Lomé is Togo’s capital city and with a population of nearly two million in its metropolitan area, it is also the largest city in the country. Located in the Gulf of Guinea, Lomé is a prominent port city. Exports from the area include cocoa, coffee, cotton, phosphates, and palm oil. The culture is rich with as many dialects and religions as with colourful Kente cloth designs.
While the Togolese school system is free and compulsory from the age of 6 to 15, many children do not attend school for various reasons.
Since 1979, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lomé.
The population of Togo has grown rapidly over the years, and now 54% of people in cities live in slums. This rapid population growth puts a lot of strain on Lomé's infrastructure, and impoverished neighbourhoods and large informal settlements have sprung up all over the city. Informal settlements, like slums, are characterized by the lack of durable and permanent housing that protects against extreme weather conditions. They are often crowded with no easy access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Under these circumstances, many diseases will spread easily either through contaminated water or the high population density. Here, infrastructure such as health services and education tend to be limited.
The prevalence of child marriage in Togo is 21%, which means that two out of ten children were married before they were eighteen years old. Although this practice is more common among girls than boys, it is a fundamental violation of rights regardless of gender. Many factors interact to place a child at risk of marriage. These factors include poverty, the perception that marriage offers "protection", social norms or an inadequate legal framework. Child marriage often affects the development of children, especially girls, by leading to early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting their schooling, limiting their opportunities and career advancement, and putting them at risk of domestic violence.