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Across Tanzania, members of the CAMFED Association, CAMA, made International Women’s Day 2020 a day to remember. Staff at CAMFED Tanzania, together with partner community members, local leaders and government officials were full of praise for these female pioneers. Once among the most marginalized members of their rural communities, these young women —  following support in education and in opportunities accessed through the CAMFED Association —- are now defying gender stereotypes and demonstrating leadership in sustainable business, skills training and more. 

“We are growing all the time, not just in numbers, but also in the diversity of our skills, in the size of our businesses and in our positive impact on rural communities. We are proudly CAMA (the CAMFED Association) on International Women’s Day and every day!” - Lydia Wilbard, founder of the CAMFED Association in Tanzania, and CAMFED Tanzania’s National Director

In the rural districts where CAMFED Tanzania operates, young women gathered together to march for women’s rights, to raise awareness about the returns on investing in girls’ education and to showcase their economic leadership.

Handeni District celebrated the graduation of a cohort of female mechanical engineers (pictured below) and electrical engineers (pictured right) from the lFolk Development College (FDC). They are some of the first young women from their communities to train in these disciplines, proudly dismantling ingrained gender stereotypes.

Across that district and others, including Morogoro, Kilosa, Gairo, Ifakara, Kilombero, Kibaha, Chalinze, Rufiji, Kibiti, Kilolo, Iringa and Pangani, many other CAMFED Association members displayed goods from their growing businesses. These included cooking oil, maize flour, baked goods, chalks, bags, clothes and soap made by young women to earn an income and save towards their future goals.

Young women in the CAMFED Association who have recently qualified as electrical engineers

Young women in the CAMFED Association in Handeni District, have recently qualified as electrical engineers. (Photo: CAMFED)

CAMFED Association members with District Commissioner Regina Chonjo

Morogoro District Commissioner, Regina Chonjo, accepts donated items for schoolchildren from CAMFED Association members. (Photo: CAMFED)

CAMFED Association members’ entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with their philanthropy. As our young leaders grow their businesses, they choose to donate more of their profits, crops, and other essentials to support local children to remain in school.

In Handeni District, CAMFED Association member Mwajuma spoke to our guest of honor, the District Commissioner, about a chalk-making enterprise run by a group of young women. As well as selling their chalk to make a profit, they are able to donate some of it to under-resourced schools nearby.

In Morogoro District, CAMFED Association members pooled their resources to contribute school essentials for the local government to distribute. District Commissioner Regina Chonjo (pictured right) gratefully accepted their donation of six boxes of sanitary pads and 40 exercise books.

Find out more about our other celebrations on and around International Women’s Day, including a business exhibition in Zambia, and the expansion of our My Better World program in Ghana to boost the ambitions of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy.

Young women in the CAMFED Association in Handeni District, have recently qualified as mechanical engineers

Young women in the CAMFED Association in Handeni District, have recently qualified as mechanical engineers. (Photo: CAMFED)

CAMFED Association members in the Pangani District chapter exhibit their high quality soap.

CAMFED Association members in the Pangani District chapter in Tanzania exhibit their high quality soap on International Women's Day. (Photo: CAMFED)