Hear from our sisterhood of change makers – a new generation of leaders at the forefront of a global movement for girls’ education.

We are the CAMFED Association (CAMA), Africa’s largest and fastest-growing peer support and leadership network of young women activists educated with CAMFED support, now spearheading CAMFED’s programs. By the beginning of 2024, there were 278,959 of us, and we’ll keep growing as more girls graduate and join us.

We share a background of poverty and exclusion, and an unstoppable determination to ensure that every girl secures her right to go to school, learn and thrive, and can become an independent, influential woman.

We are deeply committed to ‘plowing back’ the benefits of our education into our communities – quite literally, because many of us run farming businesses and practice climate-smart agriculture!

We support each other, and capitalize on our education by passing on our learning and expertise to many more girls and young women in our communities. We are big sisters and role models to girls, providing the social support they need to do well in school and beyond. And we are looked up to as business leaders, creating jobs and using some of our profits to support more vulnerable children to succeed.

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What makes the CAMFED Association such a powerful force for change?

We are organized into elected committees from the district to national level, with an infrastructure designed to effectively share knowledge, skills and resources.

We connect with each other to overcome rural isolation, and exchange experience, expertise and opportunities, joining hands to make sure many more children get the chance we got to build a brighter future.

Partnering with school, local and traditional authorities, we galvanize our communities into action for vulnerable girls.

Among our CAMFED Association sisters are teachers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, nurses, social workers, climate-smart agriculture specialists and local political leaders, all with a strong and intimate understanding of the barriers to girls’ education. We know how to dismantle those barriers, and rally everyone in our communities to do the same.

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The CAMFED Association in numbers

Our growing movement is the largest network of its kind in Africa.

  • 279K

    The CAMFED Association - our powerful network of women leaders educated with CAMFED support - is 278,959 strong and counting

  • 89K

    Our movement in Zimbabwe has grown to 88,854 CAMFED Association members

  • 69K

    Our movement in Ghana has grown to 68,924 CAMFED Association members

The CAMFED Association in numbers

Young women educated with CAMFED support now spearhead CAMFED's programs and help more vulnerable children to go to school.

  • 57K

    Our movement in Tanzania has grown to 57,102 CAMFED Association members

  • 35K

    Our movement in Malawi has grown to 34,673 CAMFED Association members

  • 29K

    Our movement in Zambia has grown to 29,406 CAMFED Association members

Our Origins

The CAMFED Association was formed in July 1998 when 400 recent school graduates from rural Zimbabwe came together to discuss what their futures would look like. Some of them were still wearing their school uniforms – the only presentable clothes they owned. Most were daunted as they looked at a future with limited opportunities for women like us. 

But as they discussed their challenges, they found strength in their shared background of exclusion, and expressed their deep commitment to making sure every girl gets the chance to go to school and determine her own future. They discovered that together they could lead the change they wanted to see, for themselves and their communities.

Those who were there back then — Angeline Murimirwa, now CAMFED’s CEO, and Fiona Mavhinga, Executive Adviser, CAMFED Association, among them — could never have imagined how our sisterhood would grow in size and influence. 

Today, as the leaders at the forefront of CAMFED’s movement for girls’ education, we’re working with local and global leaders to bring about lasting change in our countries, in Africa, and across the world.

Learn from women leaders

Do you believe in the power of sisterhood and collective action? Then read and watch our stories to get closer to our personal experiences, to better understand the hurdles girls and young women continue to face, and to find out what we're doing about it. It's time to fuel up with hope and inspiration, because a better world is possible!

Jennifer De-Graft Ninson



As an education activist, Jennifer advocates for the rights of marginalized young people, especially persons with disabilities and girls. She mentors and guides them, helping them become leaders in their communities and ensure their voices are heard.

“My sisters in the CAMFED Association strengthen my belief that through education, girls can achieve great things. Their stories are a constant reminder of the potential and resilience within each individual.”

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Growing up in rural Zambia, every day in education was a challenge to Chise. Today she is an advocate for girls’ education, working with stakeholders to improve the lives of others and achieve her dream that all girls in Zambia have access to quality education and become independent leaders.

“We are bringing our valuable knowledge and practical skills to students in the classroom, helping support whole school communities to become climate resilient and food secure.”




Josephine is proud of being a businesswoman and a leader. She is proud of how CAMFED has shaped her life and the role model she’s become. She loves her job as Vice Chairperson of Kibaha Rural District Council, and is happy to be making life better for women and girls in her community.

