The " Couple and Family " axis of Fondacio in Togo has been developing regular and constant activities with couples in Lomé for several years now.
"Your God will be my God, your life will be my life, wherever you go, I will go with you" (Ruth 1:16).
These activities are organized according to two main pedagogical dynamics.
A dynamic of construction and rooting of the couples of Fondacio organized in fraternities and a dynamic of evangelization of the couples through a proposal of formation and preparation of the engaged to marriage, of reinforcement of conjugal capacities of the various groups of couples and of awakening to the relationship between two and to the discernment of the young people on their way.
What motivates and mobilizes this couple program of Fondacio is to see African couples rise up in authentic love and mutual self-giving to their spouse. It is also to enable couples to strengthen their relationship and their communion with Christ and to learn more about building an educational family on the basis of Christian life and to communicate their hope in the Church. It is also to work to restore the identity of the "couple", to give it a Christian backbone according to God's initial plan (Gn 2:24). This is why we have taken the option of promoting the basic reality of the couple, seeking to (re)give it its place, its meaning and its value, realities that are less present in our African culture where the place of the community family is stronger and more meaningful.
1- "The couple and the family" in Fondacio Togo
5 CF fraternities organize monthly activities each year on various themes of the couple and the family. They aim at a deepening of conjugal life on the basis of the spirituality of Fondacio and they are all inserted in a parish:
- The frat CF of Atiegou, 10 couples. Emphasis last year on "conflict management in the home".
- The frat CF d'Agoè, 13 committed couples and 22 couple-friends who participate in the two annual weekends, the last of which is ''Confidence and Fidelity Embrace: to the couple, life and happiness''.
- The frat CF of Kégué, 6 couples. Axis: ''Prayer and Spiritual Communion as a couple''.
- Nukafu's 5-couple CF frat in Nukafu has hardly worked last year.
- The youngest, Totsi's frat, 8 couples. Axis: "Alliance and Marriage".
Far from being slowed down by the pandemic crisis at covid19 , the activities of the fraternities quickly found adequate and adapted strategies that respected the meeting rhythm adopted by using communication via internet....
2- The couple's mission on the road
This mission has made it possible to offer in 2020 :
- To the 4 parishes in demand, a service of preparation of the fiancés for marriage on fundamental themes of life as a couple (120 fiancés trained).
- A formation program for young people on affective life in 2 parishes (120+500 young people).
- A "Journey for Two" course of 12 sessions for 6 young couples on a love journey: reference points and discernment on life and the love relationship.
- Availability to couples of the "Teams of Our Lady" to lead a spiritual retreat in 2 days (80 couples).
The passage to the reality of becoming a couple is often not easy and requires tireless work of awareness and accompaniment of couples in Togo: "This mystery is great," says St. Paul. Our fraternities, confronted with the vagaries of organization and the couples encountered, with various tensions and difficulties, are leading a recurring struggle of humanization and spiritualization in which Fondacio has, in his DNA, decided to participate and to bring his competence for the greater glory of God and the salvation of the world.
Some testimonies :
"Our participation in the monthly meetings of the fraternity has changed many things in our couple: in personal development and the blossoming of the couple and the family. We have learned how to set up a family budget that allows us to better manage our finances... Moreover, we were able to realize our religious marriage in 2020 thanks to the multifaceted support of the members of the fraternity. " (Grace and William)
"Immersed in a deep marital crisis, almost at the breaking point, we received an invitation for a Fondacio couple weekend. There, we became aware of our problem: lack of communication, lack of attention to each other and lack of quality time... We perceived that our life as a couple was modelled on the model of our respective parents; I was trying to change my wife, to make her adopt my vision of life as a couple. 5 years later I hadn't succeeded. After 4 years of training at the Fondacio couple's school, I realized then that the person to change was rather me and not my wife Josephine. Our couple was gradually restored; we committed ourselves to celebrate the religious marriage which has been going on for 3 years now and today we have 2 fulfilled children. " (Angelot and Marie-Joséphine)
"After our religious wedding in 2014, we were looking for ways to live our marriage to best impact the youth around us. This led us to accept the invitation to participate in the Nukafu fraternity's trainings. These ongoing trainings contribute to the harmony and consolidation of our married life. Through them, we are aware that we are strengthened and equipped to be able to go towards other young people, to accompany them in making their choice and to finally commit ourselves in marriage. " (Gertrude and Alexis)
"Fondacio has particularly brought a treasure to our couple through which we have really progressed: sharing, dialogue and in-depth communication. We have acquired a greater facility to share, to express ourselves, with courage, each as a family. For example, when we share the Word of God, there often emerges a real richness in the exchanges born of the understanding and intelligence of the Word...
I, Véronique, had difficulty sharing and I received with anger and impatience any hurtful words or attitudes from my husband towards me. With the teachings and sharing in fraternity, I learn to welcome everything, to dare to express myself, to ask my husband for dialogue and to give each other forgiveness. " (Véronique and Norbert)
"Benefits of our couple in Fondacio :
- Accompaniment from the engagement stage to the religious marriage
- Numerous trainings and retreats improving the moral health of the couple and highlighting the blossoming of both of them through the different languages of love.
- Initiation of times of sharing, dialogue, prayer and Bible sharing in family with the children.
- Awareness of the need for family and school educational support for children adapted to their age.
- Equipped to become trainers and animators of couples' cells.
- Incompatibility of the couple's schedule preventing them from being faithful to the dialogue moments.
- In the education of children versus the multiple and sometimes perverse propositions of social networks."
(Cyrille and Bernadette)