CAMFED Association leader Tisiyenji Ngoma on COVID activism in Zambia
Posted May 7, 2020
In a new blog post, Tisiyenji Ngoma, CAMFED Association District Chair in Kasama, Zambia, shares the practical measures she and her peers are leading to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tisiyenji, known to her friends as Tisi, was supported to go to school by CAMFED following the early death of her father. She attributes her success as a leader, entrepreneur and role model to her education, and is acting now to secure the rights of other girls, who are in danger of not returning to school, even after the current crisis ends.
“We know that the girls we support — many orphaned, burdened with household chores, living in families struggling for food — become even more vulnerable to neglect, abuse and child marriage when they cannot access the safety of school, and the support structures it brings.” - Tisiyenji Ngoma, CAMFED Association District Chair, Kasama, Zambia
As soon as schools in her District were closed, Tisi and her fellow CAMFED Association members made arrangements to continue meeting safely with small groups of girls to deliver the My Better World life skills curriculum. In partnership with local schools, where they are allowed to gather, the young women are supporting around 100 of the most vulnerable girls.
Their activism doesn’t end there; Tisi has spoken on local radio to reach community members with information and advice. She also works with other young women to make face masks and supply the ingredients for hand sanitizer. This is all on top of running her bakery business, which has seen a fall in orders, and presents Tisi with new challenges as supply chains are disrupted and movements restricted.
Young women like Tisi face great uncertainty as their incomes diminish and the girls they strive to protect are out-of-school — but their resolve and optimism for the future remains strong.
An outdoor study session led by a CAMFED Association member in Kasama, Zambia.