Text over white screen Supported to get an education, CAMFED alumnae are working in their communities to help the next generation of girls out of poverty and into school.
Alice Saisha, District Operations Secretariat, Zambia My name’s Alice Saisha from Samfya District in Zambia. I grew up in rural poverty with my widowed mother. We are a family of ten and I’m the last born. It was kind of hard for her to take us all to school.
So to supplement our efforts, I had to work as a maid after school hours and had to sell cassava leaves. This was so exhausting and had to chew up most of my study time. You can imagine we lived in a house which was unfinished, and sometimes we had to have one meal in a day, sometimes just a glass of water would do.
At the age of 14, I was destined to be a child bride. At that point, CAMFED picked me on the scholarship at Samfya Secondary School. The school-based committee selected me to be on the scholarship, and that was when my dreams were ignited. I was so excited and happy to know that I could still persevere in my life. To me, that was a turn around. To me, that was a door opening to show me which direction to go.
I’m currently supporting four orphaned children, of which two I found in an abandoned house. So those two are now assured of shelter, they are assured of three meals in a day and they have all returned to school. I’m working with committees such as the CAMFED District Committee and it’s so interesting working with them because those are the people who mentored me whilst I was in school.
You know, there’s one of the CDC members, Jennifer, she’s always like, “Alice, I’m glad to work with you. I always look forward to your contributions during meetings, you are an inspiration to rural young women, I knew you are destined to be big.” And that just makes me smile and it just motivates me.
So to me, it’s been brilliant working with CAMFED, it’s been brilliant working with CAMA. I’m now the District Operations Secretariat, working right there in my district where I grew up and went to school. And I’m here now to make a difference. I am an advocate of change. We are the campaign for Female Education. Join us.