where you can buy a whole range of tasty local foods for under 1000 fcfa (which is under 2 euros/dollars) such as spaghettis, bred, rice, salad, fried bananes, fruits, sweet potatoes, yams and cassava, etc etc. If eating outside all the time is not your thing, we have recently got hold of a cooking set (stoves with gaz) with which you can prepare your own stuff at home. There are many markets all over the city where you can buy local (as well as less local) fruits and vegetables and other products that are overall quite cheap. There are also supermarkets like Superamco and Champion where you can find more Western products which are, as such, more expansive.

There is again a third alternative which would be to make a deal with some of the neighbours in order for them to cook extra food for you, meaning you would get really yummy on-your-doorstep local home cooked food at a very good price. Of course, we can help you through this negotiating process. We are a very warm and helpful bunch of people here in Togo and we would be more than enthusiast to assist you in anyway we can during your stay.

Our office is about 10-15min away from the city center by motorcycle. If you are more the walking type of person, it would take you around 40min to get to the city center and an extra 10min if your final destination is the beach.

We have a moto and we can sometimes give you a lift. Otherwise, the taximoto (called zem here) cost around 500-1000cfa one way ride to the city center. The prices are not fixed, meaning that for each ride you will need to settle the cost with the driver beforehand. If not, he might charge you whatever he feels like charging you at the end of the ride.

All over the city there are numerous vibrant markets and you can enjoy hours just walking around with always more to see. The biggest one is situated at the very center, close to the beach and is simply called Le Grand Marché ("The Big Market").

As for the beach itself, it is huge and wandering along the crashing waves feels exhilarating and soothing. Forget swimming though... because the currents are very strong and the waves might break you in pieces. But maybe if you meet and befriend a fisherman, he could take you with him offshore and let you have a little swim in the deep blue – who knows? Apart for these people, no one dare swim in these turbulent waters. Too risky. Also, it is not recommended to stay alone on the beach after dark. Even at daytime, you should never go too far away from other people. These are basic security advice that needs to be said but otherwise Lomé is pretty peaceful – albeit noisy with lively people and a good deal of honking.

There are a few landmarks not be missed in Lomé : you can see national buildings such as the Parlament and the Independence monument. You can also check the Togo National Museum. Add to that the Fetish Market where you can learn about Voodoo and see many items used for amulets and such, though it must be said that this place has become very touristy...

Every Sunday a huge amount of people take part in morning gymnastics at the beach. There are jogging groups starting in different neighborhoods where people run down to the beach while playing music and singing together. This is something you should really try to experience while in Togo. Down at the beach you can join different types and levels of gymnastics, and after you can drink fresh lime juice or Coco nut milk directly from the Coco nuts.

Apart from these, not much sightseeing to do and the best would always be simply to socialize with the locals and join in their activities. Especially during the holidays. People are great and always welcoming. There are many different ethnic groups in Togo (more than 40 languages!) and all have their own festivals and celebrations. So if you get to know people you can come around to their home and maybe travel up to the north of the country, where you would enjoy more traditional and authentic ways of living. You would get much closer to the people there and farther away from capitalism and Western influence.

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