“I mentor other women and inspire them to get involved in politics by telling them the truth, that they can be leaders!”




Privillege is not just running for herself, she is running to represent rural, talented children. She is running with all her heart because she wants to make CAMFED and the CAMFED Association proud.

“All I needed was a sister to remind me I could make it.”

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Portia is a trained teacher by profession, from the Upper West Region of Ghana. Her education has equipped her with the skills to pursue her passion for teaching and community development.

“I am dedicated to breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating a more inclusive society where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive.”




Orphaned at a young age, Rose grew up to make her grandparents proud, taking on leadership roles in the CAMFED Association, and training young women Learner Guides. Rose galvanizes her community in support of girls’ education and against child marriage.

I have ended many child marriages, working with traditional leaders in my community. I will help more children, assisting them with their basic needs.




Every day Natasha wakes up, she chooses to challenge girl child exclusion from education. That is because she has been a rural girl before, she knows what it means to face challenges that keep you away from school, but she has overcome them.

“When you get a chance to get an education, you should grab it with both hands, because there is no greater equalizer than education.”




Faced with many poverty-related challenges during her school years, Martha was determined to succeed and exceeded expectations through her academic achievements. Today, she is an entrepreneur in mushroom production, which is a climate-smart crop.

“Getting to be in a family of sisters who share a common experience, a background with me, who have a similar focus in life, is so impactful.”




As a child, Mariam learned to plait hair with her older sister, who raised her after their mother died when Mariam was only six years old. Today, Mariam fulfils her dream of opening a women’s hair dressing salon and helping her sister in return.

“I am thankful to CAMFED and promise to support my fellow CAMFED Association members.”


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Having experienced the financial challenges of climate change growing up, almost losing her education, Harriet now works as a climate-smart Agriculture Officer in Zambia. She trains Agriculture Guides, empowering them to farm in a way that is sustainable.

“I see a future of many possibilities because of our CAMFED Association, which is a sisterhood.”


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Eliza Chikoti

Once contemplating child marriage as the only way to afford secondary school fees, Eliza now has a Bsc in Food Science and Technology. Today, she is a CAMFED District Operations Officer, and supports her family, as well as other children in her community.

“I was the first girl to go to university from my family, my community and from my secondary school.”





Struggling to afford to stay in school and lacking self-esteem growing up, Happiness is now the Chairperson of the CAMFED Association in her District, CAMFED Learner Guide and is operating a thriving Information Technology business. 

“But the most important thing above all is that I am a CAMFED Association member. My sisters are my source of strength — their support makes failing impossible.”




The chance to go to school and study sustainable agriculture changed everything for Dorcas, who just designed a climate-smart aquaponics system, and will train farmers to adopt sustainable agriculture practices, improving resilience to climate change.

I realized I could actually contribute more through agriculture than any other sector, and I was determined to reduce hunger in my community.”



Cindy had a bittersweet childhood. After losing her father, her future was uncertain until she received support to finish school. Cindy is now studying medicine at university and runs a climate-smart business, bringing nutrition to her community.

If you are discouraged or need help, you know that a CAMFED Association member is close by and can help you.”




Overcoming a dificult childhood, Sophia is now a CAMFED Learner Guide, an entrepreneur, and a pillar of her community. She uses her life experiences and her own resources to support and mentor many more girls at her local school.

The CAMFED Association means changing from depending on others to self-reliance and abolition of poverty.”




Although her childhood was marred by tragedy and poverty, today our sister Aida is blazing a trail for marginalized women and girls across Tanzania – she was the first CAMFED Association member in the country to qualify as a teacher, but not the last!

“A dream you dream alone is a dream, but a dream you dream together is realistic.”





As one of the most marginalized girls in her community, Luwiza was identified by a committee to receive a holistic package of support from CAMFED. An active member in the CAMFED Association (CAMA), Luwiza was soon elected into a leadership position.

Being in CAMA means having sympathy and having the capability to help others. I am seen as a role model, which makes me humble, and spurs me on.




Once on the verge of dropping out of school, today Tisiyenji runs a bakery and several other businesses, has coordinated CAMFED Learner Guides and COVID-19 action, and mentors and supports vulnerable children.

I am now a role model to my family and community, because I’ve gone that extra mile to bring in money for the whole family.”

Every day, as CAMFED Association members, we:

Identify vulnerable girls for support

We are part of the community committees that select girls for school-going support from CAMFED, and help identify girls ‘invisible’ to school authorities — victims of child marriage or abuse, for example. 

