Enriched Porridge for Prisoners with Tuberculosis

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Enriched Porridge for Prisoners with Tuberculosis

Lomé, TogoLomé, Togo
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Improving the health of prisoners, fighting for their integration and against their recidivism led our organization to initiate an integrated agricultural project in the civil prison.
We provide daily nutrients and tonics for skinny incarcerated TB patients through an enriched porridge formula, made ​​of grains and mineral nutrients. We accompany farmer groups in seeding, monitoring and performing the maintenance of the fields. At harvest, we buy the surplus after they have taken the portion for their own consumption.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The incarcerated populations with TB are quarantined to prevent contamination. There, they are subjected to a free treatment with aggressive drugs, which can cause adverse effects if taken on an empty stomach. The diet of the prisoners is poor and their official daily meal is prepared late, which is not appropriate for the TB patients in treatment, who are obligated to take the drugs in the morning. This situation causes patients a drastic weight loss. The loss of family contact creates psychological disorders that worsen their health. Despite this, the phenomenon of recidivism is common.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To combat the weight loss suffered by prisoners with TB, ATPOAD developed, with the help of a nutritionist, an enriched porridge formula to be served as breakfast to these TB patients. This porridge allows the patients to have a normal healing process. The initiative consists in introducing complementary nutrients in the patients’ diets. Made from several cereals (maize, rice, millet, sorghum, soybeans, fonio, beans, groundnuts and moringa), this enriched porridge improves TB patients’ health with weight regain. ATPOAD has “control and monitoring” employees, specialized in recording and monitoring the evolutions of the weight of the patients. To improve the patients’ health, ATPOAD buys expensive ingredients. However, the farmer groups supported by our initiative are looking for a secure market to sell their product. Hence the initiative of an agricultural project integrated to the prison. We provide seeds and support with the work of maintenance for the peasants. At harvest, we buy the surplus after they have taken the portion that will be used for their own consumption. This strategy allows us to identify the young prisoners that are good candidates for professional reintegration through working with crafts and agriculture. ATPOAD promotes crafts and creates a purchase network (a market) for the products made by the prisoners.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In 2011, there was approximately 2000 prisoners in Lomé’s civil prison. Among these, the detection test identified 17 prisoners with TB. Their ages ranged between 20 and 61 years old and their weight between 31kg and 67 kg, and all of them suffered severe weight loss. They have daily received 1 liter of enriched porridge. Of the 13, two died during the year. One of them was admitted in February with 48 kg and died in May, with 67kg. All the rest survived with a weight regain of 3kg - 9kg. A housekeeper was engaged in preparing and serving the enriched porridge for each patient. The porridge formula was developed by a nutritionist, Dr Bassoka. At fisrt, we would buy very expensive ingredients in the market. Meanwhile, the farmer groups that we support were looking for a market to sell their product. Thus, the idea of ​​an agricultural project integrated to the prison was born. We would provide seeds to those groups of farmers and support them in the field maintenance work. At harvest, we would buy the surplus after the farmers took the portion they needed for consumption. Two released prisoners recovered from TB while five other young ones managed to support themselves through selling braided bags, jewelry and many other art objects, such as bracelets, rings, necklaces etc..

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The direct impact of our actions was the improvement in the health situation of almost all of the prisoners, with weight and energy regain. The reduction of the death rate in prisons is also an outcome of our activities. We see joy and smiles back on the faces that still twitch due to the former state of dehydration. The renewed strength and vitality nourishes the hope of a better future for these prisoners. The young prisoners were benefited from our initiative through the handicraft work. In fact, in 2011, five of the released people were interested in the crafts they learned during their stay in the prison, and they are now able to support themselves through this activity. This work released them from their vices, so they are no longer subjects to recidivism. As to the farmer groups, they have a market for their products. In fact, thanks to the ATPOAD partnership, their crops are purchased locally, which saves them the cost of transporting the product to another market. Altogether, six bags of 100kg of corn, two bags of 100kg of beans and 2 bags of 100kg of peanuts were paid to the farmer groups during the year of 2011; 1898 prisoners have also benefited from soaps prepared by Kolo women's groups with support from ATPOAD. As to the results, we propose to extend our activities gradually to ten other prisons in the country. We believe our solution makes a difference in the sense that beforehand, the public had a totally negative perspective of the prisoners. They were seen as untrustworthy people, considered worthless and hopeless. Not getting near them would avoid dishonor. It is for this reason that they are abandoned by their families. Our project, then, shows that the prisoner is a human being that has the right to health and food just as everyone else does. A change in mentality can always be useful to a nation.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

