Vision

Our vision is to contribute to a more egalitarian society and development in Togo and become an example of responsible leadership for other projects and social businesses in Togo. We envision a strong local economy that is based on sustainable production and consumption modes. We want to have a comprehensive impact on our community and make change for the long run possible.

Mission

Our mission is to promote women’s rights, education, creativity and social entrepreneurship. We aim to empower women to live up to their potential. We work hard to raise awareness and make way for political, economic and social equality.

OUR IMPACT

SOCIAL

ECOLOGICAL

w

CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC

SOCIAL IMPACT

WE PROVIDE FREE EDUCATION

We offer two different apprenticeship programs to underprivileged young women in difficult social situations: 1-year batik handcraft program and a 3-year tailoring program that both lead to the state-recognized CFA diploma (Certificat de Fin d’Apprentissage). These are 100% tuition-free for the young women who come from all across the country to learn with us. We take specific care to offer this opportunity to the ones that are in desperate need to get out of difficult financial situations, are fleeing from domestic violence or young mothers, that need to support their children.

WE IMPROVE THE PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES OF YOUNG WOMEN

Our apprenticeship programs improve the professional opportunities of our young women and support them in acquiring financial autonomy as well as being able to make their own life choices.

By completing the CFA diplomas, the young women have the opportunity to continue working for Aklala Batik, other textile businesses or start their own atelier. At the end of the program, the apprentices receive in-kind starting capital to ease their ways into the professional life.

WE CHANGE MINDSETS ABOUT WOMEN’S ROLE IN SOCIETY

We aim to empower each other and strengthen the confidence of young women. We are trying our best to lead by good example and are committed to teach our apprentices that they are in charge of their lives, that they can make their own choices. Our education center frequently organizes public events for the local community, in which we talk about issues revolving around rights, health, family planning and domestic violence. We strive to create a safe environment that can support young women in fulfilling their potential and understand our center as a space for dialogue and exchange.

WE SUPPORT WOMEN WHO ARE GROWING THEIR OWN BUSINESS

On top of supporting the apprentices, Aklala Batik has a broader regional impact: our social business enjoys a high reputation in the local community and our female director Chantal Donvide is highly engaged in promoting entrepreneurship. We insist on the important role of women in the economy and as decision makers. Workshops and special events on topics such as female entrepreneurship are organized at our center and are open to the public. We also collaborate with other entrepreneurs – for example when we approached women cooperatives in rural areas around Kpalimé to develop and produce Aklala Soap – 100 % natural.

ECOLOGICAL IMPACT

WE PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT

We encourage local production, promote sustainable consumption modes, and are dedicated to improving our impact on the planet.

To make the production as environmental friendly as possible we installed an underground batik tank for waste water in 2018. This ensures that waste water from our production is not dumped into the ground, but collected and responsibly treated without contaminating the soil.

UPCYCLING AND RECYCLING STATEGIES ALLOW US TO PRODUCE SUSTAINABLE AND INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

In 2013 we started collecting plastic water bags that are thrown on the ground all over Kpalimé. We then use these to create a waterproof inner lining of toilet bags and cases. Our reusable diapers reduce waste and provide an effective and comfortable alternative. In order to recycle material remnants sensibly, we also manufacture products in patchwork design. 

WE USE NATURAL AND LOCAL RESOURCES

We are committed to making efficient use of local resources, and using natural plant materials in production. We continuously make efforts to achieve a completely green product line using 100% cotton fabrics and natural vegetable colors.  With the help of the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) we realized a community project and are now producing and selling a soap that is made of 100% local and natural ingredients.

CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT

WE PROMOTE THE CULTURE AND RESOURCES OF TOGO

Batik fabrics have been part of our culture for more than a century. The batik handcraft was handed down generation after generation in the Donivde family. We perpetuate and promote this tradition by handprinting the fabrics with natural pigments in the wax-printing technique. Aklala Batik is striving for a collective appreciation and pride of the arts and the local handcrafts of Togo.

WE PUT THE SOCIAL IN SOCIAL BUSINESS FIRST

Our social business strategy allows us to contribute to the development of our country, but act independently and financially sustainable at the same time. We are taking our future in our own hands. We strive towards full financial independence from international donations and sponsors. We want to encourage more Togolese entrepreneurs to invest in sustainable development and especially the education of women.

