1st November 2017
Germaine Houenoumadin was 12 years old when the Batonga Foundation began working with her in 2008. A middle school student in the town of Zogbodome, Germaine often went to school without breakfast and could rarely afford the necessary supplies. Following her mother’s death, she feared that she would be forced to abandon school to get married or to find a job.
However, with the help of a Batonga Foundation scholarship, all of her school fees were paid for, she received school supplies and shoes, and much to her delight, she even had the time and resources to eat breakfast each morning before school. Germaine’s grades and attendance improved dramatically, helping her continue on to high school.
In 2011, Germaine became pregnant at the age of 15, but persevered and continued to attend classes until leaving briefly in January 2012 to give birth. In February 2012, Germaine returned to school and despite the added responsibilities of being a young mother, continued to excel academically. When tragedy struck, and her daughter passed away in 2014, she again persevered and despite immense odds graduated high school.
Following her graduation, the indomitable Germaine began two endeavors to improve both her quality of life and the quality of the lives of other: she began attending university and she became a Batonga Mentor. After years as a Batonga Scholar, Germaine wanted to give back to her community by becoming a friend, teacher, and confidant to the most off-track girls in her community.
“Being a mentor to these girls has been such a good experience for me. I have grown and learned so much by teaching this curriculum and by serving as a leader and friend to these girls from my community. It has truly opened my mind.”
Germaine Houenoumadin, Batonga Mentor
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