Chantal’s Vision

Ever since Chantal Donvide started her work as a professional tailor and batik craftswoman, it was her goal to contribute to the development of her own country.

Soon after she finished her education, she shared her experience and passion with young organizations and started educating women in becoming professional tailors. She went all over the country to give workshops and lectures for women on how to build up a small business and creatively use local material to produce accessories and fashion items. The passion lies in the blood: the father of Chantal is the founder of one of Togo’s biggest crafts education centers, the Centre Artisanal in Kpalimé.

Chantal aims to realise this vision by teaching women the batik technique (a special way print cloth) and how to tailor all sorts of goods. She shared her vision with Katharina Senzenberger and Tilde Jonsson, who were participating in long-term volunteering programmes in Togo at that time. Katharina and Tilde were immediately intrigued by Chantal’s determination for the cause and the huge potential of the project. The mutual commitment of these three women marks the beginning of their cooperation and the first step towards realizing Tailoring Togo.  Additionally, to a strong friendship, they developed the idea for the project and worked passionately to find supporters and carry conviction to the public. The result is The Force, a social project that has been supporting Chantal’s vision of empowering women through education and supporting them towards living a self-determined life since 2005.

Two women without whom this project what not be what it is today: Katharina (l), one of the first people who helped realising The Force – Tailoring Togo, and Chantal (r), founder of Aklala Batik and the powerful spirit of The Force.