[wwpoenglish] Fwd: Report on Togo visit

  • From: María Cristina Azcona <mcrisazcona@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Bruce Cook <amplicraft@xxxxxxxxx>, wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:43:41 -0300

Report from Glen T Martin
María Cristina Azcona


WWPO President founder

IFLAC Director in Central &South america

---------- Mensaje reenviado ----------
De: "Martin, Glen" <gmartin@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Fecha: jul 23, 2015 8:34 AM
Asunto: Report on Togo visit
Para: "Martin, Glen" <gmartin@xxxxxxxxxxx>

Report on Glen Martin’s WCPA Trip to Togo, June 2015

WCPA has many active supporters and excellent leaders in Togo in West
Africa. This report describes our itinerary in Togo and the new project we
initiated there in June.

I left for Togo on June 2nd, with connections in Atlanta and Paris, and
arrived on June 3. I was met at the Lomé airport by Joseph Ekpetchou and
the driver he had hired, Richard Woobey. They took me to a lodging at
which Joseph knew the owners, the Auberge de France. Joseph is President
of the WCPA Chapter for Southern Togo.

The next day, they picked me up at the lodging and we went to
the East of Lomé to an area where there is a school within which Joseph has
some authority. It is a school that emphasizes global education and the
Earth Constitution. It has been named the “Institute Glen Martin.” They
held an assembly of the whole school, including some parents, the teachers
and students. Joseph and I both gave speeches to the assembly. In my talk
I emphasized the Earth Constitution and the need for a global vision.

After these ceremonies, I was given a tour of the classrooms,
which are badly in need of good blackboards and other essential learning
tools. I told them that I would try International Rotary in the hopes of
getting funding for the school but that WCPA had no funds itself as an
organization. In fact, my entire trip to Togo, airfare, lodging, food,
transportation within Togo, etc., was paid for out of my personal funds and
none of it came from WCPA or the Institute on World Problems.

After the school meeting we drove out to the shoreline for
refreshments with the teachers and a couple of the parents, and then back
to Lomé and Auberge de France. The next day our driver took us up north to
the village of Lama Tessi, which is about 30 km south of Sokode where Dr.
Balouki (WCPA coordinator for Africa) was planning two events on Monday,
June 8th and Tuesday the 9th. We visited Joseph’s village and his farm,
not far from Lama Tessi, which were wonderful to see. Then Richard and
Joseph returned to Lomé.

On Sunday the 7th, Dr. Balouki and I visited the morning service of two
churches in the area to tell them about the big workshop and meeting the
following day. We also visited with Moslem leaders and invited them to the
event. One of the wonderful things about Togo is the harmony between
Christians and Moslems, with both religions found in nearly every town and
village. In the afternoon, we visited the site of the meeting and helped
with the preparations, seating, covers to keep the sun off, signs and
banners, etc.

On Tuesday there was a picnic and celebration on the same
site as the workshop and conference, also co-sponsored by WCPA and Ramanuja
Mission Trust of India (as stated on our signs). Tuesday afternoon, I
checked out of the Auberge in Lama Tessi and hired a driver to take me to
Kara where Esther Boumbere had reserved a hotel room for me. Esther is
President of the WCPA for the northern region of Togo. She met me and the
driver and guided us to the hotel.

On Wednesday, I visited the school where Esther teaches and
we acquired a computer for her so she could better to school work and WCPA
work. On Thursday we travelled outside of Kara to the village where
Esther grew up and I met relatives and her mother who still lives there.
On earlier trips I have been to Dr. Balouki’s village also. These cultural
side-trips are valuable for educating me about how people live, what they
think, and what kind of issues are of concern, etc. On Friday, as is the
custom in Togo, we visited some of the dignitaries invited for the big WCPA
meeting on Saturday.

At the Saturday meeting, there was a good crowd of people
attending. I paid for the rental of the hall and for one drink for each
person attending, as on my past visits to Togo. The Mayor was unable to
make the event but there were several dignitaries there, one of who was a
representative from the Mayor’s office, Mr. Bonfor, who was very
enthusiastic about this project for Togo.

The project, that I spoke about in the south, the central
region around Sokode, and the northern city of Kara, is parallel to the
project we initiated last year in Costa Rica, with the help of our
Vice-President for Latin America, Celina Garcia. We are promoting a
petition in each country, with the goal of getting 25,000 actual
signatures. The petition will go to the Parliament requesting that the
Parliament organize a country-wide referendum on the Constitution for the
Federation of Earth. Even though Togo has a very different culture and
traditions that Costa Rica, I was very pleased at the enthusiasm for this
project among the people and the leaders.

While I was back in Lomé for a couple of days before leaving,
Dr. Balouki was making efforts to have me meet with the Prime Minister of
the President of Togo. This did not work out because of the busy
schedules. However, after I left the country Dr. Balouki emailed me that
he had received a phone call from the President who regretted missing me
and was interested in our project.

Hence, following the meeting in Kara, I returned by bus to Lomé. Since I
do not speak French, I had to depend on the wonderful help of our WCPA
Officers and friends. Esther took me to the bus in Lomé and, at the other
end of the line, Joseph was waiting as I got off the bus 7 hours later in
Lomé. He took me back to the Auberge de France. Richard, our driver,
became a WCPA member, and I was helped renew my expired Togo visa by WCPA
member Natege Boyodi, who lives in Lomé, works at the airport, and speaks
English. Joseph and Natege were great hosts those last days, showing me
some of the sights around Lomé, and taking me to the airport when I left.
I flew from Lomé, heading back to Paris, on Wednesday, June 17th.

WCPA has projects in a number of places worldwide. However, this
particular project in Togo, and its cousin project in Costa Rica, may prove
to be a model that we can use in many countries. Thank you all for your
support for this important work.

*Dr. Glen T. Martin*

President, World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA)

President, Institute on World Problems (IOWP) www.worldproblems.net

Professor, Philosophy and Peace Studies, Radford University

Laureate, GUSI Peace Prize International

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