Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 64% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day. Some 15% of the adult population has AIDS; an estimated 1.1 million children are orphans.
Girls experience high rates of exclusion from education because of extreme poverty, most prevalent in the rural areas of the Western, Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces. These provinces fare much worse than others in government assessments of income levels, education and health. Zambia is ranked 13th out of 15 countries for literacy and numeracy by the Southern African Consortium for Measuring Education Quality. Girls are far more likely to drop out of school, with the biggest disparities measured in rural communities: 27% of females in rural areas have no education compared to 18% of males. Pregnancy, early marriage and poverty are intrinsically linked and are the main challenges Zambian girls face in staying in school, particularly in rural schools.
"Camfed launched in Zambia in 2001, and since then we have seen huge growth. In 2007, we were working in just ten districts. By 2016 we were working in 42 districts and in 1,080 partner schools. We are working with the government on gender equality and child protection, keeping girls in school and preventing child marriage. It’s so exciting to see Camfed graduates going back to their communities, getting jobs, and mentoring the next generation. These young women are teaching in schools, working as nurses in the clinics, and working as police women, proving that the work Camfed is doing is sustainable and benefiting whole communities for the long term. Our partners are seeing the impact. That’s the thing that I find most exciting. It really is life-transforming work!"
Regina Lialabi, National Director, Camfed Zambia
29,361Girls Supported with Secondary Scholarships
Camfed provides holistic and targeted support for girls to go to secondary school, covering needs that include school fees, uniforms, books, pens, boarding fees and disability aids.
256,934Students Supported to go to Primary School
Camfed's Safety Net Fund provides essential items to children at primary school to prevent them from dropping out of school.
Camfed works in genuine partnership with schools to help improve the learning environment for all students. Sharing information on school performance and working with the community to implement change is crucial to success.
Camfed's program works because of the commitment of local volunteers. These volunteers include everyone from traditional leaders, to government education officials, teachers, parents, and former students.
CAMA - the Camfed alumni association - is the largest network of its kind in Africa. It offers peer support, mentoring, and training and leadership opportunities.
71,944Children Supported by Community Initiatives
CAMA alumnae partner with their communities to support more vulnerable children to go to school, by providing school meals, paying school fees, buying supplies, or providing a home to orphans.