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A fundraiser for higher education scholarships, initiated by the #SussexSquad in honor of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Secondary graduates in rural Africa have few job opportunities, yet young educated women from disadvantaged families feel a deep sense of responsibility to provide for their siblings and to support other family members, such as a widowed parent or grandparent. The young women themselves continue to be at risk of early marriage and exploitation as they seek financial security. That’s why CAMFED’s support for girls’ education doesn’t stop at the school gates: Through the CAMFED Association, we provide ongoing skills training and peer mentorship and connect young women to higher ediucation opportunities (especially technical and vocational colleges).

We also break down gender stereotypes by supporting women into vocations that have been largely male-dominated. These young women then serve as vital role models to girls in their communities, helping them to stay in school and thrive. By bringing much-needed skills and resources back to their communities, young women gain status and stature as well as economic independence, widening their life choices, and the prospects for their families; it also enables them to expand their reach and influence as activists and philanthropists.

Hear from Melody in Zambia, who has now graduated, and is working towards her goal of becoming a journalist.

Meet Ottilia in Zimbabwe, who volunteers as a Nurse Aide, supporting communities during the COVID-19 crisis, and wants to go to nursing school:

 

How the young women you are supporting are chosen

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.

Hear from young women currently on vocational courses:

 

Leticia from Ghana


“I am determined to break the glass ceiling and excel in the TVET space in Africa.”

Leticia grew up as one of six children in the Central Region of Ghana. Despite working hard as a carpenter and a trader, her parents struggled financially, so when it was time for her to continue to senior high school, CAMFED stepped in to support her. 

After high school, Leticia joined the CAMFED Association of young women leaders, and gained work experience supporting CAMFED’s Monitoring and Evaluation function. Now she is studying welding and fabrication at the Design Technology Institute (DTI) in Accra, with partial sponsorship from the DTI under its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, and with additional support from CAMFED.  Leticia plans to use her skills to train less privileged young women in artefact production, supporting them to become economically independent.

 

Angeline from Zimbabwe


“Engineering is male-dominated but things are changing now. Women like me are fighting in their numbers to change the belief. Thanks to CAMFED, we are empowered to change the world, to turn the tide of poverty and to become responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow.”

Angeline’s life changed forever when her father passed away, and she moved in with her grandfather. Without the resources to continue her education, Angeline would have dropped out of school. When she was selected for CAMFED support, a new future opened up. In spite of her family’s financial crisis, a difficult move, and an illness, Angeline worked hard to complete secondary school and earn the grades she needed for tertiary level. She joined the CAMFED Association of young women leaders, and now Angeline is studying Electrical Engineering Instrumentation and Control Systems, and working to break down gender stereotypes.

 

Eva from Tanzania


“We have had to refocus our energy and become more innovative.”

Eva, a CAMFED supported student and CAMFED Association member in Tanzania, received training in bookkeeping and agriculture in addition to an interest free loan to open a fruit farm.

The training she received has been invaluable in enabling her to adapt and expand her business. Eva has been passing on the benefits of her success by providing students in her local community with notes and photocopies of exam papers so they don’t fall behind while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

With big ambitions for the future, Eva is participating in a program through the Sokoine University of Agriculture to enhance her farming skills even further.

Here’s what your support can ignite

Beauty from Zimbabwe: The woman who inspired the CAMFED Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in London

“I also donate produce and proceeds from my farm to either feed vulnerable pupils or help with their other needs that include stationery, uniforms or levies.”

Beauty’s family in rural Zimbabwe made its meagre income from market gardening. Tragedy struck when Beauty was only nine years old, and her mother died, leaving eight children bereft. Their daily struggle intensified when, six years later, their father also passed away. Beauty had to drop out of school, but became determined to learn new skills, run a successful farming business and put food on the table every day. She took every opportunity to participate in local training sessions, which is how she encountered CAMFED, and started working with other young women in the CAMFED Association. With support from CAMFED, Beauty attended Agricultural College in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Now she is a thriving agricultural entrepreneur and a pillar of her community. Equipped with education and training she is transforming lives, using her cutting-edge farming methods to help reduce poverty, eliminate hunger, improve nutrition, and build resilience to climate change

Mariam from Tanzania: Keeping animals healthy, and girls in school

“Mariam is a role model for many young girls in her school. I describe her as a beautiful tree full of fruits that gives shades to everyone vulnerable and non-vulnerable, young and old. She is a true heroine.” - the Head of Miriam’s local secondary school

Mariam lost her father when she was 10, and her mother three years later. She went to live with her grandmother, and school going costs were out of reach. CAMFED stepped in, and after school, Mariam joined the CAMFED Association and volunteered as a ‘Learner Guide,’ a life skills mentor supporting vulnerable students.

Now, with CAMFED’s support, she has completed a diploma course in Animal Health and Production. After volunteering in her community to treat livestock and help families keep their animals free from disease, she recently secured a job in a veterinary pharmacy. She is passionate about her work as a veterinarian keeping animals healthy, as well as supporting young girls in her community to achieve their education and their life goals.

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