On July 31st, at its national leadership conference in Melbourne, Australia, beauty retailer and global beauty brand curator MECCA launched a partnership with the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) as part of a new phase of its MECCA M-Power initiative, which champions female education, independence and entrepreneurship locally and globally. The partnership aims to support thousands more disadvantaged young women in rural Africa to go to school, learn, succeed, and become leaders and changemakers in their communities. In a video addressing the team at MECCA, CAMFED Patron Julia Gillard explained how.
MECCA Muse: Math teacher and trailblazer Lucia
This month, our partner MECCA—the beauty retailer and global beauty brand curator based in Australia and New Zealand—has selected CAMFED Association member, Math teacher and trailblazer Lucia Punungwe to feature as the “MECCA Muse.”
CAMFED’s partnership with MECCA was formalized in 2019, through the MECCA M-Power initiative, which champions female education locally and globally. Together, we are working to support thousands of disadvantaged young women in rural Zambia and Zimbabwe to go to school, learn, succeed, and become leaders and changemakers in their communities—just like Lucia has.
Being an educated woman raises my self-esteem and it is the master key to me unlocking so many doors… I feel humbled to hear of MECCA M-Power’s pride and commitment to the CAMFED partnership in order to ensure continued support for young women.
Using Math to help girls break free from poverty
Growing up without regular meals or a pair of shoes (until she was 11 years old), Lucia had sleepless nights wondering how her family would cover the costs of her education. After CAMFED stepped in to support her at secondary school, her worries faded away and she excelled in her studies, later becoming Head Girl. When she graduated, Lucia got some temporary teaching work and started a small business so she could save up for her degree in Mathematics. She also became a founding member of the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support, CAMA, in Zimbabwe.
Today, Lucia teaches Math at the same lower secondary school that she attended. She is passionate about showing other girls that they can do anything in and through education. As a trained CAMFED Teacher Mentor, Lucia can also offer additional psychosocial support to learners. Outside school, she volunteers as a Business Guide to mentor other entrepreneurs and continues to run her own grocery business to supplement her income. With her earnings, Lucia joins together with other CAMFED Association member to support more children in education.Read MECCA's interview with Lucia
I see a lot of “Lucias” - girls just like me, who are really in need. I hope I inspire them the way my sisters in the CAMFED Association inspire me every day.