In a meeting filled with laughter, singing and sharing stories, The Duke of Sussex praised the “great work” carried out by members of the CAMFED alumnae network, CAMA, and other youth leaders. They had gathered together for a special event in Lusaka, Zambia, organized by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust in celebration of what young change-makers are achieving in their communities. The exchange of ideas also struck a more serious note, as young women and men spoke of the urgent issues they are working to address.
“All the stories we heard today are powerful reminders of the great work underway here in Lusaka and across Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe. All brought about by young people, like you, who have stepped up to make a difference for others.” - The Duke of Sussex
The Duke of Sussex attended this event in his role as President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. He was welcomed by 70 CAMA members, who proudly partnered with hosts Circus Zambia to stage this dynamic event, and joined with young leaders from the Asikana Network, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project, and Agents of Change.
From the extensive CAMA network, two young women leaders stepped forward to make a powerful speech about how The Queen’s CAMA Commonwealth Fund is enabling them to expand their reach. Fatima, aged 22, from Malawi and Tisiyenji, aged 24, from Zambia, told personal stories and talked about the shared experiences of the CAMA sisterhood, which is already 120,000 strong. These young women are united by a shared background of poverty, but most importantly a shared commitment to a better future for those most marginalized. Having completed their education against great odds, they strive to remove the financial and psycho-social barriers faced by other children.
Through the The Queen’s CAMA Commonwealth Fund, started in Tanzania and Ghana in 2017, CAMA members have already supported 3,490 children to go to school. In September the Fund was also launched in Zambia, and another donor has funded its expansion to Zimbabwe.
Tisiyenji raises a smile from Prince Harry during her first ever public speech. (Photo: CAMFED/Anke Adams)
“At the heart of your optimism is the burning desire to do the very best for the most vulnerable children. You are the best people doing this work anywhere in the world, and that is why we are with you.” - Nicola Brentnall, CEO, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
The work of CAMA, experts in girls’ education, women’s empowerment and youth leadership, is admired by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who share a commitment to these issues. CAMA, which in 2018 celebrates its 20th Anniversary, is increasingly gaining the visibility and recognition it deserves, working hand-in-hand with CAMFED as a powerful force for change.