Girls excluded from education become women excluded from decision-making in every other sphere of life.

CAMFED’s programs tackle poverty and inequality by providing the financial and social support girls need to learn, thrive and lead. We see girls’ education as the route to systems change, not to mitigation of systems that keep failing the most marginalized. 

We begin with an individual girl in rural Africa.

We’re answerable first and foremost to her. By looking at the world from her perspective, we work to dismantle the financial, structural and systemic barriers to her education and to living a healthy and fulfilling adult life as an independent, influential woman. 

Our programs are designed, developed and refined with the young people we serve.

They are owned by our partner communities, and spearheaded by members of the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support.

Deeply invested in the success of every girl in their communities, our women leaders and community champions use their own resources to reach out to many more girls, identifying those who are ‘invisible’ to local authorities.

Melody stands with her community and stakeholders in her education

Supporting girls through school and into adulthood

CAMFED builds a network of support around each girl, providing her with tailored support during school, beyond school, and into her future:


Financial support for girls to attend school

We work in a context where families struggling to provide regular meals simply can’t afford to send their girls to school, so CAMFED provides targeted financial support to cover a wide range of school-going costs.

These include the required school uniform and shoes, fees, books, and school supplies, as well as items that address the additional hurdles girls face, including menstrual products and bicycles or boarding fees, ensuring that girls can travel long distances more safely, or board directly at schools far away from their villages. 

We also support schools with grants for infrastructure, and community groups with grants to establish local enterprises, whose profits in turn fund the education of more children in their communities.


Teacher Mentors

Across our countries of operation there is a lack of highly qualified (especially female) teachers, and of learning materials.

Teaching is often in English, not in students’ home languages, and without access to resources and support, children find it very hard to acquire the literacy and language skills required to learn and pass their exams. We started addressing these issues through trained Teacher Mentors, who work across government partner schools, identifying new ways of helping girls to pass their exams in a context where 50% of students fail.

For many children, particularly those who are orphans, school is the only place where they can get adult guidance and psycho-social support. Trained Teacher Mentors, working throughout CAMFED’s partner schools, help to address the problems that children encounter at school or at home. Increasingly these teachers, like Penelope pictured here, were once themselves supported through school by CAMFED, and bring their lived experience and empathy to the classroom.


Learner Guides

In schools, Teacher Mentors work alongside Learner Guides – young women in the CAMFED Association – who return to their local schools to support vulnerable children in their studies and deliver a uniquely tailored life skills and well-being program called My Better World. Learner Guides understand the barriers imposed by poverty, having lived them. Working with teachers, parents, schools, and local officials to keep children in school and push up learning outcomes, Learner Guides represent a formidable new force in strengthening the ties between schools and homes. As peer mentors and role models, Learner Guides are transforming prospects for young people in their communities and beyond.

Explore our Learner Guide Program

Parent Support Groups

CAMFED also partners with parents, who volunteer their time and resources in Parent Support Groups. These groups offer love, support, and vital services to vulnerable girls and boys, such as school meal programs and supervision at school hostels.

With training and small grants, Parent Support Groups are also starting profit-making enterprises in order to help more children in their communities to cover their material needs, including shoes, books and uniforms.

Beyond school

Our programs provide continued support after girls graduate and join the CAMFED Association, our unique peer support and leadership network. Through the network, young women gain access to pastoral support and practical training in life, financial, business and leadership skills, health and well-being, and can access employment and further education opportunities. The network allows young women to connect across industries and employment sectors.


Transition Guides

Our post school transition curriculum is designed to enable young women to make a safe transition from school to productive and sustainable livelihoods.

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Enterprise Development

We are supporting women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses beyond the micro stage, so they can create more jobs, prosperity and gender equity in rural communities.


Climate-Smart Agriculture Guides

Agriculture Guides are young women who have completed school with CAMFED support, who have received training and developed expertise in sustainable agriculture.

They then train other smallholders in sustainable farming techniques, supporting their communities to adapt to the effects of climate change while improving yields. They respect traditional knowledge, and combine it with innovation, using methods and materials readily available in local communities.

Agriculture Guides are helping to raise productivity, combat hunger, build resilience to climate shocks, and lower greenhouse emissions, while tackling gender inequity in farming.

Explore our Agricultural Guide Program

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


Diane Miller £250

catherine griffith $300

Mary Madha £120

Joan Deverteuil $50

Roger Walker £500

George Marshall £20

Barbara Ferreira €53

Cheryl Peck $20

Mariama Walker $10

Jacqueline Shaldjian $100

Pete Rodriquez $5

Bamidele Adewola $25

Jack Tappin £33

Jing Ma $10

Derek Juno $580