Support girls to go to school and learn with confidence

Each CAMFED Association member, on average, financially supports three more girls to go to school out of her own pocket, and offers social support and mentoring to many more. 

Deliver life skills and well-being sessions

We volunteer in our local schools as Learner Guides – peer educators and role models, delivering the My Better World life skills and well-being program to improve school retention and learning outcomes. And we volunteer as Transition Guides to support graduates on the route to independence and leadership.

Advise, develop and innovate programs

Our experience, skills and expertise drives CAMFED’s program development and delivery. We are part of CAMFED’s Executive team, Boards and committees. Nothing about us without us!

Help develop our communities

We seize training opportunities in subjects like health, financial literacy, leadership, entrepreneurship, and climate-smart farming methods, and we cascade that expertise within our Association and to our wider communities.

Monitor CAMFED’s impact

We use technology to help monitor CAMFED’s programs, ensuring that girls receive their entitlements (their school uniforms, notebooks, pens and menstrual products, for example), and recording data like school attendance and performance.

Link families to schools and services

Because we come from the communities we serve, we are trusted by families and can provide a critical link between students, families, schools and services. We help establish groups of parents which in turn help build school infrastructure, monitor dorms, cook meals, and provide love and financial support to send more children to school.

Run businesses and create jobs

As business owners and entrepreneurs, we are working to break the cycle of poverty by providing for our extended families, financing our own further education, creating new jobs and opportunities, and supporting more children in school.

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Our Multiplier Effect

Our sister Pearl from rural Ghana is a leader in the CAMFED Association, an entrepreneur, a mentor to vulnerable school children, and a role model in her community. She works with traditional leaders, school authorities and families to address poverty and gender inequality and bring about lasting change in her community. Hear from Pearl as she tells the story of Prospera, one of the many girls we’ve identified and supported to return to school with our own resources. 

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Our sisters on the global stage

We have personally experienced many of the world’s biggest challenges — exclusion from education, gender-based violence, early marriage, hunger, unemployment, illness, disability, and the devastating effects of climate change. That personal knowledge and understanding is a powerful basis on which to engage with local and traditional leaders, as well as global decision‐makers, to change the status quo for good.

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Event: People First Community Talk with Mwangala Mukelabai Bwengo

Recorded on March 5, 2024 

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day 2024, CAMFED’s CEO Angeline (Angie) Murimirwa and CAMFED Zambia Program Manager Mwangala Mukelabai –  members of the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support – joined Radha Ruparell of the People First Community to discuss collective leadership for girls’ education, sisterhood, and the power of communities to deliver a better world for all children, at scale.



Video: Angeline (Angie) Murimirwa’s TED Talk 2023

Angeline (Angie) Murimirwa, CEO of CAMFED, helped found our sisterhood of leaders for girls’ education – the CAMFED Association – 25 years ago. Watch her TED Talk to see the world through the eyes of a girl in rural Africa, find out why school is not enough, and experience the difference that a ‘Big Sister’ can make.



Let Girls Learn profiles CAMFED’s climate-smart teaching farm

Come behind the scenes at CAMFED’s climate-smart teaching farm in Chinsali, Zambia - subject of a video-led feature for the Evening Standard's 'Let Girls Learn' series.



Malawian students win Kenya university scholarships

The students are taking up their higher education places in Kenya with support from CAMFED and the Mastercard Foundation. Before traveling, they joined a televised event in Blantyre.



Angie Murimirwa’s TED Talk: Revolutionizing education through social interest

Learn about our revolutionary concept of ‘social interest,’ an approach to lending which gives young African school graduates — considered ‘unbankable’ — access to finance. In turn, they pay forward their interest in service to vulnerable students and exponentially multiply the impact of their loan.



African women leading climate action – CAMFED’s UN award at COP25

CAMFED was honored with the UN Global Climate Action Award 2019.


Our sister Esnath Divasoni, a CAMFED Association leader and trainer of Agriculture Guides in Zimbabwe, accepted the award on behalf of our entire movement.



Grassroots leadership benefitting girls, communities, and our planet

In March 2021, members of our network of women leaders represented our movement at a number of high-profile, international events.

They highlighted the importance of grassroots expertise and action to address the urgent challenges girls in our communities face in the wake of the pandemic.



CAMFED Co-Executives join ‘Council of Luminaries’, announced at 2020 Yidan Prize Summit

At the 2020 Yidan Prize Awards Presentation Ceremony and Summit,  Angeline Murimirwa and Lucy Lake accepted the Yidan Prize for Education Development on behalf of everyone in our movement and joined the newly-formed Council of Luminaries. 



