9th September 2016
Sept. 8, 2016: COTONOU, BENIN — The Batonga Foundation announced today partnerships with The MasterCard Foundation and NoVo Foundation that will leverage new technology to map and locate the most marginalized girls, including orphans and young mothers, ages 15 – 24, and link them to health and educational programming that will improve their economic opportunities.
Using the Population Council’s Girl Roster®, a cost-effective, cutting-edge, mobile-based survey tool, 60 recruited and trained researchers will identify the most disadvantaged girls, and their proximity to health and education facilities. The data collected will be used to implement targeted recruitment strategies to ensure that they are counted and given access to support through Batonga Foundation’s Mapping, Targeting and Training Benin’s Future Leaders Program.
“I believe that with data-based programming, development resources can be directed where they are most needed and cycles of poverty can be broken,” said Angélique Kidjo, West African Singer, Songwriter and Founder of Batonga Foundation in her address at The United State of Women White House Summit on June 14th.
Batonga will recruit 1,600 hard-to-reach girls as part of the program and train 16 mentors across eight villages to train and tutor them. Using a refined curriculum, the girls will be provided with support to transition to school or work.
“The most challenging issue is that there is a lack of data about who these most excluded girls are, where they live, what challenges they face, and what their needs and priorities are,” said Meredith Lee, Deputy Director, Youth Livelihoods, at The MasterCard Foundation. “We are excited about this collaboration with the Batonga Foundation because the data collected will help to create tailored solutions that meet specific community needs.”
Although worldwide investment in girls has increased in the past several years, the ability to target these resources to the most vulnerable has been stifled by a lack of data. To date, there remain significant gaps in research on girls in developing countries, especially in Africa. This lack of data prevents organizations from reaching girls most in need with educational, skills development and health programming. Closing data gaps will enhance the impact that the Batonga Foundation and other organizations can make.
Batonga’s Mapping, Targeting and Training Benin’s Future Leaders Program will facilitate a more nuanced understanding of young women in Benin. The program’s objectives are:
Develop Important Data on Girls in Africa: The Girl Roster® will enable Batonga to identify the most marginalized and at risk women and girls in specific communities in Benin.
Empower Young Girls to Become Leaders: The Future Leaders mentoring program will not only provide girls with valuable life assets, but will also equip them with skills such as financial literacy.
Create Internal and Worldwide Awareness: The Future Leaders program will provide a richer understanding of the barriers to girls’ education, improve partner coordination, identify gaps within very specific populations, and allow other organizations to design and implement more successful and targeted programs.
About The Batonga Foundation
Founded by Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Award-winning West African singer, songwriter, and UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, the Batonga Foundation exists to empower and provide education and economic opportunity to adolescent girls in some of Africa’s poorest countries. Growing up, Angelique was one of few girls in Benin who had the opportunity to pursue an education. As a defiant response to classmates and critics who told her girls did not belong in school, she invented the word “Batonga” as an assertion of girls’ right to education. Today, the Batonga Foundation works to foster worldwide change by creating a new paradigm in which all girls are valued and where their economic, social and civic potential is expanded.
About The NoVo Foundation
NoVo Foundation is dedicated to building a more just and balanced world. Founded in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo has become one of the largest private foundations in the world to support initiatives focused explicitly on girls and women. It also works to advance social and emotional learning, support Indigenous communities in North America, and promote local living economies. Across all of its work, NoVo Foundation supports the development of capacities in people – individually and collectively – to help create a world based on mutual respect, collaboration, and love.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
Media Contact: Stephanie Cate Lord, Stephanie@batongafoundation.org, Batonga Foundation
16th February 2016
Congratulations to Batonga’s founder, Angélique Kidjo, on winning her third Grammy Award! We couldn’t be more proud.
Angelique’s accomplishments and her role as a philanthropist and advocate for girls’ education continue to inspire youth around the world to pursue an education and follow their dreams!
““Africa is on the rise. Africa is positive. Africa is joyful.” These were the words of Beninese songstress Angelique Kidjo as she collected the prize for the Best World Music Album at the Grammy Awards on Monday.
The award was the third Grammy Kidjo has collected in her career, and her second consecutive one in the World Music category. She has been described as “the undisputed queen of African music” and “Africa’s greatest living diva,” and was featured on the cover of Forbes Afrique top 100 most influential women issue in May 2015.”
10th November 2015
For all those located in the DMV area, we’re excited to announce that our founder, Angélique Kidjo, will be performing at The Clarice in College Park, MD on Saturday, December 5th!
For more information and tickets, please visit the Clarice’s website.
Sept. 8, 2016: COTONOU, BENIN — The Batonga Foundation announced …
Congratulations to Batonga’s founder, Angélique Kidjo, on winning her third …
For all those located in the DMV area, we’re excited to …