My name is Lisa Kandanda. I almost dropped out of education due to lack of funds, but CAMFED stepped in to support me through secondary school. I then joined the CAMFED Association of women leaders and as an active member I am working with many organizations and individuals with the aim of empowering the girl child.
In 2020 I was accepted as a student at the University of Zambia in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with CAMFED’s support.
I like the degree course in Public Administration because it opens up many opportunities such as becoming a town manager, program analyst, city planner or a human resource manager. Positions like these would allow me to make full use of the leadership skills I have developed over the course program.
What I am learning will give me an opportunity to enact real change in policies and in the programs developed to serve the public. Effective public administration has the power to maintain peace and order as well as protect the lives and property of its citizens.
Winning the People’s Budget Competition 2022
I got my first real taste of enacting policy when I entered the People’s Budget Competition 2022, organized by The Centre for Trade Policy and Development. During the competition I made speeches about my priorities, including girls’ education and gender equality. My government demonstrated a strong will and commitment to promoting women and youth into high positions of responsibility in the public sector.
I think my passion shone through, especially in the final, which was broadcast on Zambian television. A decision made by an independent judging panel combined with votes from the public — including my CAMFED Association sisters — resulted in me being named the competition winner!
One of the biggest barriers to girls’ education in my community is lack of access to resources such as uniforms, books, menstrual products, and adequate bathroom facilities at school. It is all rooted in poverty. Due to poverty many girls in my community are subjected to exploitation and abuse in their efforts to make ends meet and support their parents and siblings.
After the completion of my courses, my wish is to continue helping out other vulnerable girls. I want to put an end to early marriages and teenage pregnancies, and create a better environment for girls. I am also looking forward to working with fellow CAMFED Association members in campaigning for girls’ education and sensitizing girls on the importance of education. Together we can support them to stay in school, do well, and better their living standards.
In the short-term, I hope to work as a manager for a renowned company that prides itself on excellent customer service. I believe this will prepare me to take on expanded team leadership responsibilities in the future.
My ambitions for the future include to travel the world and be able to provide for my family. I would like to become one of the youngest female ambassadors who lobby for female education in Zambia. I would also like to see every girl in my community getting educated and being able to provide for their families.
I’m Naomi, a game changer in the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support in Zambia. I am respected in my community and beyond for my activism on big issues like girls’ exclusion from education and climate change.