The Batonga Foundation  
Mother's  Day 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Did you know that educated mothers immunize their children more often than mothers who are not educated, and that their children have a higher survival rate? Moreover, mothers who have had some education are more than twice as likely to send their own children to school as are mothers with no education (UNICEF). In fact, if all women in sub-Saharan Africa had access to some secondary education, there would be 1.8 million fewer child deaths (DFID).

At Batonga, we believe that educating girls is the single most effective way to raise overall economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, educate the next generation, improve nutrition and promote health.

This Mother's Day, be a part of a ripple effect for a better future. Make a donation in your mother's name, and let her know your love for her is something you hope for all children. A little help goes a long way:
  • $10 Buys financial literacy exercise sheets for 3 girls
  • $30 Provides supplies for one girl to start a small business with her girls' club
  • $85 Provides a safe space and mentor for 25 girls for one full month

Batonga in Benin: reaching girls who need our help most

Batonga girls in Benin working on their small business with other members of their club.
Batonga is working to find, recruit, educate and empower some of the most overlooked girls and young women in Benin. In the past year alone, we have identified over 1,600 of the most marginalized and at-risk girls, including orphans and young mothers and those who had never attended school. Through our "Girls' Clubs," they are now getting the skills, self-esteem and mentorship to transition back into school or into sustainable livelihoods.

One of the girls in Savalou recently told us, "Here, I feel safe, as if these girls were my sisters. At home, my parents hit me if I make mistakes and they don't listen to me. They just tell me what to do. But here, if I do not understand something, I ask my mentor who explains things and is like a big sister to me. Here I can learn, prepare for the future and become the person I want to be."

Thanks to Batonga, more girls are starting to believe in themselves and dream big!
Batonga's founder, Angelique Kidjo, performs at Carnegie Hall 

Photo: Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

Before her concert at Carnegie Hall this past Friday, Angelique thanked longtime Batonga supporters writing, "When you hear me sing tonight, please imagine the voices of these girls and young women. You are helping us create the most beautiful music - the sound as they pull in their desk chair, write the answer on the chalkboard and brainstorm business ventures. Who knows, with you on their side, maybe one day they'll make it all the way to Carnegie Hall!"

Jon Pareles for the New York Times writes of the show, "Africa rapturously reclaimed rock when Angélique Kidjo, from Benin, performed all the songs from Talking Heads' album "Remain in Light" on Friday night at Carnegie Hall, along with a few of her own...From the stage, she declared, "I always as an artist want to try to find a way to create bridges between cultures." 

Read the full review from the New York Times here!
Help Batonga give girls in Africa secondary and higher education by making a tax-deductible gift today.  With your support we can help women build a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities!