13th November 2013
• 72% of women above the age of 15 have no education (EPDC).
• Only 24% of youth in Ethiopia have comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Investment in Education:
In Addis Ababa, Batonga, in collaboration with a local charity, Hope for Children, has created a unique program that supports college education for girls orphaned by AIDS. Students in this program are enrolled in various university programs including nursing and law. Each student is supported with annual course fees, uniforms, books and materials, and a transportation and food stipend. Currently, Batonga supports 30 girls through this program and will continue to do so until each girl has successfully completed her courses.
Youth Center Library and Activities:
Batonga also supports a Youth Learning Center in Addis Ababa, in partnership with Hope for Children. The center offers after school art classes, tutoring, and summer learning programs such as English lessons. In 2010, Batonga filled the Youth Center’s library with thousands of new books, providing over 300 children and their families with access to exciting new tools for learning. Batonga also donated an additional 5,000 books to a variety of organizations and schools outside of Addis Ababa including the new library at Project Mercy in Butajira, the Agazi High School, and the community center and public library in Adigrat/Tigray.
Support for Gemini Families:
Batonga has also provided educational support for girls from very destitute families with twins living in the slums of Addis Ababa. In partnership with the Gemini Foundation, Batonga supported 31 girls attending universities in Ethiopia and 500 girls attending primary and secondary school in Addis Ababa. All of these girls were from Gemini families. University students were provided with blankets, monthly pocket money (amounting to $3.75/month), school supplies, and a transportation allowance.
Economic Empowerment and Education for Marginalized Women and Girls:
Batonga’s newest project targets vulnerable communities in the Konso and Derashe districts of Ethiopia. In partnership with Mercy Corps, we aim to empower some of the country’s most marginalized women and girls through secondary school education, vocational training, and engagement in income generating activities. Through this program, Batonga provides school fees, uniforms, sports outfits, stationary pads, school bags and supplies to 140 girls in secondary school. We also support 130 girls with basic skills and enterprise training, and provide an additional 40 girls who have graduated from secondary school with continued vocational education and apprenticeship opportunities.
As an incentive to keep their daughters in secondary school, 100 mothers/female care givers will be provided with financial training, business development skills, and loans of up to $150 linked to the enrollment of their child. The profits that the mothers generate from their loan will help offset the costs associated with sending their daughters to school. In addition, 100 poor rural women in ten kebeles (five in Derashe and five in Konso) are engaging in income generating activities through the promotion of saving and loan projects. Special events will be organized to bring together parents of children on a regular basis to discuss their income generating activities, positive changes in their households and the performance of their children.
Since 2007, we have supported:
640 girls in primary and secondary school with education services and mentoring programs
61 girls in higher education
170 girls with skills, enterprise, and vocational training)
300+ students and families through a Youth Center and library services
200 marginalized women with micro loans, business training, and economic empowerment
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