CAMFED Annual Review 2017

Today, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of our CAMA alumnae network, CAMFED releases its Annual Review 2017. During the year, thanks to the strength of our partnerships with schools, communities, alumnae, organizational donors and individuals across the globe, we exceeded many of our targets. The work of CAMA to scale up our programs delivering female education and empowerment is beginning to result in seismic shifts in the social, economic and political role of women in their rural communities — in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Those once among the most excluded are now leading the charge to change the power dynamics that can leave girls behind.

It is because CAMFED brings those once at the margins into positions of authority that we can do what we do today, changing the balance of power, ensuring girls go to school and succeed, and that women lead – with respect from men, in partnership with men.

Lydia Wilbard, National Director and founder of CAMA in Tanzania

1 million girls on the road to independence 

As a result, CAMFED is delivering on its commitment to support 1 million girls through secondary school within just 5 years, by 2020. At the end of 2017, we were nearly ¾ of the way there, thanks to alumnae and their communities stepping up to more than triple the support provided through donor funds – a testimony to the sustainability of CAMFED’s multi-dimensional, community-led approach:

CAMA’s membership grew to almost 120,000 young leaders in 2017.  CAMA members ignite a “virtuous cycle” by working in their communities as entrepreneurs and employers, role models and mentors, using their own resources to support the next generation to go to school.

In 2017 CAMFED further restructured its leadership to bring CAMA to the forefront, with two founding members of the network stepping up as CAMFED Executive Director–Africa and CAMA Director of Development. CAMA’s significance was also recognized by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which selected the association as one of the first five youth-led organizations it supports.

Camfed Annual Review 2017 (international version)

CAMFED’s Annual Review 2017, released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the CAMFED Alumnae Network (CAMA). Click the image to read the review.

CAMA’s key achievements in 2017 alone:

  • Supported 526,616 students to go to primary and secondary school
  • Together with communities raised more than $9 million in additional resources to support marginalized children
  • Scaled CAMFED’s Learner Guide Program and the Transition Guide Program, providing support for girls to succeed in school and on the road to independence after school

This contribution represents a unique multiplier effect and match funding model for donors and sets an international standard for what can be achieved, at pace and at scale, when we get right the ‘how’ of girls’ education.

Learner Guide Cecelia introduces students to the ‘My Better World’ curriculum

Learner Guide Cecelia mentors secondary school students in Ghana, improving learning outcomes for them, and developing her own leadership skills. Photo: CAMFED/Eliza Powell

#TimesUp for Inequality and Exclusion

In tandem with the #TimesUp movement that has swept the Western world, CAMA’s young women are creating a new dialog around female leadership and empowerment on the African continent. In the context in which they live and work – where extreme poverty leaves girls open to exploitation, disease and violence as they try and secure their right to education – this call for gender equality takes on a life-saving urgency. CAMA and CAMFED are partnering with government officials, traditional leaders, teachers and parents to combat issues like child marriage and gender-based violence. Together we are showing that girls’ education and women’s leadership are key to tackling global poverty and inequality, contributing to all the Sustainable Development Goals.

I think what distinguishes women’s leadership is that women are leaders in everyday life. We manage the home, we manage our children, we take on so many responsibilities and we do it well. So in leadership positions, we are naturals. CAMA gives young women the opportunity to come up and solve issues in the community that even our leaders and politicians aren’t able to.

Sandra, Learner Guide & CAMA Ghana National Secretary in 2017

When girls graduate from school into the CAMA network they join a life-changing and history-making movement. For CAMFED, this growth and flourishing of CAMA is the most exciting and important result of almost 25 years of work.

For full financial statements for USA and UK visit our Finance page

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


Niall Doherty $215

David WOLFSON $750

Wendy Wallbrunn $40

Jonathan Wilkinson £50

Albert Zabin $200

Steve Osman $100

Roe & Maggie Stone $100

Betty Schwab $25

Jonathan Brody $40

Bonne Mogulescu $150

William Wiedmann $150

Adrianna Timmons $360

Lizbeth Garcia $10

Niall Doherty $370

Nicola Riley €300