Akpo Aoulatou

Village: Kpategan

Age: 45

Occupation: Housewife

Aoulatou is originally from the Centrale Region (Sokodao) of Togo, but she has been living in Kpategan for the last couple of years with her husband who works as a director at the local middle school.  She has been working with Peace Corps Volunteers since 2001. She is known for taking in PCVs and treating them like her own children, feeding and watching over them during their time in Togo.

Because she is Muslim, she is not allowed to go anywhere without permission from her husband.  Attending WWEC 2011 was a large step for her.  It was not only the first time she had traveled to Kpalimé but also her first time staying at a hotel.

After the conference, Edith has taken the initiative to share what she learned with other women in her community.  She visits with the local Red Cross Mother’s Club to talk about money management and Moringa, and simply to practice yoga.  She also started to contribute to her family’s income by selling Citronella lotion (a natural product that repels mosquitoes).

In her own words:

My life has changed after the conference because now I talk with my husband and we look for ideas about how to raise our children together. Before the conference it was always him making decisions for the children, now I do too. Now we are together just like I am with you [the Peace Corps Volunteer] to look for ideas. If one of our children does something or needs advice, now they ask me what I think they should do. This is all because of the conference. I gave my husband all the documents that you gave us for him to read and everything has changed.

My favorite part of the Conference is yoga because before everything about me was heavy. When I was younger I loved playing sports and I even played with the boys but without support from my parents. I had to stop going to school and playing. I also liked how the conference brought us together and united us women together.  I saw that there is no difference between any of us, even the American Peace Corps Volunteers.

After the conference, my self-confidence has risen. Everything has changed in my home since the conference. I am more free.

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