While investment in adolescent girls is increasing, the poorest and most vulnerable girls –who are often cited as a key target for health and development initiatives –often miss out. Unless these girls are subject to specific recruitment efforts, they are likely to receive a disproportionately low, even negligible, share of the benefits. This is largely because those most in need are often harder to locate and recruit for programs. As a result, good intentions aside, the majority of the benefits all too often fail to reach the girls who need them the most.
We believe this is a crisis. We also believe there is a clear solution and we are asking you to join us in supporting more effective, data-based programming that targets the issues at the root of poverty. We can reach those most in need by using sophisticated cell phone-based technology to survey and map communities and locate and learn about all the girls who live there. We can then implement recruitment strategies that assure that the least advantaged girls in the most marginal communities are brought more fully into society. As a result of this systematic data-driven outreach, we can design and deliver programs to help provide vulnerable girls the skills they most need to thrive. This will improve the lives of their families, their communities and ultimately their continent.
Since 2016, Batonga has embarked on an intentional approach toward identifying and investing in the well-being of the poorest girls in the poorest communities across Benin. With help from our partners and the Girl Roster™digital survey tool, we are able to see the full universe of girls in a program catchment area and break them into meaningful segments by age, by schooling, and by marital, childbearing, and living-arrangement status. Through appropriate community engagement, we increase these girls’ access to a fair share of vital resources, facilities, and services such as secondary school, health centers, youth centers, roads and markets, community centers and playing fields. We create safe spaces for the girls to convene and connect and equip them with the education and tools they need to thrive and raise healthy and educated children.
We ask you to support us in this important work!
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