The CAMFED Association joins the First Lady: “We are ready to lead the charge”

On the Day of the African Child in 2015, Fiona Mavhinga, one of the founding members of our CAMFED Association, joined the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, at a school in London to discuss just what it takes to support girls to go to school and learn when they get there.



Michelle Obama welcomes CAMFED to the Girls Opportunity Alliance

Three years later, girls’ education champion and former First Lady Michelle Obama marked International Day of the Girl (October 11th) with the launch of the Girls Opportunity Alliance, to which she welcomed the young women leaders in our CAMFED Association across Africa.


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Unleashing potential with inclusive education

On July 25, 2018, Primrose Mandishona, disability activist and a founding member of the CAMFED Association in Zimbabwe, joined the UK Secretary of State for International Development and addressed delegates from around the world at the Global Disability Summit.



CAMFED Association members recognized with Humanitarian Awards in Ghana

Three CAMFED Association members – Kate Wodenya Amenyikor, Jennifer De-Graft Ninson and Angelina Anita Ama Annobil – were recognized for their activism in promoting quality, equitable education at the Humanitarian Awards Ghana. 



Earth Day 2021 – Education is Climate Action

Listen in as a BBC podcast visits Esnath’s cricket farm in Zimbabwe on Earth Day. Meet Miriam, who is raising productivity while preventing soil erosion in rural Malawi, and demonstrating the link between education and climate action. Explore articles about our work in Cleopatras Worldwide and by Brookings.



Africa Youth Day 2020: Vee Kativhu with Linda Bhebhe and Natasha Mabuza

Zimbabwean-born Varaidzo (Vee) Kativhu, award-winning education content creator and social mobility ambassador, met up with CAMFED Association leaders Linda Bhebhe and Natasha Mabuza via zoom, discussing mentorship, leadership, and the importance of role models for girls’ education.

CAMFED Association leaders in the media

We need young women experts to be seen and heard, so we appreciate journalists who put in the time to listen and learn. Here's just a small selection of earned media:


Ms.: "I felt my village raising me"

In her Op Ed in the American feminist Ms. magazine, CAMFED Association member Judith from Zimbabwe describes her transformation from an orphan seeking solace in a tree near her school to an activist for social justice,  ensuring that girls stay safe and keep learning.


Sky News: Climate action through girls' education and women's leadership

Climate-smart agriculture expert and CAMFED Association member Harriet Cheelo from Zimbabwe joins Catherine Boyce to discuss a feminist approach to climate action on the Sky News podcast.


NPR: Eliza from Malawi on helping girls stay focused during the pandemic

Like thousands of her CAMFED Association sisters, Eliza Chikoti has been stepping in to help girls in her community navigate tough personal choices and prioritize their education.


Devex: Forget's story of sustainable entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe

Devex covers Forget’s rise from a vulnerable girl dropping out of school, to a university-educated climate activist, running a business that helps cut food waste and fight hunger.


Forbes: The CAMFED Association's Olympic-style perseverance

Kim thinks our Sisterhood exemplifies the Olympic mindset, quoting Angie Murimirwa: “Whereas at one time, we may have been dismissed for our background of rural poverty, we are now sought out as experts on the challenges girls face. “


New York Times: Nick Kristof talks to Angie Murimirwa as CAMFED wins Holiday Impact Prize

New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof selected CAMFED as the Grand Prize winner of his Holiday Impact Prize in 2020, and caught up with our Executive Director Angie Murimirwa, founding member of the CAMFED Association.


Devex: Decolonizing aid and mindsets by getting behind Africa's young leaders

In their seminal Op Ed, Dzingai Mutumbuka and Vongai Nyahunzvi point to sustainable initiatives that take a ‘people first’ approach and develop promising African leaders, who develop their communities – like all of us!


NewAfrican: Rethinking the African Dream with Bervelyn from Ghana

This special issue of NewAfrican magazine was guest edited by six Mastercard Foundation Scholars, including CAMFED Association member and journalist Bervelyn from Ghana, whose passion for journalism started in early childhood.

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


Niall Doherty $310

Rob Nickerson £350

Niall Doherty $215

David WOLFSON $750

Wendy Wallbrunn $40

Jonathan Wilkinson £50

Albert Zabin $200

Steve Osman $100

Roe & Maggie Stone $100

Betty Schwab $25

Jonathan Brody $40

Bonne Mogulescu $150

William Wiedmann $150

Adrianna Timmons $360

Lizbeth Garcia $10