The Batonga Foundation
WISH LIST: $100: 1 year of secondary school in Sierra Leone; $500: books and supplies for 20 war-affected students; $1000: university tuition for 2 girls orphaned by AIDS
Today, more girls in Africa are graduating from elementary school than ever before. Yet war, poverty, prejudice, and even distance from school prevent 83% from completing secondary education. Piloting programs in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Cameroon, and Benin (where its founder was born and educated), the Batonga Foundation provides scholarships to driven young girls in grades 7 through 12 and supports them through college or vocational training. It also increases enrollment by improving water and sanitation facilities, offering mentoring programs for students and teachers, and providing everything from transportation to uniforms to backpacks. A Youth Learning Center in Ethiopia serves 300 kids annually and a partnership with African Action on Aids in Cameroon helps students orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS. Batonga has expanded educational opportunity for over 500 students; and this year, 95% of Batonga girls returned to their classrooms, many in spite of tremendous obstacles. For these girls, the road to graduation is often perilous – but with the support of Batonga, and you, they will make it.
Stephanie S Cate
2000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20036