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  • Writer's pictureGlobal Partners in Hope

Chance Encounter to Lifesaving Impact

Have you ever wondered how GPiH ended up in Togo, West Africa? It all began on one fateful day in May 2014 when Ian Vickers (GPiH CEO) walked into a Bank of the West branch in Omaha, Nebraska. Striking up a conversation with the bank teller and asking where the man was originally from, the teller replied, “Togo.” As Ian continued the conversation in French, other African employees gathered around in surprise. This 6’4” small-town Iowa man spoke in near-perfect French about his experiences building water wells and healthcare facilities in Mali, West Africa.

One of the men present in that moment asked if GPiH could replicate that model in Togo and revealed that his father, Koffi Esaw, held the position of senior advisor to the President of Togo. Ian's next trip to Mali, West Africa, marked the beginning of a transformative journey. He met with Koffi Esaw, and instantly, the wheels of possibility began to turn as the feature photo of this article shows. Together, they identified Agbelouve, Togo, as the most strategic location to construct a water well and, ultimately, a healthcare facility.

The construction of the center was completed in November 2021, and it began serving patients. The impact of these collective efforts in Togo has been nothing short of miraculous for the Togolese people. The statistics from the Agbelouve healthcare facility, illustrated in the figure to the right, speak volumes. In the brief 23 months that the center has been in operation, thousands of Togolese have received affordable, life-saving care, and 50 babies have received basic prenatal care, vaccinations, a clean environment, and equipped medical staff!

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