News Visits to Togo in January

Meeting with Urbis scholarship holders

At the beginning of the year, Inge and Christian Epp travelled to Togo together with Matthias Schmidt (see "About us"). They visited our sister foundation and met beneficiaries of the projects carried out there. In addition to the meeting with the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation and the Club Solaire (student initiative for the promotion of solar energy), the programme included many other exciting encounters.

In discussions with Adam, the Director of the Urbis Foundation Togo, he emphasised the high level of recognition that Urbis receives in the ministries. The position of female employees has also improved considerably. Individual roles have been strengthened or given more extensive powers and there is now an equal opportunities officer. The visit to the farm also provided new ideas for future projects. A new project with ProEnergie (GIZ) has just started, which is mainly managed by two employees, Ms Tschabi and Ms Adjoni. Women's power in a double pack!

Our project coordinator Cornelia also noticed that the attitudes of women and men changed after the gender workshop at the end of 2023. She was also able to be on site again at the end of January. Cornelia is the main contact person for our team in Togo and works closely with them. Her time on site was filled with many conversations in the Urbis subject areas of solar energy, social and health, education, agriculture as well as with the management and accounting department. In addition to visiting the GIZ project and GIZ offices, Cornelia met one of Urbis' long-standing solar technicians, visited the sustainable CPIA farm and schools with pupils supported by Urbis. She also used the time to facilitate joint dialogue within the team. For example, she chaired a working session on the efficient planning and implementation of projects. The spaces for dialogue and discussion created in this way are very important, as they are not available in everyday life and in long-distance collaboration.

The time on site was a very intensive experience for both Cornelia and our delegation of Inge, Christian and Matthias. All four came back with a clear view of the current reality of life for our team and the people, and further discussions with the entire Urbis team will now follow in order to categorise these impressions together and move forward with them. We are taking away both inspiring ideas and major challenges that we want to tackle with a zest for action.