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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In The Spirit of Giving

((  Written By: Mimi Tsiane  ))  No matter what your feelings about celebrities, there is no denying that we live in an era of celebrity.  When the culture of celebrity is used for good, celebrities can bring a lot of attention to the charitable work they do.  Grammy-Winning singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo is one of the many to bring attention to charitable work through her charity, the Batonga Foundation.  Founded in 2006 by the award winning singer-songwriter, Batonga’s mission is to support both secondary school and higher education for girls in Africa.
The organization was launched with a trust fund donation of $300,000 and has focused its efforts on assisting children from the poorest families, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS.

With scandal tracing well-known charities such as Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti, I have been weary of making charitable donations.  According to Huffington Post writer Ebong Eka, people should do the following to avoid funding a scam:  (1) donate money and property to recognized charities; (2) visit the IRS website at to find legitimate and qualified charities to make a donation; (3) visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at for other qualified disaster focused charities; and (4) only donate with a credit card or check for better proof of donation.  The Batonga Foundation, however, was recently named one of the Top-Rated Women’s Empowerment Nonprofits by Great Non-Profits website. 

The reality is there continues to be a great need in many of our communities.  I urge all to continue to support and uplift our people during the holiday season.  For more information about giving to the Batonga Foundation, visit  To read more about Angelique Kidjo in MIMI, take a look at Angelique Kidjo: Africa's Bold Crusader from our December 2008 issue, Moving Forward By Giving Back.

((  Photo Credits:  Provided Courtesy Of IMN  ))