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Yesterday, leaders in the CAMFED Alumnae Association, CAMA, gave a rousing welcome to The Duke of Sussex in Malawi. His Royal Highness came to meet nearly 50 young women in CAMA at a special event in Lilongwe, and thrilled the audience when he introduced The Duchess of Sussex, who joined via live link from South Africa. As President and Vice-President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), both were keen to hear an update on CAMA’s work in girls’ education, since the Duchess' last meeting with CAMFED Executive Director Angeline Murimirwa on International Women's Day 2019, and Prince Harry's meeting with CAMA leaders in Lusaka, Zambia, in November 2018.

“Angie, when you and I first met, it was almost a year and a half ago, I was so struck by everything that you do with CAMA, and obviously the impact that it has on so many young women and girls in ensuring they have the education that they so rightly deserve. And that’s why we were able to be together at International Women’s Day to talk further about your personal story, but also all these incredible stories, just like the one that you shared, Fatima... We’re just so proud as President and Vice-President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust that we can support you in everything that you are doing, because we cannot begin to express how valuable and vital that work is. We’re just incredibly proud to be a part of it.” - Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex

Among the dignitaries present was the Secretary of Education, Science and Technology, The Hon. Justin Adack Saidi, who addressed the audience at the beginning of the event, underscoring the Ministry’s commitment to quality education.

Luwiza Phiri, CAMA’s National Chair in Malawi, where the network now numbers 17,530 (out of 140,000 young women leaders across five countries) spoke about the growth of the CAMA network, its governance, and the thousands of children these young leaders are now supporting, paying forward the benefits of their education, supported through The Queen’s CAMA Commonwealth Fund.

CAMA Leaders Luwiza, Fatima and Rose

CAMA leaders Luwiza, Fatima and Rose. (Photo: Anke Adams/CAMFED)

Read Luwiza’ words here

Rose Alexander, a Core Trainer of CAMA Learner Guides and advocate against child marriage, explained how she and her CAMA sisters rallly communities in the fight against early marriage, working to annul marriages and return children to school.

Read Rose’s words here

And Fatima Frank, who is also a Core Trainer of CAMA Learner Guides, and is studying to become a teacher, described how important educated young women are as role models and mentors to vulnerable children, supporting their learning, and delivering life skills, enabling educated women to succeed after school.

Read Fatima’s words here

"I'm also delighted to hear the news of some of the progress since we last met, and how you are working in Malawi’s public education system and to support so many girls to stay in school as it is so important. For them to learn and fulfil their full potential...It’s wonderful to hear the news of the CAMA fund and how the leadership of CAMA members is making a significant difference." - His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex

The session was led by Angeline Murimirwa, CAMFED Executive Director - Africa, and one of the first young women supported to go to school by CAMFED in Zimbabwe. She was joined by Nicola Brentnall, CEO of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, and David Beer, Head of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Malawi. Both organizations are investing in girls’ education through CAMFED, supporting the expertise and leadership of thousands of CAMA leaders like Luwiza, Fatima and Rose, ensuring that they can reach tens of thousands of vulnerable children in their communities.

Angeline voiced her thanks to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their unrelenting support for young leaders, and - addressing The Duchess via video link - said, "Since you yourself were a young girl you have advocated for women as equal beings with the power to make lasting change, and I know this is something you will instil in Archie.

CAMA Malawi welcomes Prince Harry

CAMA gives a warm welcome to The Duke of Sussex. (Photo: Anke Adams/CAMFED)

I always think of a saying in my local language, Shona 'Chinonzi rasa ndechirimumaoko kwete muropa.' It means 'You can only be told to throw away what is in your hands, not what is in your blood.'

The fact that you care, that you advocate, that you shine a light on this and always have done, means so much. "

The Duke of Sussex dances with Fatima, Luwiza and Rose

The Duke of Sussex dances with CAMA leaders. (Photo: Anke Adams/CAMFED)

The Duke of Sussex hugs Angie Murimirwa

The Duke of Sussex hugs Angeline Murimirwa good-bye. (Photo: Anke Adams/CAMFED)

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