Partner of the Week: Batonga Benin

The Batonga Foundation was founded in 2006 with the purpose of empowering and educating the most excluded adolescent girls in Africa. When Batonga launched operations in 2007, it was one of the few innovative organizations investing in adolescent girls as agents of change in rural communities. In Benin, the organisation serves the most “off-track girls”, working to understand the unique challenges they face and bringing tools, programs and technologies to transform their lives.

In fact, Batonga is using an innovative cell phone technology to map communities and gather granular household-level data in order to locate the most vulnerable adolescent girls and connect them to girl-centred safe-spaces. Within this framework, in 2016, the organisation launched the Aflatoun Programme by establishing 60 Girls Clubs with over 1,600 members (and a 98% attendance rate) across 15 communities in the districts of Bohicon and Savalou, Benin.

These Girls Clubs are led by local, female mentors who have been trained extensively by both Aflatoun International and Batonga on content and pedagogy contextualized for adolescent girls. With support and guidance from their mentors, Batonga girls acquire the financial literacy and social capital they need to gain agency over their own lives so they are never forced by poverty and circumstance to compromise themselves.