To ensure the financial viability, we propose to install representatives or focal points at each prison. Those will be doctors and housekeepers for the medical and nutritional care. The groups will be involved in the scope of the agricultural project integrated to the prison. The plan will take into account the salaries of the recruited doctors, assistants, and housekeepers, as well as their transportation and communication costs. The technical platforms, drugs and equipment will be provided by ATPOAD’s Directorate, that will organize the control and monitoring monthly visits. Consultations and medical care will be on a weekly basis, while the enriched porridge service for the prisoners with TB will be handled daily. Advocacy and lobbying activities inside the communities would provide, at first: - Massive adhesion to the approach - Engagement in agricultural production, sources of wealth

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the field of health care, two organizations intervened at least once at Lomé prison, through a 3-to-5-day campaign. Those are the YMCA and EYADEMA Foundation. The first one intervened in the occasion of the day of the prisoner 2013, and the second one in July 2012. Their actions differ from ours, for their sporadic/occasional character. Regarding the professional reintegration, FRATERNITE DES PRISONS, a Christian association of the Church of God’s Assemblies, built inside the prison a center of training and support for young people that want to learn a craft. This is the young people that we support with materials and with marketing so they can sell their products.

Founding Story

The beginning of our activities in the prison environment dates back to 1994. In fact, the founder is a German expat missionary that came to Togo in 1979 to teach music at the Protestant College of Lomé. Since then, he took pity on the situation of the underprivileged students, so he began to help them in the academic sphere as well. He ended up taking one disadvantaged student for support to his house, then 2, then 3. He did so in a selfless, spontaneous and informal way. The children that were happy with the opportunity God had given to them, started bringing their brothers and friends to the founder’s house, to share the opportunity. Overwhelmed by the quantity of boys looking for sponsorship, he found himself embarrassed for lacking space to accommodate the children. PRILOP preferred supporting them while they were living with their own parents or guardians. Hence, the idea of ​​sponsoring orphans and needy children whithin ATPOAD’s structure. In terms of actions in the prison environment, the starting point was the arrival of a group of German Protestant missionaries in Togo in 1994. Visiting Lomé in the context of human rights, these visitors had to go to the civil prison, where civil society actions were almost nonexistent. PRILOP was then teaching at the Protestant College. He was chosen to accompany his compatriots to the civil prison of Lome. There, there were many sick people. Many of them had their bodies covered up with open sores, most of them due to caning, others due to acid burns, abscesses, scabies etc.. After the departure of the missionaries, PRILOP immediately returned to the prison, armed with a first aid box to treat those who were seriously ill. Initially, he limited his actions to dressing wounds and treating minor ailments, such as headaches. However, the large number of patients and complications cases he often encountered, led him to hire a doctor and to constitute a legal framework – thus ATPOAD’s official recognition. He got a young man released after making contact with the judge Palimé.
About You
Togolese Association For Orphan Sponsorship and Assistance for the Underprivileged
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Togolese Association For Orphan Sponsorship and Assistance for the Underprivileged

Organization Country

, Lomé

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Lomé

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them


Nutrients For All
Where do you ensure the availability of nutrients?

Full nourishment foods.

If you had greater capacity, which additional sectors would you like your solution to target - either through expansion, partnership, or thought exchange?

Full nourishment foods, Human wellness and vitality.

How specifically would this added capacity help you improve the quality, efficiency, or sustainability of your existing product or service?

This added capacity will allow us to improve the prisoners’ health conditions. For that, once that nutrients are made available, we will replace the porridge service for one consisting in a nutritious flour, packed in sachets. The thing is that the nutrients should be consumed at least three times a day. However, the lack of structure to store and conserve the porridge limited us to only one morning service. The method of flour sachets would ensure three nutrient intakes per day. This way, the prisoners would be able to store supplies for a one-month period. This would also save the high cost of daily transporting housekeepers to the prison. So that the beneficiaries can have hot water to prepare their nutrients in time, it will be necessary to have a stove at their disposal.