WE STRENGTHEN THE LOCAL ECONOMY

We strongly believe that Togo needs more local brands. By growing our business we create employment  in the following areas: batik handcraft, tailoring, administration, accounting, marketing and sales, distribution, etc. All of Aklala Batik is run by women.

We are working towards expanding our brand in Togo as well as internationally and are interested in acquiring business and sales partnerships worldwide.

Our Story

Over the Years

What was originally a small atelier with three members, has now become a well known and respected social business with an established education center.

Here is an overview of our history.

^
November 2019

CFA Graduation (National Diploma)

  • Our second class graduates in Batik and is sent of with a starter kit to print their mark onto this world
^
October 2019

Prix du Président

  • Our CEO Chantal Donvide receives the Prix du Président Faure Gnassingbé at the artisan fair MIATO in Lomé, which will send her on a scholarship to Mali
^
September 2019

Starting an ecological and social soap business!

  • Aklala Batik receives project-based funding from the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) for the production and sale of a natural, plant-based soap. This project promotes sustainable modes of production and consumption and is implemented in cooperation with women in the rural communities around Kpalimé.
^
August 2019

Tony Elumelu Fellowship

^
November 2018

CFA Graduation (National Diploma)

  • The first group of young women graduates from our Batik program! We couldn’t be prouder.
^
October 2017

Our first class begins training

  • Thirteen girls are are our inaugurating class and start their training – seven in tailoring and six in batik.
^
September 23rd, 2017

The center is open!

  • Inauguration of our education center in Kpalimé. Aklala Batik has a center that provides a safe and comfortable training environment
^
March 2017
A second boutique in Lomé

^
2016 - 2017

Our center is being built

  • Construction of our education center in collaboration with the Austrian organizations “Engineers Without Borders” and “Tailoring Togo”
^
Spring 2016
Winner of the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

  • The project “Tailoring Togo” is among the winners of the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge and receives sufficient funding from the Austrian Development Agency to build the education center.
^
2014

Aklala Batik employs four young women

  • The company has accumulated capital to create an education center. Aklala Batik has found international partners to launch its project and the Austrian organization “Tailoring Togo” (former name at the time: “The Force – Female Organization for Rights, Creativity and Empowerment”) is founded for this cause.
    Aklala purchases land for the construction of the center as well as a water point.
^
2012
One Boutique and one Idea

  • Opening of our boutique in Kpalimé – official launch of the social business.
    The idea of an education center to train more young women at a time is emerging.
^
2008

Aklala Batik begins its journey

  • Creation of Aklala Batik, a social business to empower and train women.
    The brand is specialized in the manufacturing of batik fabrics, clothing, bags, interior accessories, jewelry etc.
^
2002
Chantal masters her skill

  • Chantal Donvide is a volunteer trainer at the Hanns Seidel Training Centre, which trains young women in tailoring and batik. After that, she continues to train young women, free of charge, in tailoring and batik handcraft at her home.

Our Founder

But who is Chantal Donvide?

“Qui éduque une femme,

éduque une nation”

“Whoever educates a woman, educates a nation”

Nongni Chantal Donvidé is the director of Aklala Batik. Born in 1975, she is originally from Benin. Art is a shared passion that unites all members of her family and she is proud to contribute to this tradition that is passed down from generation to generation. Her father is the initiator and founder of the current Centre Artisanal in Kpalimé, which has since become state-owned and run.

Like her mother, Chantal completed an apprenticeship in tailoring. She also validated a batik training in just one month. She learned the techniques of batik in different workshops and began to create her own designs, which due to their originality and quality soon became very popular in her community. Chantal therefore started to sell her products independently from an early age on. She has organized conferences to show young women how to start their own businesses and how important it is to achieve financial independence. In addition, she went to the villages to show them different models of savings and to set them up together.

In 2012, Chantal participated in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), which supports women entrepreneurs in Africa in their professional development. She received an invitation from the Hillary Clinton Foundation to participate in a forum in the United States, where she exchanged with women entrepreneurs from all over the african continent and visited the White House.

