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In Zimbabwe, 40% of the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day.1 In rural areas, which are home to more than two-thirds2 of the population, poverty stands at 86%3, 16% of children are orphans.4

CAMED Zimbabwe was launched in 1993, in tandem with CAMFED International. Despite a challenging social and economic situation in the country, we’ve significantly expanded our programs there since 1993. Our partnership with thousands of rural schools across 29 districts provides vital support for marginalized children, and we’ve improved the school environment for over two million students.

We provide scholarships for the poorest girls in rural communities to attend secondary school. We also support the construction and renovation of hostels so girls no longer have to walk long distances to school, improving their safety, wellbeing and chances of academic success.

In addition to marginalized girls, we support children living with disabilities and boys with tailored packages of support, addressing the barriers that keep them from attending and succeeding in school. The districts where boys are selected for support are those where boys’ educational outcomes are the worst in the country.

Despite these interventions, many children still do not get the education to which they are entitled, or gain the skills they need to find employment once they graduate.

"The Zimbabwean story is far from written. In sharp contrast to the 1980s and 90s, when massive strides were made in increasing access and improving the quality of education, we are now in a time of extreme volatility. Zimbabwe continues to have one of the world's fastest shrinking economies, which has resulted in increased poverty and mass unemployment. This situation has been further compounded by droughts that have left about half of the population food insecure. Even during this difficult time, we continue to perform remarkably well as an organisation in supporting partner schools to stay functional, retain teachers, and limit child dropout. We not only assist disadvantaged families with meeting the educational costs for their children; we engage them with respect, and support them to invest their expertise, love and labor to ensure their children can go to school and thrive. The challenges ahead of us are profound, but we remain energised by our conviction that a time shall come when each and every child will be in school."

Faith Nkala - National Director, CAMFED Zimbabwe

CAMFED Executive Director Angeline Murimirwa speaks at the 2018 Skoll World Forum about her 'epiphany moment', on the day the CAMFED Association was founded in Zimbabwe in 1998.

For many children, particularly those who are orphans, school is the only place where they can get adult guidance and psycho-social support. Trained Teacher Mentors, working throughout CAMFED’s partner schools, help to address the problems that children encounter at school or at home.

In schools, Teacher Mentors work alongside Learner Guides – young women in the CAMFED Association – who return to their local schools to support vulnerable children in their studies and deliver a uniquely tailored life skills program. Learner Guides understand the barriers imposed by poverty, having lived it themselves. Working with teachers, parents, schools, and local officials to keep children in school and push up learning outcomes, Learner Guides represent a formidable new force in strengthening the ties between schools and homes. As peer role models and mentors, Learner Guides are transforming prospects for young people.

CAMFED also partners with parents, who volunteer their time and resources in Parent Support Groups. These groups offer love, support, and vital services to vulnerable girls and boys, such as school meal programs and supervision at school hostels. With training and small grants, Parent Support Groups are also starting profit-making enterprises in order to help more children in their communities to cover their material needs, including shoes, books and uniforms.

  • 107,972

    Students supported with secondary scholarships

    CAMFED provides holistic and targeted support for girls to go to secondary school, covering needs that might include school or exam fees, uniforms, sanitary wear, books, pens, bikes, boarding fees or disability aids.

  • 239,470

    Students supported to go to primary school

    CAMFED's Safety Net Fund for partner primary schools provides essential items for children at primary school to prevent them from dropping out of school.

  • 2,393

    Partner Schools

    CAMFED works in genuine partnership with government 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.

  • 104,081

    Community Champions

    CAMFED's program works because of the commitment of local community champions and activists. These volunteers include everyone from traditional leaders to government education officials, teachers, parents, and former students.

  • 62,262

    CAMFED Association

    Members of the CAMFED Association - the largest network of its kind in Africa - offer peer support, mentoring, and training and leadership opportunities, and spearhead our programs.

  • 1,495,676

    Students supported by community initiatives

    CAMFED Association members partner with their communities to support more vulnerable children to go to primary and secondary school, by providing school meals, paying school fees, buying supplies, or providing a home to orphans, for example.

References

1. World Bank (2017), Poverty and Equity Data Portal, http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/country/ZWE, (accessed 19 May 2020)

2. The rural population of Zimbabwe stands at 68%. World Bank (2018), https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS?locations=ZW, (accessed 04 June 2020)

3. Zimbabwe Poverty Report (2017), p.19, http://www.zimstat.co.zw/sites/default/files/img/publications/Prices/Poverty_Report_2017.pdf, (accessed 04 June 2020)

4. Ibid, p.14

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