Julia Gillard Becomes Patron of Camfed
Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, and Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, today aligns her deep experience and authority in the international education sector, and her passionate advocacy for girls’ education, with Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education.
As Camfed’s new patron and adviser, Ms. Gillard will join Camfed’s executive teams and inspirational alumnae leaders at a Camfed symposium in Johannesburg, exploring the organization’s experience and remarkable successes in delivering girls’ education and pathways to employment and leadership for young women in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Camfed has been educating girls in sub-Saharan Africa for over 23 years, and I’m a huge fan of their model,” says Julia Gillard. “Together with their vision for urgency and action in girls’ education, Camfed possesses the infrastructure, processes and partnerships to deliver real and lasting results for girls, their communities and nations. Camfed builds on local community capital, and its unique alumnae network multiplies the investment in girls, as those who have benefited invest in the education of other girls. It’s a wonderful model for growth and sustainability.”
“We are absolutely thrilled and honored that Julia is lending her support and sharing her expertise with Camfed as our patron,” says CEO Lucy Lake, “Through Camfed’s partnership with government and with communities, and through the leadership of young women who’ve completed school with our support, we can show the world just what’s possible to achieve for girls’ education.”
Locally tailored, scalable solutions
Julia Gillard’s action-orientated advocacy galvanizes governments and resources behind the global imperative of providing access to quality education for the most marginalized children in the world, the majority of which are girls. Julia is leading concrete plans through the Global Partnership for Education, the learning metrics and program scaling work at Brookings, and the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunities. The Commission was set up as a practical response to the United Nations’ announcement of the new Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 global targets designed to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality, and protect our planet – none of which can be achieved without major investment in education.
Today, Julia Gillard teams up with Camfed as the organization’s leadership discusses its strategy for supporting one million girls through secondary school and into independence by 2020. “Locally tailored solutions, respectful of context and building on local resources, are key to our success,” says Angeline Murimirwa, Camfed’s Regional Executive Director, and one of the first girls supported by Camfed. “And together with our partner communities and CAMA – our alumnae network of over 33,000 young women across Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe – we’ve proved that our approach can be scaled.”
Living proof of Camfed’s impact
Alongside Angeline Murimirwa, 25 more young women leaders from Camfed’s pan-African alumnae network, CAMA, will also be present at the event, representing Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. CAMA’s membership is set to grow to more than 130,000 within the next few years as a direct outcome of Camfed’s support for girls through secondary education. These young women – who were once too poor to access education – are now transforming opportunities for young people in their communities, and leading the way in ensuring the younger generation of girls goes to school. In an informal Q&A session with Julia Gillard and journalists they will share their experience of the barriers to girls’ education, and their expertise in what works when it comes to keeping girls in school, and ensuring their successful transition to independence and positions of leadership and influence.
Urgent action for today’s generation
“If we do not address education and quality, we will let down not only the 121 million children currently out of school, but the 250 million children who leave without basic literacy or numeracy skills,” says Julia Gillard. “As a patron of Camfed, I will support the organization’s continued rigor in improving not only access to education for millions, but working with communities and governments to improve learning environments and push up learning outcomes through innovative programs led by Camfed’s inspirational alumnae – the young women who know best, and who are taking urgent action for today’s generation.”