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CENA - Togo

Kickoff date : April 2012

Number of jobs created : 2

Budget : 10 000 €

Recipients : 700 children/year

Location : Agou Nyogbo (120 km from Lomé)

Funding : Foundation Aimer Nourrir Donner (Restaurants Cojean)

The CENA, a Study and Nutrition Centre, has been set up in Agou, in order to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of spirulina and to distribute it to those, who most need it. Elisabeth, Tona’s wife, heads the Centre’s management.

What we're achieving in 2014

  • We aim to replicate the very positive experience with ASCs (“Agents de Santé Communautaires” – Community Health Aiders) to a third village
  • We intend to update the Centre’s skills thanks to the help of the French association « Info Nutrition », whose team is supposed to conduct a field mission in Agou Nyogbo in 2014.
  • We plan to set up revenue-generating activities, so as to enable the CENA to ultimately achieve financial self-reliance.
  • The Foundation « Nourrir, Aimer, Donner » has renewed its support this year

1st semester of 2014

  • From February 5th to February 16th, Vincent Guigon, our Technical Director, undertook a field mission in Togo. He noted that the areas with room for improvement Diane de Jouvencel had pointed out on her last visit had been dealt with.
  • The third ASC to be recruited has a special story. 10 years ago his son Ferdinand was saved from malnutrition thanks to spirulina. This gratitude towards spirulina drives him to hand it out to those children in his village, who need it.
  • Vincent witnessed in the villages the pressure the mothers exercise on the Centre’s team so that their children over 5 years of age can also benefit from the spirulina treatment and the meal that is handed out. We are counting a lot on the nutritionist, who is has been advising us since December and on the field mission of the “Info Nutrition” association. The aim is here to design a reference table, where the admittance criteria would be clearly listed and for all to see: weight/age, height/age, mid upper arm circumference etc.

    July 2014

  • 3 staff from the DIN (Association “Destination info Nutrition”) conducted a field mission from April to May 2014 upon Elisabeth’s and Dobéra’s request. The latter wished to further their training in the field of nutritional awareness and thus, be able to better assist the mothers’ coming to the CENA with their children. They wanted to assess their skills and knowledge, and delve further into certain topics, especially regarding vitamins and minerals. The results were very positive. We’d like to share with you some of their insights :
    • The DIN team was impressed with the progress made at the CENA since their last field mission and consider the Centre to be able to function from now on in a self-reliant manner regarding follow-up and assisting children with their nutritional needs.
    • The level of knowledge and skills of the trainers, Elisabeth and Dobéra, is considered very high. The notions, which were taught to them in 2009 have been mastered and adapted to the diversity of situations at the CENA.
    • An off-campus training via email was set up this Autumn. The DIN’s team will be available “on booking”, close to real-time, to answer all of Elisabeth’s queries about nutrition.
    • Half a day training to detect signs of malnutrition was conducted at the CENA, which Elisabeth and three ASCs attended: the DIN team showed them how to use the new measuring equipment (mid upper arm circumference instead of abdominal circumference) and helped them to set up a new more sophisticated diagnosis protocol with new paediatric curves.
    • Possible improvements have been identified, but we will tell you more in the months to come as a reporting system has recently been implemented, which enables to build annual statistics on the treatments.
      Objectives are being met. More to come soon…

Looking back in 2013

  • For the second year in a row, the “Nourrir, Aimer, Donner” Foundation (“Cojean” Restaurants) funds this Centre, which welcomes around 20 children and their Mums for a 2-month treatment on average: 185 children were welcomed in the year 2013.
  • The mothers attended awareness and training sessions on better nutrition.
  • The average attendance rate of these sessions is 90%. It strongly increased compared to 2012. This confirms the growing interest of mothers for their child’s health.
  • The Centre benefits from the support of a trained nutritionist, who helps the management team in their awareness-raising and follow-up actions.
  • Spirulina distribution also takes place in further afar villages. In these villages 2 ASCs were trained. They hand out 3 to 5g of spirulina mixed with lemon juice to around 60 children, i.e. 530 children per year. A weekly meal is also served.

Looking back in 2012

  • Close to a hundred children, and sometimes their mothers, have benefitted for a month from 3 to 5 g of spirulina and a meal

  • Simple anthropometric measurements (weight, height, abdominal circumference) have been monitored on a weekly basis in order to track the improvement of the child’s health. Our 3-year long experience of the processes used at the Nutrition House in Antsirabé (Madagascar) proved to be very useful.

  • Each week an awareness-raising and training session on food and hygiene measures is organised for the mothers.

  • Two difficulties cropped up:
    • Some mothers did not visit the CENA often enough due to constraints in their farm work.
    • The mothers experienced difficulties with transportation, stopping families from neighbouring villages to come each day to the CENA. One solution could be to develop distribution in villages with the Community Health Aiders.

Agou Nyogbo Farm

In 2010 a 500m2 farm was set up in the city of Agou Nyogbo.