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Partner of the Week: Batonga Benin

Posted in Partner of The Week on May 30, 2018

The Batonga Foundation was founded in 2006 with the purpose of empowering and educating the most excluded adolescent girls in Africa. When Batonga launched operations in 2007, it was one of the few innovative organizations investing in adolescent girls as agents of change in rural communities. In Benin, the organisation serves the most “off-track girls”, working to understand the unique challenges they face and bringing tools, programs and technologies to transform their lives.

In fact, Batonga is using an innovative cell phone technology to map communities and gather granular household-level data in order to locate the most vulnerable adolescent girls and connect them to girl-centred safe-spaces. Within this framework, in 2016, the organisation launched the Aflatoun Programme by establishing 60 Girls Clubs with over 1,600 members (and a 98% attendance rate) across 15 communities in the districts of Bohicon and Savalou, Benin.

These Girls Clubs are led by local, female mentors who have been trained extensively by both Aflatoun International and Batonga on content and pedagogy contextualized for adolescent girls. With support and guidance from their mentors, Batonga girls acquire the financial literacy and social capital they need to gain agency over their own lives so they are never forced by poverty and circumstance to compromise themselves.

Participation in the clubs means people look at us differently in the community. We are given more value. — A beneficiary in Azokangoudo

As a matter of fact, all 60 clubs are running their own small businesses, and thanks to this they achieved significant educational and economic impact, from improvements to the livelihoods of young women and girls and their communities to Batonga’s wider efforts to promote data-driven approaches to girl-centred programming in Benin and francophone West Africa.

This fall, Batonga will launch new clubs across 15 villages for girls as young as 10, and this in addition to our existing Clubs for older girls. The organisation is also planning to integrate the new Aflateen+ curriculum into the program and work to develop curricula to serve the unique needs of each specific age group of vulnerable girls in Benin.

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