HISTORY >> Africa >> White Queen in Village in Togo

Message started by Watchman on Sep 26th, 2009 at 8:36pm

Title: White Queen in Village in Togo
Post by Watchman on Sep 26th, 2009 at 8:36pm

The white Queen of the bush country

Of the French people who decide to move abroad, few choose to devote their lives to others. Frenchwoman Marie-Claude Lovisa, crowned "Queen Mawulolo the 1st" by villagers, has been looking after children in the Togolese bush for five years.

This village in the heart of Togo’s bush country is a place like no other: most of the children who live and go to school here have a very difficult background: kids with disabilities, orphans, illiterates, former street children. The head of this village is Queen Mawulolo the 1st – formerly known as Marie-Claude Lovisa. She was enthroned five years ago. It’s the villagers themselves who decided to make her their queen to thank her for the transformation she brought to their village. The locality even changed its name and became Lovisa Kopé – Miss Lovisa’s Village. In the local language, Mawulolo the First means “God is Great”! The queen now reigns over 5000 subjects.

A new life in the village

Ten years ago the “White Queen”, as they now call her in Togo, left France behind her - her apartment, her friends, her life in the city of Lyon – everything, to start a new life in this village... “I’ve learned a lot with the villagers and with other village chiefs. But I don’t think local customs and traditions are much of a burden for me. Of course, for me this is important, but the most important thing is development…” Queen Mawulolo says.

Thanks to Marie-Claude Lovisa’s initiative, the village underwent a real facelift: water wells were dug and a farm, two schools and a small infirmary were built. But her greatest pride is the orphanage and the boarding school. One hundred children study here, and twenty-six have been adopted. Her latest victory is acquiring agricultural equipment for women in the village - a first, after nine years of pressure on the authorities. Here, the 'Queen' also had to learn patience.

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