Building girls’ leadership
Adolescent girls are incredible change-makers in their communities – all they need is knowledge, solid support, and a safe place to be. That’s where our girls’ clubs come in.
Batonga Clubs are open to girls from 12 to 18 years old. They provide girls with a safe space to learn critical life skills and information ranging from reproductive health to financial literacy. Girls understand their rights, gain self-confidence, and can plan their own economic future.
Our clubs offer
Batonga clubs also house small businesses managed by the girls, to learn about finances, entrepreneurship and being economically independent.
Engaging communities for change
In every area we’re in, we aim to bring the whole community with us. At the local level, we work with leaders and different stakeholders to transform harmful norms and beliefs around girls and equality. At the national level, we build and nurture practitioner communities to share evidence-based knowledge and promote innovation.
With access to finance, support in business growth and professional training opportunities, young women in rural communities can tackle their own economic futures. They can be full participants in local, national, and regional markets – creating opportunities for themselves and others. When young women can access dignified and sustained employment, the whole economy benefits.
Our Equal Economic Futures program builds
Through our Young Women Business Circles, we are changing how communities and markets see, value, and engage young women entrepreneurs.
Mentoring is at the heart of our work and nothing that we do could be done without the Batonga mentors. As we survey and map villages, we recruit and train local women to mentor girls from their own communities, creating lasting solidarity and support systems. As well as advocating for the girls 24/7, mentors build girls’ social and economic skills in the clubs and through radio lessons, provide emotional support to girls and their families, and serve as role models.
We, and the young women we work with, inspire others to take action through shared learning and advocacy.
We work in partnership to amplify African voices. We offer African gender equality advocates and champions access to decision-making spaces and processes.
Through targeted engagement and evidence-based thought leadership and advocacy, we influence global decision-making processes to ensure that policies, and programs reflect the needs and priorities of the most vulnerable African girls and young women.
Our “Nos Voix Comptent” initiative works to ensure francophone african women and girls are central to the Generation Equality Forum processes and outcomes. Check out the initiative’s website to learn more: nosvoixcomptent.org
Batonga also recently launched in May 2021 “Conversations for Africa”, a virtual conversation space that brings African leaders and artists together to discuss the most pressing priorities for gender equality on the continent. Watch the first conversation hosted by Angelique Kidjo and featuring Blitz Bazawule & Ketty Nivyabandi here: https://youtu.be/_x2jZY-EGwW
The Batonga Foundation is at the beginning of an exciting journey to promote Arts as a key vector for change when it comes to reaching gender equality.
In Benin, Batonga uses theater and song in its work with adolescent girls, to both learn about their rights but also to raise awareness about important issues with members of their communities, like gender-based violence and COVID19 prevention awareness.
In 2021, we will be formally launching our Arts for Gender Equality portfolio to fasttrack gender equality progress on the African continent. Watch this space!
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