Skip to content

TOGO: Advancing the Rights of Deaf children, AST fights for recognition, acceptance and visibility

Association des Sourds du Togo (AST), Togo national association of the Deaf, was established in March 1992 by a group of the deaf people. First, the association was a very small association with branch only in Lome the capital of Togo.

Though a founding member of Togolese Federation of the Persons with Disability (FETAPH), AST did not have branches in the regions and its visibility remain low. Some advocacy have been carried out in Lome for access to education for deaf people in Lome particular deaf children. Through these basic advocacy work, some embassies have provided funding for feeding for the deaf students.

Following the inception phase of WCARS Project, 2016 -2017 and the commencement of the WCARS Transnational capacity building project involving the national association of the Deaf in Niger (ASN), Togo (AST), Mali (AMASOURDS) and Ivory Coast (ANASOCI), Togo Deaf Association began to make strides with the various trainings and skills acquired to enhance the rights of deaf people in Togo. In 2018, the association successfully advocated and get their association recognized by the Togolese government through registration of the association something that have been advocated for unsuccessfully for many years.

With further training, coaching and empowerment from the project, Association des Sourds du Togo (AST) had a meeting with the chief of Vogan. Vogan is a town of approx. 65km from Lome and a commercial town in Togo. Though with many deaf children, there is no reliable school and educational facilities for the Deaf. To make matters worse access to land has been a challenge making it extreme difficulty to secure land to develop educational facilities for the deaf children.

In order to solve the land problems, and empowered with necessary skills in advocacy, AST board members engaged the chief of Vogan who released land for the association to construct dormitories, classrooms and other facilities for the deaf children.

The successful engagement of stakeholders at regional and national level has increased the visibility of AST as credible association advocating for the rights of deaf children in Togo and as national association of the Deaf.