Terre des jeunes Togo, in its 10 year existence, has always been about volunteerism, action, and low-tech sustainability. Like other Terre des jeunes groups around West Africa and Haiti, Terre des jeunes is a do-ocracy, meaning that decisions are made by those who do.
In 2015, land was acquired 30 minutes north of Lomé, the capital city, to start building an ecovillage centred around research, training, and sharing of low-tech, local, traditional technologies in harmony with nature.
Agricultural techniques which nourish the land rather than destroy it; building techniques which use local, renewable materials rather than heat-trapping, expensive and carbon-intensive cement; traditional baskets (they’re beautiful, by the way) instead of plastic bags.
There are dozens of ethnic groups in Togo; it is our dream to welcome all of them (along with the hundreds of other ethnic groups in surrounding countries) to share traditional African knowledge to elevate our standard of living in a sustainable way… showcasing local knowledge in a forest setting in traditional huts, with our food a product of ground-nourishing permaculture will create a space not only for local populations, but also for foreigners wishing to live an authentic experience.
In addition, Terre des jeunes has long been interested in low-impact, revenue generating activities in small units to perpetuate its sustainable vision. For example, Terre des jeunes has an agreement with Cyclo Nord-Sud, an organization from Canada providing used bicycles which can be used for short-term rentals or modified for simple, low-cost sustainable transportation.
Terre des jeunes is also in the process of creating a locally-owned waste management non-profit, based on experience of other Terre des jeunes groups in Haiti, with the goal of managing waste (plastic, organic) to generate revenue.
Beyond all of this, our mantra is: act now. Families are already settling, and houses are already being built. Start simple, think big.