Our Story

Over the Years

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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
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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
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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.
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August 2019

Tony Elumelu Fellowship

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November 2018

CFA Graduation (National Diploma)

  • The first group of young women graduates from our Batik program! We couldn’t be prouder.
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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.
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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
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March 2017
A second boutique in Lomé

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2016 - 2017

Our center is being built

  • Construction of our education center in collaboration with the Austrian organizations “Engineers Without Borders” and “Tailoring Togo”
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.