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Girls’ education champion and former First Lady Michelle Obama marked International Day of the Girl (October 11th) with the launch of a new Global Girls Alliance, to which she welcomed the young women leaders of young women leaders of CAMFED. The Alliance is Mrs Obama’s first major program under The Obama Foundation, and has grown from her established commitment to empowering adolescent girls around the world through education. Mrs Obama and CAMFED Association leaders - who are powerful and passionate girls’ education activists working across rural sub-Saharan Africa - have long partnered around the belief that champions at the grassroots are best positioned to make girls’ education a reality for the poorest girls.

“With the Global Girls Alliance, we'll lift up the grassroots leaders in communities all over the world who are clearing away the hurdles that too many girls face.” - Michelle Obama

Appearing on a special edition of the TODAY show in New York last Thursday, Mrs Obama announced her commitment to driving attention and action to support those working in communities. The focus is on grassroots leaders, like the young women of the CAMFED Association (CAMA), who have experienced first hand the many barriers girls face on their educational journey. They are the experts in coming up with the most effective solutions.

The Global Girls Alliance works on several levels: offering an online network to connect community activists, and encouraging donors to step up with the resources needed to drive change. Through the program’s funding platform, GoFundMe, donors can choose to directly support specific projects focusing on girls’ education

Our first Global Girls Alliance Project:  Supporting 300 girls

Selected as one of the first six campaigns to launch is a project run by CAMFED Association members in Bakwu West district in Ghana, aiming to support 300 of the most vulnerable girls to stay in school and succeed. Using the funds raised, CAMFED Association members will meet costs for secondary school students including exam fees, stationery, uniforms and sanitary wear. For many families in rural sub-Saharan Africa, these school-going costs are simply out of reach.

CAMFED Association members, who were themselves once supported at school, are committed to paying forward the benefits of their education. Now, with more than 20 years’ experience and 120,000 members, their dedication to providing financial and emotional support to the next generation continues to inspire global leaders, influencers and campaigners.

CAMFED Association Leader Pearl, who, on International Women's Day, was interviewed by Michelle Obama, explains the broad scope of the movement’s community work.  The Global Girls Alliance allows the general public to directly support grassroots leaders and local experts like Pearl in their work for girls' education.

“If we care about climate change, if we care about poverty, then we have to care about education.” - Michelle Obama