On International Day of the Girl  (October 11th) we’re highlighting the importance of support networks at every level, which are vital in keeping marginalized girls in school.

Front and center of these networks are the young women of CAMA, the CAMFED alumnae association. When poverty jeopardizes a girl’s future, these local leaders set a powerful example by taking action and securing her right to education.

The most vulnerable girls become the most capable leaders when they secure their right to an education.

Angeline Murimirwa, CAMFED Executive Director, Africa

As communities across Africa celebrate the Day of the Girl,  secondary student Belawu and CAMA member Issah from Ghana shared their story with us. When poverty forced Belawu to drop out of school, she and her mother were distraught, determined not to let her education  come to an end. Reaching out to community leaders, they met CAMFED alumna Issah. Hearing of Belawu’s struggles, Issah saw a reflection of her own experiences as a girl and decided to take action. Rallying the support of her fellow CAMA members, she gathered together the modest resources they had to help Belawu.

Now Belawu is not only enjoying being back in school, but also being welcomed into a ‘family’. When she leaves school she will graduate into the CAMA movement, pledging to also pay forward to benefits of her education.

Though they’re not related, Issah and Belawu look upon each other as sisters

Issah is one of thousands of CAMA members multiplying the benefits of her education, ensuring that we reach more girls more quickly. Last year alone, CAMA members supported an additional 93,680 girls to go to secondary school, both financially and emotionally. Now more global leaders are stepping up behind CAMA.

As #DayoftheGirl unfolds, join @CAMFED on social media for some exciting moments, and read some of the coverage below:

Michelle Obama: “If we care about climate change, if we care about poverty, then we have to care about education.”

Today we joined former First Lady Michelle Obama for a TODAY Show special to celebrate the launch of the Global Girls Alliance, a new program in support of adolescent girls’ education. Its Go Fund Me platform supports the work of the grassroots activists in CAMFED’s CAMA Alumnae network directly. They know that girls’ education is THE solution to the world’s biggest issues, and are acting now to get more girls into school.

NPR: She Was Too Poor To Stay In School. Now She’s An Inspiration To Rihanna

NPR’s Marc Silver interviews CAMFED’s Executive Director Angeline Murimirwa, tracing her transformational journey from rural Zimbabwe to audacious leader.

Stylist Magazine: “I don’t want someone else to be controlling my life

For Day of the Girl,  Stylist magazine was completely edited by girls, and features Zambian student Faith.  Once at risk of becoming a child bride, she was supported by CAMFED alumna Alice to return to school. Today she’s a prefect.  

Ghana Online News:  CAMA Ghana calls for more effort to fight child marriages

In Ghana, CAMA leaders gathered at a forum in Tamale to call on all stakeholders to intensify the fight to end child marriage.  Fatima Yakubu, a nurse and midwife, and the Northern Regional Chairperson of CAMA Ghana, addressed the audience, underscoring that child marriages not only risk a girl’s mental and physical well-being, but also also tend to end her education, and with it her chance of a better future.

Fiona Mavhinga:  Empathy: The first step on the long road to equality through education

Our Day of the Girl blog by CAMA Development Director Fiona Mavhinga describes the importance of empathy and action for girls.

Discovery Learning Alliance Video: My Better World:  Philomena and Deborah

Philomena and Deborah understand the value of supporting each other. A sneak preview of our video series collaboration with Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA).

TES:  Day of the Girl: Help disadvantaged girls build us a better world

Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls, who help to break the cycle of poverty when they become leaders. TES shines a spotlight on the difference girls’ education makes to individuals, families, and entire nations, and the data that backs this up.

By stepping up behind the CAMA sisterhood, together we can set in motion an unstoppable force for change. These educated young women, once vulnerable girls, have the empathy and expertise to uplift the next generation.

This Day of the Girl, please join them!

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