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Through the Transition Guide Program, young women provide mentoring and skills support to their younger peers as they get ready to leave school, supporting them to develop their economic independence and leadership.

Led and facilitated by members of the CAMFED Association, who were typically themselves supported to go to school by CAMFED, the program provides mentorship, skills and resources, secondary school graduates to

  • start businesses
  • seek employment, and
  • access further education

The program includes

  • financial literacy training
  • business planning and advice
  • reproductive health and well-being information
  • leadership training

This support comes at the critical time, when young women continue to be vulnerable to exploitative labor and early marriage as they graduate into a context with few opportunities to establish a fulfilling, independent livelihood.

After the initial training, young women can gain access to additional expert training in specialized skills, including in climate-smart agriculture delivered by Agriculture Guides, and more in-depth business training and support provided by Business Guides.

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A critical time for additional support

The systemic issues of poverty and gender inequality that can keep girls from accessing school, or learning when they get there, continue to create significant financial and social barriers after they graduate. The young women we support typically graduate into low income communities which depend on subsistence agriculture and are characterized by a lack of quality employment – a precarious situation which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of climate change.

Young women in this context lack the capital, connections, and assets to create their own employment through entrepreneurship. There are few local women leaders to act as role models and mentors to help younger generations to define and pursue aspirations of economic independence and leadership. This means that urban migration or early marriage – both of which leave women extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation – are often their only perceived options.

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Practical support from role models and mentors

CAMFED’s post-school Transition Program therefore offers the vital support to enable young women to capitalize on their education, and live safe and fulfilling lives.

We continue to refine and develop this program with young women in the CAMFED Association, who possess the expertise, insights and connections in areas such as climate-smart agriculture, business, and health. They train other members of the CAMFED Association as Transition Guides, or peer educators. Transition Guides then support girls over a six to 12-month period as they approach the end of lower secondary school, and help them transition safely to higher secondary education, vocational training, tertiary education, entrepreneurship, or employment.

The Transition course is designed around practical learning. Guides deliver their sessions in small groups, connecting young women to their peers,  and helping them to improve their health and well-being, and make important life decisions.

Transitees: Gaining skills, experience and confidence by running group businesses

Young women on the Transition Program join together to set up group businesses, for example, with ‘practice grants’ designed to help them gain the experience they need, and to learn what works, as they run small enterprises together. Those young women who choose to pursue enterprise can gain access to seed financing grants and further in-depth support from experts in the CAMFED Association. 

Transition Guides: Gaining recognized qualifications

Like Learner Guides, Transition Guides can earn a vocational (BTEC) qualification to recognize their work, which in turn improves their own employment and higher education prospects.

The Transition Guide Program in Numbers

CAMFED's Transition Guide Program was first introduced in Zimbabwe and Tanzania in 2016, then expanded to Ghana, Malawi, and Zambia in 2018. The program's achievements by the beginning of 2021 include:

  • 9,867

    Transition Guides have been trained so far

  • 128k

    127,940 young women have been supported by Transition Guides so far

  • 10k

    10,343 young women have been supported in tertiary education so far

  • 33K

    33,481 young women have started a business so far

Stories of transformation

Website_story_-_landscape_PRISCA_Susans_mother

StoryZambia

Prisca

My name is Prisca. I am the mother of Suzen who is a Transition Guide* for Samfya district. My daughter Suzen was privileged to attend a CAMFED Association business and leadership training where she got a grant of K750.00. CAMFED has not only been beneficial to my daughter Suzen, but to the family as a whole.

Doris-Mponji-52239-CAMA-tomato-sauce-making-Ifakara-TZ

Doris

January 2021

Transition Guide Doris started out as a Learner Guide supporting girls’ studies. Now she runs a successful food processing business and focuses on transition training. Here she is with a group she has trained how to make tomato sauce, and says proudly of one of her ‘Transitees’, “Violet is a farmer and a businesswoman like me now, producing liquid soaps and peanut butter, jam, and tomato and chilli sauce.”

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty

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Beth Clark $150

Shauna Tomkins $800

Julie Forgit $100

Beverly Ayotte $200

Girl Up MHS $150

Blake Simpkins $100

Robert Genovese $30

Nicole Bushong $60

James Rosborough $100

Joan Ferguson $40

Margaret Oldham £100

Noelle Neglia $35

Elizabeth Copeland $150

CHISTINE STEPHENSON $250

J Buswell $350