Meet Judith, a Batonga Scholar in Cameroon
Judith, a 20 year-old Batonga scholar, was left blind after an accident she had at age five. With no family to support her, she grew up in a hostel for blind children in the central region of Cameroon. If it was not for Batonga and our local NGO partner, African Action on Aids (AAA), Judith would not have been able to attend school. She is extremely grateful for the support Batonga provides and says, “This scholarship is not only giving me an opportunity to go to school and fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher; it also places me in a network of other girls benefiting from the same scholarship
and who have received me with open arms.”
Judith dreams of becoming a teacher and hopes to one day set an example for other handicapped students by proving that they are not victims and can achieve great things!
Meet Catherine, a Batonga Scholar in Benin
Catherine is 10 years old and is a Batonga Scholar in Benin. Catherine’s father recently was released from prison and her mother passed away a few years ago. She lived with hergrandmother who was not able to send her to school because it was too expensive. Even though her father is out of prison, she still lives with her grandmother. She says the Batonga scholarship has changed her life. She is excited to be back in school.
Meet Bernadette, a Batonga Scholar from Benin
A few years ago, Bernadette’s family rarely had enough food to feed the entire family. Bernadette’s parents could not afford school fees or the cost of necessary school supplies, so they sent her to stay with her aunt who could better support her. Things did not work out and Bernadette returned to her family. At that point, the mother’s association, a community organization dedicated to improving the quality of education and raising the status of girls and women, intervened and convinced Bernadette’s parents to make sacrifices and to send Bernadette to school. Soon after enrolling, Bernadette was selected to receive a scholarship. Bernadette says, “I am very happy because now I go to school and have enough to eat. If I go to school, I can learn.”
Meet Aynalem, a Batonga Scholar in Ethiopia
Aynalem lost both of her biological parents to famine as a child and lost her adoptive parents to HIV/AIDS six years ago. Despite her difficult childhood, she completed high school with high scores and was able to begin studying law in the evenings through the help of a Batonga scholarship. She is now in her second year, performing well in school, and looking toward a bright future.
Meet Fidakwa, a Batonga Scholar in Ethiopia
Fidakwa lost both of her parents at the age of 10. She was abducted at 13 and later abandoned by her husband and left with twin babies at age 15. Thanks to a Batonga scholarship, she is now attending a private medical college where she is studying to be a laboratory technician. She is in her third year of school with excellent grades and expects to graduate this year.
Meet Sara, a Batonga Scholar in Mali
Sara is 14 years old and has three brothers and four sisters, only two of whom went to school. Sara is the niece of a pastor and likes all school subjects especially French and English. Sara considers education to be the future of tomorrow. Sara said, “if I study now, I will have a great future. I want to work in an office, or be a teacher. I like school, and I like to study very much. I hope to become a teacher, a journalist or a nurse. Education is important because people respect me. My parents are proud of me. I gain knowledge and am proud to go to school. I want to become a famous journalist!”
Meet Minata, a Batonga Scholar in Mali
Minata lives in northern Mali with her family of two sisters and four younger brothers. Neither of her parents went to school, but they check her homework everyday. She speaks four languages and French and English are her favorite courses. She is a hard worker and she loves the challenge of doing well and succeeding in school. Teachers and boys pressure her to do well in school and she loves the challenge. She would like to become a Minister of Health or a doctor.
Meet Adama, a Batonga Scholar from Sierra Leone
Adama’s father died when she was a child and she currently lives with her aunt and three cousins in Waterloo. Before receiving her Batonga scholarship, she was not able to attend school regularly because she was unable to afford text books and school fees. Upon hearing of the scholarship, she shed tears of joy because for the first time she had 7 text books and a bag for school. She said that she is so grateful to Batonga for this opportunity. Adama came in third in her promotion exam this year.
Meet Salamatu, a Batonga Scholar from Sierra Leone
Salamatu is a 16 year old orphan from Sierra Leone. Her father died before she was born and her mother died soon after she gave birth to Salamatu. Her mother’s friend raised Salamatu and brought her up as if she was her biological mother. She enrolled Salamatu in a community primary school, but before she could finish, this woman also got sick and suddenly died. Salamatu then found it very difficult to finish school. She had to drop out because she could not afford it. Salamatu said, “ I thought all was lost, but with CAW and Batonga’s support I will be able to complete my skills training.”