We believe that effectively supporting an individual means investing in the structures that surround her.

CAMFED treats everyone we work with as an individual. But we do not support anyone in isolation. We work in partnership with rural communities – partnerships founded on trust and deep respect for the expertise and commitment of community members.

We know that successfully supporting a girl means investing in all aspects of her life, providing both financial and social support, and working to change the context of her exclusion.

CAMFED not only pays school fees, but provides other essentials, such as uniforms, books, and sanitary protection, safe boarding facilities, or bicycles for girls to get to school more quickly and safely. We train teachers in child protection, and young women as peer mentors and role models to vulnerable girls.  And we invest beyond the classroom, supporting young graduates in the CAMFED Association with additional training and resources, so they can, in turn, lead change for the next generation. Together we:

  • train government teachers as Teacher Mentors who are present in every one of our partner schools to look after the psycho-social wellbeing of vulnerable children.
  • establish and nurture Parent Support Groups, which volunteer their time and resources to keep children in school, by providing nutritious school meals or improving school facilities, for example.
  • improve learning environments by providing equipment or funding new infrastructure, such as low-cost boarding accommodation for girls living far from school.
  • support girls to grow in confidence and thrive in the classroom, through the support of trained CAMFED Learner Guides, peer mentors and role models.

Together we radically improve girls’ prospects of becoming independent, influential women. 


Our operating model

CAMFED is made up of three interworking and interdependent parts. Through the synergy of these three parts, CAMFED is able to deliver a resilient, highly efficient and ultimately sustainable program that truly serves the needs of our clients, and multiplies the impact of donor investment:

The CAMFED Association

The network of women leaders founded by former CAMFED clients, who organize and act on behalf of girls and young women

CAMFED Champions

Members of the communities we work with who actively champion and support the advancement of girls and young women

CAMFED Operations

The fundamental operations of CAMFED, including program design, support systems, partnerships and governance

Learn about the people who make up our movement

CAMFED Association

Africa’s largest and fastest-growing peer support and leadership network of young women activists for girls’ education, now spearheading CAMFED’s programs.

CAMFED Champions

Parents, teachers, traditional leaders, and school and district authorities, working together to support girls’ education and young women’s leadership.

CAMFED Operations

Our governance and support structures, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, research and communications.

Our model for systemic change

Girls’ education has been described as the “silver bullet” in terms of what it can achieve to address child and maternal mortality, raise families out of poverty, accelerate economic development, and help communities deal with climate change. CAMFED’s model sees girls’ education as the starting point for social change. It shows that partnering with communities to unlock the leadership potential of groups of girls and women at the margins of society creates a multiplier effect like no other, delivering the only sustainable and scalable way of addressing the world’s problems with the urgency required.


A different lens on girls’ education

“Unless we are prepared to tackle the root causes of girls’ exclusion and marginalization, we will only unlock a mere fraction of the potential of girls’ education. Even if we see an increase in girls’ school enrollment, this will not necessarily translate to a meaningful shift in their post-school prospects and life outcomes. We will miss the opportunity to achieve the kind of systemic change that leads to social justice and sustainable development.”

– CAMFED Co-Executives Angeline Murimirwa and Lucy Lake writing on Devex

Read our Op Ed on Devex

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


Melody Chikumbu $5.6

Richard Harrison $79.7

Kelsy Hoerauf $25

Cynthia Brahaney $31.9

Cynthia Marcy $13

Jaya Mangra $16.1

Sophie Underwood $79.2

Julie Grau $13

Brenda Wilton $13

Robert Genovese $63.4

Sharon Arrindell $5.6

Sue Durham £52.2

Jim Ahern £12.7

Jessica Atkins $26.6