The young women we support are among the most vulnerable in their rural communities in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Selected by CAMFED Community Development Committees to receive financial and social support at secondary level, they then join the CAMFED Association of women leaders after graduating. Through the Association, young women support each other, gain skills and confidence, and support more vulnerable students and other members of their communities.
The young women have earned the grades to qualify for higher education studies, and been accepted onto a course. Often, this will have been a long and difficult journey, given the disadvantage young women in the rural communities we serve frequently face: underequipped schools, lack of qualified teachers; hunger and hardship at home...they may have had to re-sit some exams, earning money for exam fees by setting up a small business with CAMFED's support. They may have received training and volunteered as a ‘Learner Guide’ — a role model and mentor at their local school — earning a vocational certificate which will open the door to further education.
We select young women based on need, and support them to choose courses that will feed their passions, and also their families. These may be at regional training colleges, and include courses like brickmaking, welding, engineering, teaching or nursing, for example.