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In an in-depth interview with Angeline Murimirwa, published by BBC News today, Lucy Sherriff explores the reasons why so many girls in sub-Saharan Africa become child brides, and highlights Camfed’s work to tackle the issue holistically, hand in hand with its alumnae and their communities.

“Most child brides have lost one or both parents, and face a daily struggle for food. Family members don't have the financial means to look after them, and often find themselves pushed to consider marriage as the best option for the girl.” - Angeline Murimirwa, Camfed Executive Director - Africa

Angeline, one of the first young women to receive Camfed support in order to complete her secondary education in rural Zimbabwe, has helped to oversee the expansion of Camfed’s program, and that of its powerful CAMA alumnae network, across five African countries.

She uses her own experience to build trust in partner communities, and join forces with young women to tackle the issue of child marriage on all fronts.

Camfed provides girls not only with the material support to access school, but with peer psycho-social support to break down barriers like lack of confidence, lack of entitlement, and lack of sexual and reproductive health information.

Child brides like Gloria, whose story is profiled by the BBC, epitomize girls’ zeal for education against the greatest odds. Twice a widow with a young baby, Gloria is hoping to complete her education and become the first doctor in her community.

A child bride in rural Zambia

When poverty forces girls like Gloria (not her real name) into early marriage, their education, and the hope of a better future, ends there. Camfed is working to change that.