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Center for Civic Engagement

Hofstra - Togo Partnership

in collaboration with the University of Lomé in Togo, Plan International, and students at Roosevelt Middle School

The Center for Civic Engagement has partnered with the University of Lomé in Togo, Plan International, and students in Roosevelt to work on two projects: the Development Initiative in Togo and the Green Future Alliance. Before our first trip to Togo in May, 2008, the Center for Civic Engagement had been communicating with students from the University of Lomé, in Togo, and Plan International, a non-governmental organization that seeks to improve the lives of children in developing countries.

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During our first trip to Togo, we spent most of our time with college students from the University of Lomé and were given a tour of much of their country, organized by Plan International and made possible with the generosity of their Minister of Education. During this trip, we were able to witness the work that Plan International is doing and they shared their philosophy of development with us: partnership. Our delegation, four students and two professors, met with our partners at their university and began working out the details of our project: community development in both countries, cultural exchange, and environmental stewardship. Click here for pictures and videos from our first trip.

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In October of 2008, four Togolese students and two of their professors from the University of Lomé came to New York to continue our cultural exchange and further conversations about this strategic partnership. We showed them around Long Island and New York City and they were here when Hofstra hosted the final 2008 Presidential debate. Below is a picture of our full group after our tour of the United Nations.

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During their time here, we worked out some more details about our joint project, which came to be known as the Green Future Alliance: university students working with children in neighboring schools to facilitate a cultural exchange, parallel curriculum mapping, and environmental stewarship issues as identified by the community. In Togo, they're planting trees to combat deforestation and in Roosevelt, we've established plans to convert a sump into a bird sanctuary and outdoor science lab. A large component is amplifying the voice of the youth within a community and one of our major goals is to have their voices heard and their issues paid attention to. Below is a picture of one of our interns, Hope, leading a conversation during the after school program in Roosevelt.

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During the time since our Togolese friends came to visit, we've been strengthening our ties with Plan International, keeping in touch with Togo, and continuing our work with the students in Roosevelt. We have identified the ways in which our Hofstra community can further support communities in Togo through Plan's network and established programs and are also looking for new ways to compliment the work they already do: this has become, on our end, the Development Initiative in Togo, the second piece in our Hofstra - Togo partnership.  We've made the arrangements to send another delegation to Togo in May of 2009, which will be four of the CCE's undergraduate interns and two professors. For updated information about our ongoing projects in Roosevelt and Togo, please download the latest version of our newsletter.

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Click here videos and more pictures from our first trip to Togo.

The Center for Civic Engagement was formed to encourage students to become active citizens and participate in the democratic process. The Center stresses freedom of speech and expression, respect for others, appreciation for diverse persons and viewpoints, the ethics of public issues, personal and group empowerment, social and economic equality, and preservation of the environment.

Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students find their edge to succeed in more than 140 undergraduate and 150 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 25 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis.