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This International Women’s Day, help us #PressforProgress by supporting girls to go to school - so they can then step up as leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists in their communities. When you educate a girl with Camfed, she graduates into a powerful network of young women change makers who work with their communities to change prospects for girls and women for good.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 75% of girls start primary school, but only 8% finish secondary school. Poverty is the root cause. Girls face more barriers to education than boys, including responsibility for household chores, younger siblings or ill relatives. The cost of school fees, stationery, uniforms, and especially menstrual hygiene products is often beyond reach. Long journeys to school pose the risk of exploitation.

In addition, girls without educated female role models also lack a sense of entitlement to education - a psychological barrier to learning, which compounds physical and financial hurdles. When families are destitute, marriage can seem like their daughter’s only chance of future security, but child marriage perpetuates the cycle of poverty, and usually spells the end of a girl's education. We know that if all adults had a secondary education, poverty would be reduced by two thirds.

41%

of Sub-Saharan Africans live in extreme poverty (on less than $1.25 per day)

6 out of 10

girls in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa are married before age 18.

49%

of young women (15-24) in sub-Saharan Africa do not participate in the labor force

Camfed is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by educating girls and supporting young women’s transition to secure livelihoods. Camfed’s Youth Enterprise programs help pave the way for girls to support themselves after they finish school by setting up and growing their own rural businesses. They create new jobs and use their profits to support more children in school.

Investing in girls’ education and in young women entrepreneurs and leaders has a multiplier effect like no other, because educated women invest in their families and communities. Those once at the margins know what it takes to succeed.

Girls who graduate with Camfed’s support graduate into Camfed’s alumnae (CAMA) network of young women who deeply value education and pass on their business knowledge and life skills to the next generation.

Philanthropy is a cornerstone of CAMA, and CAMA’s entrepreneurs volunteer their time to help marginalized girls go to school, while changing the gender norms in their communities.

CAMA’s young women entrepreneurs press for progress every day

Donate to Camfed this International Women's Day

When you educate a girl in Africa, everything changes. She’ll be three times less likely to get HIV/AIDS,
earn 25% more income and have a smaller, healthier family.

Donate now

Read the stories of how this works in practice

Read the story of Camfed Teacher Mentor Mercy Kansale

Mwamba

Mwamba participated in a Leadership and Enterprise program. She owns a restaurant and with the profits she is able to support not only her own family but also four orphans through school.
Read more

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

Pearl

Featured in former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Q&A with young leaders, Pearl is an extraordinary community activist, who works with traditional leaders, schools and families to address poverty and gender inequality, bringing about lasting change.
Read more



Read the story of Camfed Teacher Mentor Mercy Kansale

Ayisha

Ayisha provides work for hundreds of women, who in turn can support the education of their children. She established a preschool on the site of her business and she offers business and financial literacy training to the women.
Read more

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

Lindiwe

As a Learner Guide, Lindiwe volunteers in her local school to help keep marginalized children in education. She owns a thriving soda and juice business and wants her success to inspire other young women by showing them what can be achieved.
Read more



Read the stories of how this works in practice

Mwamba

Mwamba participated in a Leadership and Enterprise program. She owns a restaurant and with the profits she is able to support not only her own family but also four orphans through school.
Read more

Pearl

Featured in former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Q&A with young leaders, Pearl is an extraordinary community activist, who works with traditional leaders, schools and families to address poverty and gender inequality, bringing about lasting change.
Read more

Ayisha

Ayisha provides work for hundreds of women, who in turn can support the education of their children. She established a preschool on the site of her business and she offers business and financial literacy training to the women.
Read more

Lindiwe

As a Learner Guide, Lindiwe volunteers in her local school to help keep marginalized children in education. She owns a thriving soda and juice business and wants her success to inspire other young women by showing them what can be achieved.
Read more

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