In ETHIOPIA Batonga is:
Granting scholarships: In Addis Ababa, Batonga, in collaboration with a local charity, Hope for Children, has created a unique program that supports college education for girls orphaned by AIDS. Scholarship recipients are enrolled in various university programs including nursing and law. Each scholarship includes annual course fees, uniforms, books and materials and a transportation and food stipend. Batonga supports each recipient until she has successfully completed her courses. Currently, Batonga provides 17 girls with annual scholarships.
Batonga is also supporting Hope for Children’s Youth Learning Center in Addis Ababa. The center offers after school tutoring programs and summer learning programs. Last year, Batonga filled the Youth Learning Center’s library with 5,000 books, providing the over 300 children who regularly attend classes there with access to the necessary tools for learning. Batonga also donated 5,000 books to a variety of organizations and schools including the new library at Project Mercy in Butajira, the Agazi High School and the community center and public library in Adigrat/Tigray.
Batonga is also partnering with the Gemini Foundation in Ethiopia to provide educational support for girls from Gemini families, which are destitute families with twins living in the slums of Addis Ababa. Batonga will provide school supplies to 31 girls attending universities in Ethiopia and 500 girls attending school in Addis Ababa.
Providing microloans: Batonga’s newest project, in partnership with Mercy Corps, is titled PROSPER, which stands for Promoting Sustainable Partnerships for Economic Recovery. PROSPER is a program that targets vulnerable communities in the Konso and Derashe districts of Ethiopia. Its objective is to empower marginalized women to enable girls to complete their secondary school education and improve their well-being.
As an incentive to keep the girl in secondary school, mothers/female care givers will be provided with a loan of up to $150 linked to the secondary school enrollment of the girl. The profits that the mothers make from their loan will be used to expand their income generating activities and continue payments for the costs associated with sending their daughters to school.
The project will provide secondary school scholarships for 140 students. In addition the project will support up to 50 girls in continued vocational education and apprenticeship opportunities after graduation. Each girl will be provided with $30 per month for a period of 10 months to cover daily subsistence and transportation costs.
The project will also place emphasis on encouraging parents to keep their daughters in school through secondary education. Awareness raising strategies will be devised in consultation with the respective Woreda education offices and special events will be organized to bring together parents of children on a regular basis to discuss their income generating activities, positive changes in their households and performance of their children.
Ethiopia, with a population of over 90 million, is the second most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, but it is also one of the world’s poorest. At US $130, Ethiopia’s per capita GDP is only about a fifth of the Sub-Saharan average according to the World Bank.
Ethiopia is unique among African countries. Known today as the birthplace of humanity with the discovery of a 4 million year-old hominid skull, it has had an unbroken monarchial line going back 5000 years (with a brief break during WWII) that lasted until the last King was executed in 1982. While there were occasional upheavals throughout its long history, the political instability of recent times was the direct cause of the current poor infrastructure and educational attainment levels.
Ethiopia consists of 11 regions, and the central government has encouraged regional and local authorities to take on a greater role in the education system. Ethiopia’s efforts to increase school enrollment and reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goals have produced mixed results. The country’s poor learning environment is reflected in student-teacher ratios exceeding 100 to 1 and single classes with as many as 200 children jammed together on a dirt floor. This situation has worsened since compulsory school fees were dropped and enrollments increased, because the supply of newly trained teachers and newly built classrooms has not kept pace with the increased number of students.
Other factors contributing to teacher shortages and school access include HIV/AIDS, which has struck down many teachers and parents and required some AIDS orphans to drop out of school. Rates in some regions are thought to be as high as 20 percent of the population living with HIV/AIDS.
Batonga’s efforts in Ethiopia focus on both school construction as well as scholarships for girls, and will include AIDS orphans.
Population: 90.9 million
Average income: US $330
HIV/AIDS adult infection rate: 4.4%
Female adult literacy rate: 22.8%
Children in primary school: girls 45% | boys 45%
Children in secondary school: girls 23% | boys 30%
Education expenditure: 5.5% of GDP
Orphans: 4.8 million
UN Human Development Index: 157 out of 169
Population: 90.9 million source: CIA World Factbook date of data: estimate for July 2011
Average income: US $330 source: World Bank date of data: 2009 definition: Gross national income (GNI) is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. GNI per capita is gross national income divided by mid-year population. GNI per capita in US dollars is converted using the World Bank Atlas method.
HIV/AIDS adult infection rate: 4.4% source: World Health Organization date of data: 2006 definition: Percentage of adults (15-49 years) living with HIV/AIDS as of end 2006
Female adult literacy rate: 22.8% source: UNESCO date of data: 2007 definition: Percentage of women over 15 years old that can read and write.
Children in primary school: girls 45% | boys 45% source: Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) date of data: 2009 definition: Net Primary School Attendance – percentage of children in the age group that officially corresponds to primary schooling who attend primary school. These data come from national household surveys.
Children in secondary school: girls 23% | boys 30% source: Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) date of data: 2009 definition: Percentage of children in the age group that officially corresponds to secondary schooling who attend secondary school. These data come from national household surveys.
Education expenditure: 5.5% of GDP source: CIA World Factbook date of data: 2007 definition: Public expenditure on education as a percent of GDP.
Orphans: 4.8 million source: UNAIDS, UNICEF and USAID, Children on the Brink 2002 date of data: estimate 2005 definition: Children up to 17 years of age orphaned due to all causes.
UN Human Development Index: 157 out of 169 source: Human Development Report, United Nations Development Programme date of data: used for report issued 2010 definition: The Human Development Index (HDI), published as part of the annual Human Development Report by UNDP, is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing, or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. 169 countries were ranked, with 1 being the best and 169 being the worst.