In 2015, she received the title of “Woman Leader of Togo” from the fashion house Vlisco.

In 2019, she received the Prix du Président Faure Gnassingbé at the artisans fair MIATO in Lomé which will send her on a fully covered scholarship abroad of her own choosing. Chantal has decided to use this scholarship for further training in plant-based colouring techniques in Mali.
Today, Chantal has fulfilled her dream and runs her own education center for underprivileged young women.

OUR CENTER

At the Aklala Batik Education Center we provide tuition-free quality apprenticeship programs to underprivileged young women

OUR CENTER

At the Aklala Batik Education Center we provide tuition-free quality apprenticeship programs to underprivileged young women

OUR CENTER

At the Aklala Batik Education Center we provide tuition-free quality apprenticeship programs to underprivileged young women

OUR CENTER

At the Aklala Batik Education Center we provide tuition-free quality apprenticeship programs to underprivileged young women

The Aklala Batik Education Center offers two distinct apprenticeship programs in batik handcraft and in tailoring.

Our apprenticeship programs are  free of charge and only open to young women from difficult social backgrounds, from 15 to 25 years old.  As a social business, we cover the regular expenses (staff, material cost, security, etc.) with the sale of our products and with support of our international partners.

TAILORING

The tailoring training lasts 3 years. The apprentices learn how to sew, how to manufacture tailored-made clothes, and to realize accessories such as bags and wallets.

BATIK 

The batik training lasts one year. At Aklala Batik we use the traditional wax-printing technique. The apprentices learn how to use wax to create different patterns, using stamps and other methods. They also become experts in combining natural pigments in order to achieve arbitrary taints.

Beyond the technical training, the apprentices follow English courses and get support concerning the topics of personal development, self-confidence, entrepreneurship and preparation to professional life.

At the end of each curriculum, the apprentices take a final examination in order to obtain the   « Certificat de Fin d‘Apprentissage » recognized at the national and international level.

Our center also frequently hosts public events for the community of Kpalime. We organize workshops and presentations, where we talk about current issues women face in Togo and how we can help ressolve them.

TEAM AND APPRENTICES

Core Team

Nongni Chantal Donvide

Nongni Chantal Donvide

Founder and director of Aklala Batik, instructor in batik handcraft and tailoring, production, PR and HR

Kafui Akpani

Kafui Akpani

Head instructor at our center, responsible for teaching the tailoring apprenticeship program and production

Bea Kpodjagor

Bea Kpodjagor

Instructor in batik handcraft and tailoring, manager of the boutique in Lomé

Edith Houndedjihou

Edith Houndedjihou

Accountant and manager of the boutique in Kpalimé

Apprentices

Sonlim

Sonlim

Tailoring program since 2019<br />

Augustine

Augustine

Batik program since 2018

Bienvenu

Bienvenu

Batik program since 2018

Dela

Dela

Batik program since 2018

Esther

Esther

Tailoring program since 2019<br />

Josephine

Josephine

Batik program since 2018

Prudence

Prudence

Batik program since 2018

Kekeli

Kekeli

Tailoring program since 2017

Elise

Elise

Tailoring program since 2017<br />

Jocelyne

Jocelyne

Tailoring program since 2017

Amazia

Amazia

Tailoring program since 2017

Elise

Elise

Batik program since 2017

Nadege

Nadege

Batik program since 2017

Majoie

Majoie

Batik program since 2017

OUR PARTNERS

LOCAL PARTNERS

We are supporting other Togolese entrepreneurs, especially women in rural areas, by promoting and selling their products in our boutiques. We collaborate with the following entrepreneurs:

  • Youkoumi – Beurre de Karité
  • Han Design
  • Lambana Collection
  • La Maison de l’Artemisia
  • Café Kouma
  • Choco Togo
  • Individual local artists and artisans of Kpalimé

Since 2019 we produce an all-natural ingredient soap from cocoa shells in cooperation with women from several villages surrounding Kpalimé. This project was co-financed by the OIF and permits the women from our rural areas to generate a steady income.

For comprehensive understanding of this collaboration please watch the video below.

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

In the past years we have received and continue to receive support from our international partners. Some have contributed to our cause project-based, others are involved for longer periods of time. Here is an overview: