Fondacio’s “Couple and Family” axis in Togo has been developing regular and constant activities for several years with couples in Lomé.
“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 fiancés to the marriage, of reinforcement of conjugal capacities of the various groups of couples and awakening to the relationship for two and to the discernment of young people on a duo journey.
What fundamentally motivates and mobilizes this Fondacio couple mission is to see African couples rise up (stand up) blooming in authentic love and mutual gift to the 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 communicating their hope in the Church. It is still to work to restore the identity of the “couple”, to give it a Christian backbone according to God’s initial plan (Gn 2, 24). We have therefore taken the option of promoting at first sight the basic reality of the couple, by seeking to (re)give it its place, its meaning and its value, realities less present in our African culture where the place of the community family is stronger and stronger.
1. “The couple and the family” at 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 married life on the basis of the spirituality of Fondacio and they are all inserted in a parish:
- The CF frat of Atiegou, 10 pairs. Emphasis placed last year on “management of conflicts in the home”
- The CF d’Agoè frat, 13 committed couples and 22 couples-friends who take part in the two annual weekends, the last of which: ”Trust and Loyalty embrace each other: to the couple, life and happiness”.
- The CF frat of Kégué, 6 couples. Axis: “Prayer and Spiritual Communion as a couple”
- Nukafu’s CF frat, 5 couples, hardly worked last year.
- The youngest, the frat of Totsi, 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 rhythm of meeting adopted by using internet communication….
2. The outgoing couple mission
This mission made it possible to offer in 2020:
- The 4 parishes request a service to prepare engaged couples for marriage on fundamental themes of married life (120 engaged couples trained).
- A training course for young people on affective life in 2 parishes (120+500 young people)
- A “Walking for two” course of 12 sessions with 6 young-duets on a romantic journey: benchmarks and discernment on life and the romantic relationship.
- Availability to couples from the ”Equipes Notre Dame” to animate a spiritual retreat in 2 days (80 couples).
The transition to the reality of becoming a couple is often not easy and requires tireless work to raise awareness and support couples in Togo: “ This mystery is great ,” says S. Paul. Our fraternities, confronted with the vagaries of organization and the couples encountered, with various tensions and difficulties, lead a recurring fight for humanization and spiritualization in which Fondacio has, in its DNA, decided to participate and bring its competence for the most great glory of God and the salvation of the world.
“Our participation in the monthly meetings of the fraternity has changed many things in our couple : in personal development and fulfillment of the couple and the family. We have learned to set up the family budget which allows us to better manage our finances… We were also able to carry out our religious wedding in 2020 thanks to the multifaceted support of the members of the fraternity. (Grace and William)
“Plunged into a deep marital crisis, almost breaking up, we received an invitation for a Fondacio couple weekend. There, we became aware of our problem: lack of communication, of attention to each other and of quality time… We perceived that our life as a couple was modeled on the model of our respective parents; I was looking to change my wife, to have her adopt my vision of life as a couple. 5 years later I had not succeeded. After 4 years of training at the school for couples in Fondacio, I realized that the person to change was rather me and not my wife Joséphine. Our couple was gradually restored; we are committed to celebrating the religious marriage which has been going on for 3 years now and today welcomed 2 happy children. (Angelot and Marie-Joséphine)
“After our religious wedding in 2014, we were looking for how to best live our marriage to impact the young people around us. . This led us to accept the invitation to participate in the Nukafu brotherhood trainings. These ongoing trainings contribute to the harmony and consolidation of our married life. Through them, we are aware of being strengthened and equipped to be able to reach out to other young people, accompany them to better make their choice and finally commit to 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 one as a family. For example, when sharing the Word of God, there often emerges a real richness in the exchanges born of the understanding and intelligence of the Word…
Me, Véronique, I found it difficult to share and I received with anger and impatience the hurtful words or attitudes of my husband towards me. With the teachings and the sharing in fraternity, I learn to welcome everything, to dare to express myself, to ask my husband for dialogue and to mutually forgive each other. ” (Véronique and Norbert)
“Benefits of our couple in Fondacio:
– Accompaniment from the engagement stage to the religious marriage
– Numerous training sessions and retreats improving the moral health of the couple and highlighting the development of each other through the different languages of love
– Initiation of times for sharing, dialogue, prayer for biblical sharing in the 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 schedule of the members of the couple preventing to be faithful to the moments of dialogue
– In the education of children versus the many sometimes perverse proposals of social networks. “
(Cyril and Bernadette)