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Celebrating what’s possible when you educate girls

This International Women’s Day, Camfed alumna Alice Saisha from Zambia experienced first hand the activism ignited across the United States in support of girls and women around the world. Alice, supported by Camfed to go to school and avoid child marriage, now works to ensure many more vulnerable children receive an education. Last week, she shared her story at the MUSE Women’s Conference in Oregon, then joined Gloria Steinem in New York for an inspirational evening to celebrate what’s possible when you educate girls, and women lead by example. 

If you can’t see it, you can’t be it. Each of us needs to see someone….who we relate to or identify with doing something that is outside of the traditional role, so we know we can do it, too. … We need each other to set ourselves free, and it’s so exciting. I mean, nothing is more exciting.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria met Alice in Zambia last year, together with other members of Camfed’s CAMA alumnae network. CAMA members are crucial role models for girls in impoverished rural communities.  “If I could have taken the energy from the room with Alice and others who have gone through this rebirth, you might say we could have fueled anything,” Gloria explained.  

The meeting led to this week’s celebration in honor of Camfed at Gloria’s New York home. Co-hosted by writer, producer and activist Amy Richards, with whom Alice attended the MUSE conference, it brought together a group of passionate and powerful luminaries focused on girls’ education in the developing world, including actress and Camfed supporter, Emma Watson – all representing the “outburst of energy and caring” Gloria Steinem describes in her video interview with USA Today.

Alice Saisha joins Gloria Steinem and Camfed CEO Lucy Lake in conversation with USA Today.

Travelling here means breaking barriers and igniting hope for that young girl.  Growing up as a rural girl you feel you have limited opportunities, but me travelling here tells another young girl out there that it is possible, that you can persevere and make it in life.

Alice Saisha

Our movement in the news:

USA TODAY: Meet Gloria Steinem’s extraordinary houseguest

NEWSWEEK: Gloria Steinem turns her attention to educating girls in rural Africa

ALICE SAISHA: That day I knew: Gloria Steinem is one of us

 

Together we can stand firm for women everywhere:

After watching the Viceland series WOMAN with Gloria Steinem, Emma Watson pledged her support to Camfed.

Actress and activist Emma Watson, a longstanding friend of Gloria Steinem’s and supporter of Camfed’s, joined the event. Emma met Alice in Zambia several years ago, when she travelled there with Camfed to see first-hand the challenges girls face, and to learn more about Camfed’s community-led approach to girls’ education.

The audience drew inspiration from Alice’s personal story of transformation, as well as from the robust data behind Camfed’s programs. Thousands of alumnae are volunteering in schools to support Camfed in pushing up learning outcomes for marginalized students. Their impact is seen and measured in lower drop-out rates, improved academic self-esteem and confidence, and – as a result – better grades and prospects. Together we have created a sustainable, scalable and replicable approach to girls’ education and women’s empowerment.

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