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qui sommes-nous ?

L’Association ATOKE - les enfants de saint Dominique a été créée en 2019 par Jeremy Demester et sa femme Marie-Sophie.

 

Tout a démarré en 2018, lors d’une visite d’un petit orphelinat de la vallée de l’Ouémé à 2 heures de Cotonou.

 

À leur arrivée, ils trouvent des enfants aux larges sourires, mais ils comprennent vite que la plupart sont très malades, atteints de paludisme et de malnutrition sévère. Les moyens sont faibles, l’infrastructure vétuste et insalubre. Ils prennent alors la décision d’aider directement la sœur directrice de l’établissement, les premières fois au coup par coup lors de leurs visites mensuelles, mais ils comprennent que çà n’est pas une solution durable et qu’ils doivent repenser leur manière d’aider ces enfants.

 

C’est ainsi qu’ils établissent une formule plus structurée et hebdomadaire qui vient en appui au travail des sœurs, une équipe de terrain qui agit sur 5 axes:

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notre mission

Health

 

We decide to set up "a medical car" which will be our relay "ATOKÉ".

 

The principle is simple:

A car + a driver + a nurse + medicine and food, once a week. No more loss, no more theft, and the children are followed weekly by our nurse Aissé. A blood test which establishes a basic diagnosis for each child and which makes it possible to define the treatment. She thus treats small and big ailments.

Food

 

Thanks to this same car, we bring food for a week. We are shocked by the total lack of protein and vitamins.

We are studying with a local nutritionist how to improve deficits with balanced menus based on local products. 3 obligatory meals per day. Weekly feeding allows us to monitor each child's health status and see progress. And at each of her visits, the nurse brings a yogurt!

Education

 

ATOKÉ supports the education of all children, including enrollment in school, their uniforms and their supplies, from kindergarten to older children, allowing them professional integration in the fields of organic farming and crafts or taking charge of their university studies.

 

Hygiene

 

Establishment of sanitary sanitary facilities, use of products adapted to the good hygiene of each one. Improvement in the hygiene of the premises.

Creation of rooms by age group: 0-3 years, 4-10 years and 10 years and over. Mosquito nets and clean mattresses.

The legal aspect

 

When we started our support for children, we understood that some were in "a black hole", without civil status or administrative recognition. Thanks to our partnership with the OCPSP which has the management of the place, we hired a social worker to help us regularize the civil status of each child, so that they obtain a birth certificate in due form and a order of provision assigned to the orphanage, thus giving them the dignity of recognized human beings.

and a big dose of love!

our mission

nos objectifs
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our projects

Our engagement

is daily for kids

of the Saint-Dominique orphanage

for the invariable points of the association.

 

The base

We guarantee children 3 meals a day, we have equipped them this year 2020 with new rooms and a nursery, each child now sleeps in his bed with a mattress, a sheet and a mosquito net. We have a weekly follow-up by a state-certified nurse who comes to check the health of each of the children and we support a legal service and a social worker with a future for each of the children. All the children go to school, and for the older ones we help them integrate them into their professional life.

2021 is a year when it is essential for us to make major changes to the property in the orphanage building: the roof, the playground, the refectory and the toilets are priorities.

 

 

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“ATOKÉ” canteen grant

Education is a key element in the education of a child. Despite government efforts to make primary education free, enrollment rates remain low in many parts of the country.

 

The introduction of the school canteen has significantly improved the enrollment rate ... but it remains low despite everything.
In order to reduce dropouts, which are garish and keep children in school, boost the enrollment rate and increase academic performance, we have initiated a canteen grant project that will allow children of poor parents to have one hot and balanced meal per day.
In September 2021, a water draw was issued to define the Tchémey primary school in the town classified as a deprived area of ​​Adjarra (Province of Ouémé) as the pilot school of the Cantine project.
We have, with the help of the principal, identified 50 students having difficulty subscribing to the school canteen, who will eat from September 2021 for free at the school.

In January 2022, we are starting the same program with the Sado primary school in Avrankou. 50 children will benefit from this program.


Our goals
Keep children in school, fight against malnutrition and give as many children as possible a chance for a better future.

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ATOKÉ!

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Atoké in Fon language

means
" bat ".

 

 

 

When we first came, the children kept repeating this word, pointing at the ceiling, because indeed, the little noises we heard were in fact hundreds of bats living in colonies under the eaves of their roofs.

As a result, ATOKÉ has become the rallying cry of all. Children enjoy singing a song of their own making, telling the story of mum and dad ATOKÉ, who come and go between France and Africa to bring them gifts and rebuild their roofs.

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THE TEAM

The founding members are Marie- Sophie Eiché-Demester, and her husband Jérémy Demester, painter. They now live between Benin and France. Thus being a grassroots association allows them to find the children of the orphanage and look after their needs and thus adjust their follow-up and provide the appropriate help.

Aisse, our nurse who knows how to repair small and big ailments. Without her, Atoké wouldn’t exist, her heart is as big as her smile.

Daniel, our project manager, follows all the projects undertaken by Atoké: building restoration, construction of school kitchens.

 

This site is dedicated to Dominique Trassy-Paillogues, our Aunty, who was Atoke’s first breath.

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