"In 2006 I was lucky enough to spend 3 months working for PDH in Togo. “You’re doing what?” My friends and family moaned after I returned home from university in Scotland in May of this year. They are used to me never being in the same country but announcing I was going to volunteer in Africa for 3 months when I had only been home for 2 months in the last 2 years was a bit too much to take. Eventually when they realised what I would be doing and the importance they relented and I was off on my way to Togo."
What continues to amaze me is just how professional and dedicated to it’s cause PDH is. Under the watchful eye of Antoine Dzakas, President of PDH, the staff work towards the goal of aiming to ease the suffering of the Togolese and provide them with REAL help whether that is paying hospital bills, buying drugs or simply psychological.

Having had no previous experience of humanitarian work, I have come to appreciate every aspect of PDH – from the heart-wrenching moments spent visiting patients in hospital to the administrative side of things, ensuring everything is done ‘by the book’. It is this attention to detail which means PDH can be taken seriously as a legitimate and valid organisation, allowing its work to expand and evolve. I was lucky enough to see things from every available angle, not only as a member of staff but also in my subsequent role as Director. The level of commitment and hard work of the staff was humbling, especially given the lack of remuneration and the challenging nature of the work.

You will see that life in Togo is far removed from life in the West, yet there is vibrancy and an openness that makes you feel at home as soon as you arrive. The people are incredibly welcoming, kind and very supportive, within minutes you are part of the family.

I have become very attached to my life here – the friendliness of the people, the motorbike taxis and the rows upon rows of market stalls that sell everything under the sun! I only wish I could stay longer, although I know I will be back soon. I leave taking with me an amazing set of memories and skills gained during my time with PDH.

Perditia Hall England
June 2006 >September 2006
Email: perditahall@gmail.com


"I came to PDH with no expectations of how life would be. I knew that things would be very different from anything I could have possibly imagined – and I was right! PDH is a small, yet incredibly worthwhile organisation that tackles the problems of poverty and disease in Togo. Despite constant money worries, the team at PDH manage to provide assistance and care to those in need."
What continues to amaze me is just how professional and dedicated to it’s cause PDH is. Under the watchful eye of Antoine Dzakas, President of PDH, the staff work towards the goal of aiming to ease the suffering of the Togolese and provide them with REAL help whether that is paying hospital bills, buying drugs or simply psychological.

Having had no previous experience of humanitarian work, I have come to appreciate every aspect of PDH – from the heart-wrenching moments spent visiting patients in hospital to the administrative side of things, ensuring everything is done ‘by the book’. It is this attention to detail which means PDH can be taken seriously as a legitimate and valid organisation, allowing its work to expand and evolve. I was lucky enough to see things from every available angle, not only as a member of staff but also in my subsequent role as Director. The level of commitment and hard work of the staff was humbling, especially given the lack of remuneration and the challenging nature of the work.

You will see that life in Togo is far removed from life in the West, yet there is vibrancy and an openness that makes you feel at home as soon as you arrive. The people are incredibly welcoming, kind and very supportive, within minutes you are part of the family.

I have become very attached to my life here – the friendliness of the people, the motorbike taxis and the rows upon rows of market stalls that sell everything under the sun! I only wish I could stay longer, although I know I will be back soon. I leave taking with me an amazing set of memories and skills gained during my time with PDH.

Louise Marshall Scotland
April 2006 >October 2006


"I’ve now been at PDH for just over 2 months and am pleased with the variety and richness of experiences I have had thus far. I chose PDH because I am considering a career in international social work and volunteering here has given me a unique window into this domain."
I was searching for a volunteer experience where I could be out in the field, having direct contact with the population being served and PDH has afforded me this opportunity. I also have developed a better understanding of the specific hurdles social workers face in a developing country.

I have been able to visit numerous HIV/AIDS patients, social cases, AIDS orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV positive parents, along with street children and deprived children whether this was at their homes or at local hospitals. Seeing the economic and social realities these groups of people face has been humbling and eye opening.

The host family I am living with has been extremely welcoming and accommodating, and one of the highlights of my stay in Togo. ‘Maman’ has taken care of me when I was sick and adjusted the menu according to my preferences (I’m vegetarian and she has been more than happy to prepare foods that I can eat which was a huge relief!) I have a 19 year old brother whom I chat with in the evenings and several younger sisters who are always encouraging me to learn Ewé! (The local language here)

Outside of work and away from family life I have developed a good group of friends with whom I can relax and get away from it all. I spend a lot of time with my Togolese friend Elyse and her brother, Emmanuel. They have become a valuable support network and in addition to providing practical advice, they have introduced me to new neighbourhoods, places of interest in Lomé in addition to the cultural norms.

I would recommend PDH to everyone interested in humanitarian work in a Francophone country - I have brushed up on my French whilst being here and developed and found skills I never even knew I had! I have had a very professional start in what I hope develops into a career in social work.

Molly Bartholomew USA
May 2006 >November 2006