Batonga in Action
- Grant scholarships for girls to attend existing secondary schools (grades 7 to 12), with continued support as they progress through university, vocational school or other skill-based adult learning activities.
- Build secondary schools in a limited number of communities that can guarantee that a minimum of half the students will be girls and where the school, once built, will be operated through ongoing government and community support.
- Increase enrollment of girls in existing schools by building dormitory facilities where distance from school to home are too great, and providing parental support and incentives that help to ensure the girls stay in school.
- Improve teaching standards in secondary schools by supporting internet-based distance learning, wage incentives, enhanced summer programs, mentoring by master teachers and onsite teacher-training programs.
- Provide school supplies in the form of textbooks, library books, teaching materials, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils and other basic items which are often non-existent or in short supply.
- Support mentor programs for girl students that link them with older women who can serve as guides and elder ‘protectors’ as the girls face challenges both personal and social during the course of their education.
- Explore alternative education models such as mobile secondary schools and radio-based distance learning for remote communities or for families with cultural restrictions on girls being sent away from home for schooling.
- Advocate for community awareness to promote and support girls’ education by addressing the gender prejudice and cultural traditions that restrict the empowerment of women in general, and their access to education in particular.
In choosing the individual girls, schools and communities to receive support, priority is given to the most disadvantaged populations within the target countries. Particular attention is given to girls who are AIDS orphans or whose families are affected by AIDS. They will receive scholarships as well as financial assistance so that they can stay among their neighbors, friends and extended families in their communities rather than on the street or in an orphanage.
Batonga implements its mission at a country level by working in partnership with existing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have successful onsite experience in girls’ education. Our work is guided by the input of a Board of Advisors who have extensive experience in this field.
The principle international partnership is with World Education. Using education as a primary strategy, World Education unleashes the deep instinct, drive and potential of people at the community level through groundbreaking programs that build the skills, talents and confidence they need to take control over their futures.
Batonga is supported by The Opportunity Fund, a non-profit charitable organization established by John Phillips and Mary Louise Cohen with proceeds from two public interest lawsuits. The Fund supports charitable organizations in the United States and in Africa.