Secondary Student, Zimbabwe

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Hi, I'm Tinotenda, a student in Zimbabwe!

I’m Head Girl at my school, Junior MP for my district, an aspiring neuroscientist and powerful education advocate — inspiring girls with my passion for science.

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I live with my family in a small rural farming town in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe. I was in primary school when my father passed away and life became very hard for us. My learning was disrupted as my mother struggled to support us on her own. I was able to continue primary school through a government assistance program which paid my fees up until the end of primary school.

However this support did not extend to secondary education, and I continued to face daily hardship. I walked the long journey to school in worn out shoes and school uniform. With no money to buy a school bag, I struggled to carry my stationery and homework to and from school each day just in my hands. I worried all the time about losing my assignments written on old bits of paper, because we could not afford exercise books. Hunger became all too familiar as we struggled to afford enough food to eat. I would go almost the entire school day without eating anything.

I was about to drop out of school, when CAMFED stepped in to support me with school fees, notebooks, uniforms, menstrual products, and mentorship from a Teacher Mentor. Immediately my worries lifted and my self-confidence soared. I could focus on my studies and began achieving high grades. I became more involved in school activities, taking up leadership opportunities. I was twice elected as Junior Counselor when I was in Forms 2 and 3, and the year after that I was elected Junior Parliamentarian for Gokwe Central constituency. On top of that, I am currently the school’s Head Girl!

When CAMFED stepped in, my situation transformed for the better. I could focus on my studies, and my self-esteem and confidence improved!

I have gained a lot of new opportunities through CAMFED. In July 2023, I was one of 14 students invited by a renowned scientist to attend a summer school program at the University of Pennsylvania in the USA. CAMFED and my CAMFED Association sisters did all they could to make sure I could participate in this unique opportunity. It was a great learning experience, allowing me to meet other aspiring university students from around the world. During the program I chose two courses relating to the science subjects I am interested in, firstly: An Introduction to Medicine, and secondly: Pathology and disease prevention. I particularly enjoyed conducting research in labs, where I used a microscope for the first time. I was so happy and really learned a lot!

I am a girl with dreams. I dream of becoming a neurosurgeon someday. I will make sure this dream of mine helps me to set up an organization that helps girls and young women.

I also met different lecturers and professional scientists including virologists, pathologists and pediatricians. The whole experience gave me a unique insight into university life and I felt inspired by brilliant people that I met. I want to be a neurosurgeon when I grow up, but I learned there are many different fields of medicine to explore. From this trip, I got to understand that I still have some time to make a choice about my dream career. I can try many options and choose the one that interests me.

Here I am at the University of Pennsylvania in the USA for the summer school program. I was so happy and really learned a lot!

The world is in need of women educated in STEM subjects. We are proving that we are capable and can compete with men.

I really enjoy STEM subjects – especially science. I believe it’s important for girls to participate in these subjects so they can enter male-dominated fields, such as medicine and engineering. To any girls out there who are interested in STEM: follow your passion, focus on your studies and embrace education, because it will make your life beautiful. It is going to take your life from one level to another. You have got the potential, you are capable.

In Zimbabwe there are few women in STEM careers. But we can prove that if men can do it, we can also do it. We have the potential and the ability to do it.

Education is indeed power. With education and determination, my future is bright. After I graduate, I hope to pay my education forward and join the CAMFED Association, a sisterhood of influential graduates, supporting each other into work and leadership, and sending more girls to school. With hard work, dedication and willpower, only the sky’s the limit.

My fellow girls, I urge you to work really hard. Let us embrace education as it is a tool for empowerment. You have got the potential and you are capable!

Hear from more inspiring students!




Now that I am supported by CAMFED at school, I am very hopeful because I know in future I will be somebody, I will be independent and I will be able to support my family and others in my community.

Faiza-1102787-Secondary student-GH-April-2022



I’m Faiza, a recent secondary school graduate from Tamale Metro in Ghana. I have big ambitions of becoming a journalist in the future. With CAMFED support through school, I became empowered to complete my secondary education and start achieving my dreams as an educated, confident young woman.

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


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