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Today Cambridge-based Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, praised the generosity of the UK public during its UK Aid Match fundraising appeal. The girls’ education charity more than doubled its target, smashing the £1 million mark.

“We are extremely thankful for the incredible response and the trust our donors and fundraising partners have placed in Camfed’s community-led girls’ education programs. Donations are set to be matched by the UK government to fund our work to support vulnerable girls to stay in school and escape early marriage.” - Lucy Lake, CEO

Camfed praised the passion and support of local and national communications partners, schools and community groups, who spread the word about the appeal, published articles and newsletters, co-hosted film screenings and held fundraising events. Partners included Business Weekly, the Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge Park & Ride, TES, Mumsnet, La Playa and Premier Travel. The Financial Times highlighted Camfed’s impact, and BBC Cambridgeshire and Cambridge 105 Radio shone a spotlight on the issue of child marriage. 

Students across the UK, including at schools like Fulham Cross Girls’ School in London and St. Catharine’s College in Cambridge, supported the UnlockFutures appeal with innovative events. People drummed, swam, ran, baked and sang for Camfed.

Donations will enable Camfed to train young women school graduates in its CAMA alumnae network, who will join with local government and community authorities to uphold girls’ rights and ensure they have the necessary support to attend school and succeed.

Acting as ‘GirlGuardians’ to girls at risk of child marriage, these young women, also known as ‘Learner Guides,’ will deliver sexual and reproductive health, life skills, career guidance and financial literacy sessions to vulnerable girls and boys. The funding will also provide school-going costs for some marginalized girls not already on the Camfed program.

Faith* in Zambia was at risk of child marriage before Camfed alumna Alice stepped in. Camfed now aims to train many more young women like Alice in Zambia to work with vulnerable girls.

“We are extremely grateful for this outpouring of support and look forward to launching the project later this year, and reporting back on its reach and impact. Our alumnae are the true experts in ending child marriage. Many were once at risk of becoming child brides, but completed their education with Camfed’s support,” adds Dorothy Kasanda, National Director of Camfed Zambia. “Deeply rooted and respected in their communities, they are ideally placed to deliver the guidance vulnerable girls need to succeed, and to advocate for girls’ education and against child marriage with families and traditional leaders in their communities.”

*Faith's name has been changed to protect her identity.

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