Stories From Togo – Giving Innocence back to young people

Talking to Lisa I couldn’t understand how this painfully shy, softly spoken, sweet girl could ever have been accused of theft.

Clearly, the time spent in the appalling conditions I’d seen in Lomé women’s prison had a profound effect on her. As she told me her story, the injustice she’d suffered was clear.

When she was still just 19, Lisa was mugged on her way home from her job as a food-seller. All the money she had made was stolen. Yet the woman she was working for didn’t believe her and had her arrested. She was sent to Lomé prison to await trial, where YMCA Togo’s legal club tried to secure her release.

However, her hearings kept being postponed because her employer kept failing to appear at the court. Despite the lack of evidence, she was sentenced to two years in prison.

On her release, YMCA Togo found Lisa a hairdressing placement and one year on, she’s now earning an income with an employer who has faith in her. At last she is in charge of her own fate.

She plans to open her own hairdressing business and make her new employer and the YMCA proud.

LISA WAS THE VICTIM WHO BECAME THE ACCUSED. UNJUSTLY SERVING TWO YEARS IN PRISON.

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