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The COVID-19 crisis threatens to derail decades of progress and millions of girls’ futures1. We’re moving forward with determination, but we can’t succeed without you. 

For too many girls in sub-Saharan Africa, it is not a question of when they can go back to school, but if they ever can. During school closures, children living in rural areas have had to contend with growing barriers to education, including in many cases a lack of electricity, internet connectivity, and other resources that enable distance learning. 

Where schools are starting to reopen, families continue to face challenges, including hunger, loss of household income, and needed financial and social support for children to return to the classroom. We know from experience that girls are hardest hit — they are most at risk of permanent drop-out, early marriage, and exploitation.

Hear from Addlight, a CAMFED scholar in Zimbabwe

“Life is very difficult. COVID-19 has made things worse for me. My uncle, whom l [currently] live with, used to work as a vendor before the lockdown but now he can no longer go out to earn that little money and he cannot pay our rent on time. School closure has made me feel out of place.

I want to thank the CAMFED Association members for helping me with the small Whatsapp study group. It is now easier for me to study. I wish I could get more opportunities for extra tutorials. If this school closure continues, I fear that my studies and my future will be affected.

My dream is to become a Food Scientist and I am certain that CAMFED’s support will see me through the journey of my dreams. My goal is to change my mother’s lifestyle as well as to have a better life for myself.”

 

Addlight was born into a family of three children supported by her mother, after the early death of her father. She explains how education will mean a better future for them all.

Your gift can help us reach more girls like Addlight at a time of crisis, and beyond...

Being connected to a member of her school community - in person or on the phone - can keep a girl hopeful that she can go back to school. A donation of necessities can help keep a girl safe from early marriage, which is often seen as a financial coping mechanism in times of hardship. Advice for parents and the provision of study materials can keep a girl learning. Will you step in with this vital support?

CAMFED Association members trained as para-educators (aka Learner Guides) are delivering life-skills and wellbeing sessions in small groups, on the radio, over the phone, or in classrooms (where possible).

CAMFED Champions including teachers, parents, local leaders, officials, and young women educated with CAMFED’s support are reaching families made more vulnerable by the outbreak with food and essentials.

CAMFED staff, working through a decentralized structure focused on the community level, are staying highly responsive to the changing situation in rural areas, including where schools are re-opening.

Your support to keep a girl learning, safe, and hopeful — during and beyond this crisis — will make the world a healthier and more just place.

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1 Malala Fund calculates that around 10 million more secondary school girls across the globe could be out of school following the crisis.

Malala Fund (2020), Girls’ Education and COVID-19: What past shocks can teach us about mitigating the impact of pandemics.

Our supporters shared messages of hope and solidarity:

"Despite all the challenges that girls and women face, let's not give up, even this latest challenge of COVID-19 , let's continue striving to transform children and women’s lives through education and economic empowerment!!!"

"I will like to encourage every hardworking young woman out there. You should take your education or the job you do seriously. The sky is never the limit, the planets are."

"Time will come that, there will be no any woman left behind uneducated, together we stand divided we fall. Girls education is our topmost priority, we have to nurture it in our heart."

"My hope is to equip our young generation and allude to them the importance of education, sharing history of successful ladies who made it through the support from CAMFED."

"I hope they will grow up to be leaders in their communities and the world, working with young people all over the globe to tackle the climate crisis and fight for equal opportunities and social justice"

"It's so great to see CAMFED Association members leading the way as overcomers of the challenges they've experienced themselves, bringing transformational change for other girls and young women even during the pandemic."

"We support you all in becoming the best future for Africa and inspiration for the world."

"When times are challenging working together becomes even more important. To all of you who are supporting girls and young women through education and to all those struggling to continue in education, you are not alone. Together you are building a more resilient society for you and your children. I applaud your achievements and wish you well for the future. I will continue my support for Camfed."