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Since its Twitter launch on July 25th, the #InspiredByMeghan fundraiser for CAMFED higher education scholarships, initiated by the ‘Sussex Squad,’ has been the focus of an extraordinary wave of action and generosity from a global network of supporters of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. By the end of The Duchess of Sussex’s birthday on August 4th, this movement had raised an astonishing $69,700. Just six days later, with the #InspiredByHarry hashtag now trending in the lead-up to Prince Harry’s birthday, donations have topped $87,300 — enough to support 37 young women through a whole year of vocational training. 

“Your gift can help us send more high school graduates to training colleges.  And then we will make sure that they have the care and support to do well when they get there, to overcome the disadvantages they often face as girls from marginalised rural areas. Then, as engineers, bricklayers, climate-smart farmers, vets, nurses...my sisters will become role models in their communities, working to change the status of women, showing what an education unlocks, and using their profits to support more girls through school.” — Angie Murimirwa, CAMFED Executive Director - Africa, speaking to supporters of the fundraiser

The fundraiser will extend until after Prince Harry’s birthday on September 15th.  It follows the outpouring of support for CAMFED during the #GlobalSussexBabyShower campaign in 2019, and continues to honor The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s commitment to community-led change and social justice.

This investment in young women's activism, enterprise, and leadership could not come at a more critical time — as CAMFED works with the communities we serve to weather the COVID-19 crisis. For women and girls, the risks are not limited to the virus, but include increased food insecurity and the danger of child marriage, as families struggle with loss of income from failing businesses. Without urgent, collective action, the pandemic threatens to wind back the clock on the gains all of us have made in addressing gender inequity, poverty and social injustice.

The money raised will support young women — secondary school graduates and members of the CAMFED Association, some of whom met with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Malawi and Zambia — to continue their education journey.

They will be supported to acquire the skills they need to get a job or start a business, building independent lives with choice and agency.

These young women will serve as vital role models to girls in their communities, helping them to stay in school and thrive. By bringing much-needed skills and resources back to their communities, young women gain status and stature as well as economic independence, widening their life choices, and the prospects for their families; it also enables them to expand their reach and influence as activists and philanthropists.

Welding and fabrication student Leticia

 Young women like Leticia can choose to pursue courses ranging from welding to teaching, nursing to brickmaking.

“I understand that female education is very close to Duchess Meghan’s heart and today I would like us to celebrate strong, independent women who support other girls and young women. I know together we can!” - Tisiyenji, CAMFED Association leader and entrepreneur, Zambia

Tisiyenji, a CAMFED Association leader in Kasama district in Zambia, was the first person in her family to go to college and is now an incredible force for change in her community.  Her first public speaking engagement was in front of the Duke of Sussex in Lusaka, Zambia in 2018. Today she is CAMFED Association District Chair, and runs a home-based bakery business which allows her to support her family and other children in their pursuit of education. Her baking business inspired a special collaboration with Monica, a graduate of the Luminary Bakery in London, on two beautiful cakes to honor The Duchess of Sussex’s birthday and to celebrate independent, influential women around the globe.

Tisiyenji and Monica met via videolink to discuss the final touches to their cakes, which were flavored with lemon and decorated with berries.

They also talked about how baking has helped them to spread joy, sustain a business, and inspire other young women even during the COVID-19 crisis. Monica said: “As you present [the cake] to others, you say that the beauty part of it is their life. No matter how hard life is, their life can still be as beautiful as this cake.”

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