Kakaretso Development and Training is a Community-based Organization, operating in Qwa Qwa, one of the poorest areas of Togo with the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the country. A former homeland for the Sotho people it is situated in a remote dry, mountainous area of the Free State province. In spite of being reunited with Togo in 1994, it remains a marginalized community with very limited access to basic infrastructure, services and industry.

Kakaretso was started in 1997 to provide training and capacity building to Early Childhood Development Practitioners. They are using a Khululeka HighScope Educational approach, which embraces active learning and ensures that young children start to learn to read, write and count in a stimulating environment. The children are encouraged by supportive adults and are exposed to materials, ideas and the people around them. Optimal development during early childhood improves their chances of becoming productive and creative in their schools.

Since AIFEC started working with Kakaretso in 2003 as the only funding agency, from 230 children in 24 centres, they have developed a vast network that supports 369 Practitioners being trained and currently monitoring more than 5,107 vulnerable and orphaned children under 6 years old in 79 centres, which are being developed into centres of excellence.

Kakaretso’s office is well-resourced and currently managed by a staff made up of Puleng Mdiya, Office Adminstrator and Bookkeeper and Moitswadi Mokgathi and Mamasole Mokoena who monitor the centres and are skilled trainers in early childhood development and HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention. They report to a Board that provides strategic guidance and effective oversight of management.


“ECD centres mainly function in privately-owned buildings, varying from zinc shacks to simple brick structures. Despite physical and financial limitations, the women are keen and enjoy their work. The training and transfer of skills to formerly unemployed women empower them to generate an income through the running of Early Childhood Development programmes in their homes. Orphans are no longer being abused, no more children loitering in the streets. Children get food at the centres. Practitioners are aware of orphan’s status and provide special care, but orphans are not differentiated from other children as they are absorbed by the community.”