Two Dianova Associate Members Participate in CoDeS 2019

Two representatives of Dianova’s associate members present their work at the 3rd Formative Congress on Sustainable Development

Press Release

Yawo (Eugene) Etse and George Ochieng Odalo, representing respectively the “Group of Reflection of Friends for Human Development (GRADH – Togo) and the Slum Child Foundation (Kenya) present their work at the 3rd Formative Congress on Sustainable Development (CoDes) held at the University Campus of Valladolid (Spain), from 1 to 5 October 2019 (47011 Valladolid).

Who are Eugène y George?

His name is Yawo Etse, but everybody calls him Eugène. During his workday, he’s acting up as Fundraising, Marketing and Public Relations Officer for the Togolese Red Cross. In his free time, though, he transforms into a theatre performer and, with other volunteers, takes over the streets of Togo to meet local communities and spread messages about health, sanitation and positive cohabitation. Beside his daily job with the Red Cross, Eugène is the founder of GRADH, the Groupe de Reflexion des amis pour le Developpement de l’Humain, (Reflection Group of Friends for Human Development), an associate member of the Dianova Network.

George Ocheing Odalo is the Executive Director and founder of the Slum Child Foundation, an NGO based in Nairobi, Kenya, and also a member of Dianova’s extended family. Born and raised in the slums of Korogocho, George grew up in a family struggling to meet basic needs. After his parents’ separation, he dropped out of school and ended up living on the streets. Thanks to a nun he was introduced to, George got the support he needed to get his life back on track. Recognizing that not every child in the slums of Nairobi is as lucky as he has been, he decided to dedicate his life giving slum children a chance to grow up healthier and safer.

What’s CoDeS?

The Formative Congress of Sustainable Development, or CoDeS is a youth-led, ground-breaking and mind-opening cultural initiative that articulates social cohesion and intercultural understanding in all sustainable development’s dimensions. Organized by medical students from the University of Valladolid, all volunteers, this year’s edition is bringing together pupils, professionals and scholars from all over the world to talk about art, human rights, health and sustainable development in the African continent. A symposium for knowledge-sharing and ideas-generation, CoDeS is a unique opportunity for young activists and academia to join forces in thinking about the future of sustainable development.

What will Eugene and George talk about in CoDeS2019 and when?

From 1 to 5 October, CoDes 2019 will host many events and workshops (see details of activities in Spanish). George and Eugene will participate in the 1st International Congress of Young Researchers on Africa, which will take place on Friday 4 October at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy. George will present his project at Table 2 (New Educational Perspectives in Africa) and Eugene will discuss his at Table 3 (African Women and Gender Inequalities).

Participating in CoDes 2019 will allow me to present the outstanding results achieved in recent years to the correct audience: a crowd of young researchers with whom I will be able to discuss lessons learned and who will be sharing new perspectives with me”, stated Eugène.

At CoDes 2019, he will be presenting the experience of the Togolese Red Cross’ Mothers’ Clubs, organized groups of women living in rural communities in Togo. Since the project started, Togolese Mothers’ Clubs have empowered women all over Togo to economically participate in the life of their villages, increasing their resilience and involvement in their communities’ decision-making mechanisms.

Presenting my work at CoDes 2019 is a great opportunity not only for my personal and professional development, but most of all for the children and women my organization is helping”, commented George.

George will be talking about how the Toto Club, a group of children between 6 and 15 years old, support each other to stay away from drug use, and in advocating in favour of healthier lifestyles with their peers and families.

Lastly, it should be emphasized that Eugène and George will have the opportunity to present their work at the CoDeS 2019 thanks to a crowdfunding campaign launched by Dianova International.

About the GRADH

Through street-theater, songs and storytelling, the Reflection Group of Friends for Human Development (GRADH) aims at educating the rural population in Togo about good hygiene practices and communicable diseases prevention, with the overall objective of improving community health.

About the Slum Child Foundation

Established in 2008, the Slum Child Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports vulnerable and marginalized children and women living in poor urban settlements, such as the slums of Nairobi, in Kenya.

About Dianova

Dianova Dianova is an international NGO composed of third sector foundations and associations operating in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The Dianova Network contributes to the development of people, communities and organizations through different programmes and interventions in social and humanitarian fields.


Dianova International has Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC); it is registered as a Civil Society Organization to the Organization of American States (OAS); it is an official partner of the UNESCO. Dianova is also a member of the Executive Board of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) and of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC); lastly, it is a member of the NGO Committee on Mental Health, the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), and the NGO Major Group (NGO MG).

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