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In some parts of rural sub-Saharan Africa, 6 out of 10 girls are married before the age of 18, some as young as 13. Child marriage is fuelled by poverty. When families are destitute, marriage can seem like their daughter’s only chance of future security.

But rather than protecting a girl, early marriage puts her at grave risk of physical violence, HIV/AIDS, and serious complications during pregnancy and childbirth. It locks down her future and denies her the chance to fulfil her potential and break the cycle of poverty for good.

Camfed has a unique solution, based on the leadership of the young women who were supported to go to school by Camfed in sub-Saharan Africa, now part of the powerful CAMA network.

Many of these young women were once themselves destined to be child brides, and they understand what it takes to help girls escape this poverty trap. Trained as ‘GirlGuardians,’ they will identify girls in their communities who are vulnerable to early marriage, and work with families and local authorities to ensure girls receive the support they need to stay in school and succeed.

What if the future a child bride once imagined for herself could re-appear? In rural Zambia, an extraordinary change is taking place, reigniting hope for generations.
Camfed's new documentary is available for screenings. Get in touch here to find out more.

UK Aid Match Appeal – Thank you for your amazing response!

UK aid - for the British people

From 11 October 2017 to 10 January 2018 we partnered with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) on a public appeal to raise awareness of the issue of child marriage in sub-Saharan Africa and introduce Camfed’s unique solution. Donations by UK residents are set to be matched by DFID to support a project that will enable more than 16,000 marginalized girls in rural areas of Zambia who are at high risk of early marriage to continue their education at their local secondary schools. They will benefit from the mentoring support of a network of young women school graduates 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.

UK Aid Match Appeal – Thank you for your amazing response!

UK aid - for the British people

From 11 October 2017 to 10 January 2018 we partnered with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) on a public appeal to raise awareness of the issue of child marriage in sub-Saharan Africa and introduce Camfed’s unique solution. Donations by UK residents are set to be matched by DFID to support a project that will enable more than 16,000 marginalized girls in rural areas of Zambia who are at high risk of early marriage to continue their education at their local secondary schools. They will benefit from the mentoring support of a network of young women school graduates 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.

Mary*, Zambia

Mary, one of seven siblings, grew up in rural Zambia. When both of her parents tragically passed away in quick succession, Mary and her younger brothers and sisters moved in with their eldest sibling. Together, they moved to an impoverished fishing community. With so many young children to look after, Mary’s eldest sibling struggled to provide enough food and clothes for everyone, and life was very difficult.

*Name has been changed to protect her identity

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