In Swedish  
C.R.A.S.E. - a village school in West Africa
   C.R.A.S.E. - a village school in West Africa
Foyer Rural in Togo was founded in 1964 by a student who had received a scholarship from SIDA (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) He had visited people's colleges in Brunnsvik and Mora and appreciated that the schools adapted their courses to the needs of the students. He also liked the fact that the school was especially for farmers and loggers and focused on the needs of the local area. Back at home in West Africa he founded C.R.A.S.E or Centre Rural Agriculture Social.

The students of today live and study at the school and come from the surrounding ten villages. They belong to the matriarchal Ewe people which means that women have most of the governing power. The belief that their forefathers are still present among them gives a village of 400 inhabitants a population of 11,000! This makes life in Togo somewhat conservative since they do not wish to go against the wishes of their forefathers.

Handcrafts are the foremost subjects at the school and the skills most needed in the area. Besides blacksmithing, weaving and farming, the students also learn reading, writing, history and hygiene (of which the teacher is also a midwife).

A degree in handcrafts takes two to three years and after graduation many start their own businesses. Trading, not money, is the main form of business so having a skill is of great importance.

The federal government of Togo appoints the headmaster of the school who in turn appoints the teachers together with the federal government. The teachers, who are Togolese and educated in their crafts, receive their wages from Mora People's College and the Swedish Togo Foundation. The Swedish Togo Foundatiion was founded in the 1960's by teachers and students from Dalarnas People's Colleges who all originally supported C.R.A.S.E financially. Today, donations from Mora People's College alone cover half of the school's financial needs.

The International Group at Mora People's College collects money for three school projects in Africa by organizing flea markets, lotteries and selling coffee. All the students help in different ways. 2008-2009 gave 120,000 Swedish crowns of which 30,000 was sent to C.R.A.S.E.

To ensure that donations do not get lost in corruption, the school is required to make an ongoing report of the teachers' wages. One of the teachers also has the right to withdraw funds together with the headmaster. Regular visits from Swedish schools also confirm that funding ends up in the right hands.

The Togolese currency CFA-franc has devaluated during the present global financial crisis and the donations of Mora and others are of great importance. For more information contact The International Group at Mora People's College at (0)250-308 42. Donations can be deposited directly in bank account number 9960-4206738447 or plusgiro 673844-7.

The International group at Mora Folk College works with three schools in Africa: Dagoretti in Kenya, Migara V.T.C in Tanzania and C.R.A.S.E. in Togo. The group gathers money throughout the school year and divides it between the African schools. The work is lead by Staffan Eklöv. To contact him, call the reception desk on 0250-308 42 and leave a message.

Stöd Svenska Togoföreningen, postgironummer 67 38 44-7

© Svenska Togoföreningen 2011