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The protection and safeguarding of vulnerable young people is at the core of our model, with the young women of our CAMA alumnae network now leading the charge for gender equity and against exploitation. 

Our Vision and Mission

Camfed’s vision is of a world in which every child is educated, protected, respected and valued, and grows up to turn the tide of poverty.

As the most effective strategy to tackle poverty and inequality, Camfed multiplies educational opportunities for girls and empowers young women to become leaders of change. Our focus is on girls and young women in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. This is where girls face acute disadvantage and where their empowerment will have a transformative impact.

The protection of vulnerable people is at the core of our work

The protection and safeguarding of vulnerable young people is at the core of our model.  We engage with all those who hold authority in relation to girls in order to mitigate girls’ vulnerability to any form of abuse. This is enshrined in our Child Protection Policy which is recognized nationally and internationally as a standard of best practice.

At every government partner school, we train Teacher Mentors to look after the psycho-social wellbeing of vulnerable children. We also train School Management Committees in child protection, and partner with communities, civil society organisations, district officials, and other NGOs to step up action to reinforce child protection. At the same time, we work directly with government Ministries to develop child protection guidelines for national rollout.

Most importantly, the young women of CAMA, the Camfed Association, are now at the forefront of our movement for girls’ education and gender-equity, safeguarding the rights and entitlements of vulnerable young people. Having lived poverty, marginalisation and the risk of exploitation, these young leaders, peer mentors and role models now work hand-in-hand with Camfed and communities to protect young people, support their education, ensure that they know and demand their rights, and provide them with the confidence and courage to transition into secure, independent lives free of exploitation.

Our governance structures

Following a rigorous assessment of Camfed’s governance structures and systems over a three year period from international level to the level of the individual girl, senior partners from Linklaters law firm released the publication 'Accounting to the Girl', which has become a reference point for best practice in the sector for reinforcing the rights and entitlements of vulnerable young people.

Read the stories of how this works in practice

Read the story of Camfed Teacher Mentor Mercy Kansale

Mercy

Creating hope for girls

Teacher Mentor, Malawi
Having grown up in rural Malawi where she now teaches, Mercy has first hand experience of the challenges her students face. She works with a network of CAMA members, Learner Guides, Parent Support Group members, traditional leaders, and other community members to ensure that girls get the material, academic, and emotional support they need to stay in school.
Read more

Read how Jafari and his group are improving their local school.

Jafari

Fighting the feeling of helplessness

Parent Support Group Chair
With first hand experience of the challenges so many children and families face, Jafari is deeply committed to working with parents to fight the feeling of helplessness they grapple with - when a poor harvest means they have no choice but to send their children to school on an empty stomach, without even a uniform or their basic educational needs.
Read more



Read the story of Camfed Teacher Mentor Mercy Kansale

Mary

Ensuring that fear doesn’t live here

CAMA member, Tanzania
CAMA member Mary, a young woman from an impoverished rural community, convinced a whole university to vote for her. Without the financial backing or resources or flamboyance that other students had, she still succeeded and used her lived experience to take constructive action to solve a problem that was forcing vulnerable young women to drop out.
Read more

Read the story of Saviour, who fights for the rights of vulnerable children

Saviour

Spreading courage and confidence

CAMA member, Ghana
CAMA member Saviour uses her own experience of the barriers to education to support vulnerable children with life and study skills lessons. A businesswoman who has created jobs in her community, she’s also passionate about speaking out for young people, and uses radio as a platform to ensure they know their rights, spreading courage and confidence.
Read more



Read the stories of how this works in practice

Mercy: Creating hope for girls

Mercy, Teacher Mentor, Malawi

Having grown up in rural Malawi where she now teaches, Mercy has first hand experience of the challenges her students face. She works with a network of CAMA members, Learner Guides, Parent Support Group members, traditional leaders, and other community members to ensure that girls get the material, academic, and emotional support they need to stay in school.

Read more

Jafari: Fighting the feeling of helplessness

Parent Support Group Chair

With first hand experience of the challenges so many children and families face, Jafari is deeply committed to working with parents to fight the feeling of helplessness they grapple with - when a poor harvest means they have no choice but to send their children to school on an empty stomach, without even a uniform or their basic educational needs.

Read more

Mary: Ensuring that fear doesn’t live here

CAMA member, Tanzania

CAMA member Mary, a young woman from an impoverished rural community, convinced a whole university to vote for her. Without the financial backing or resources or flamboyance that other students had, she still succeeded and used her lived experience to take constructive action to solve a problem that was forcing vulnerable young women to drop out.

Read more

Saviour: Spreading courage and confidence

Saviour, CAMA member, Ghana

CAMA member Saviour uses her own experience of the barriers to education to support vulnerable children with life and study skills lessons. A businesswoman who has created jobs in her community, she’s also passionate about speaking out for young people, and uses radio as a platform to ensure they know their rights, spreading courage and confidence.

Read more

Basis of our Child Protection Policy

Camfed bases its work and policies on the principles enshrined in many binding international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Convention of the Rights of the Child; United Nations General Assembly Resolution S-27/2: A World Fit for Children; International Labour Organisation Minimum Age Convention 138 of 1973; These include putting children first, protecting children, and ensuring the participation of children.

Excerpts from our Child Protection Policy

Camfed incorporates child protection into its strategy, structures and working practices.

Camfed's organizational ethos values and respects all children and young people. We work in consideration of the whole being of the child or young person, including their physical, material and psychological well-being. The welfare of children and young people comes first in all our work.

Camfed believes that communities can protect children from abusive situations, and we work to build their confidence to deal with these situations.

Camfed recognizes that girls are especially vulnerable to abuse and that they require special protection. Camfed believes that its aim of empowering girls is the foundation for enabling them to be less vulnerable to abuse of any kind. A key element of our programme is to support girls to develop the confidence to reduce their exposure to abusive situations, and to be willing to report abuse or threatened abuse.

Camfed recognizes that abuse can take many forms including physical, emotional, sexual or through neglect. Our procedures and processes take account of the different forms which abuse can take.

All Camfed employees and program activists have a duty to act if children are not being protected.

Camfed will work actively with all stakeholders to spread best practice in the protection of children.

Access the full child protection policy here.

Review

Camfed's Child Protection Policy is reviewed by the Executive Team and ratified by the Camfed International Board annually.

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