Open Doors Appeal 2021

Keep the door to school open during the pandemic, and each girl you help can open many more in her future — doors to higher education, to her own business, to council meeting rooms and even government chambers. Donate now
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Girls educated with CAMFED support go on to join Africa’s largest and fastest-growing network of young women activists. They are our leaders.

Having themselves experienced extreme hardship and exclusion, our CAMFED Association members are ideally placed to identify and collectively address the issues their communities face. Every day, most especially in a crisis, they are on the frontline, deploying their expertise and partnerships to galvanize community support around the most vulnerable.

Each member of the Association, on average, supports another three girls to go to school with her own resources, as well as mentoring, encouraging and passing on her skills to many more. With a membership that grows year-on-year as more girls complete secondary school and join, the power of this leadership network exponentially multiplies the initial investment in girls’ education.

People who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions… I’ve been inspired by the capacity of individuals to lift others: an association of women professionals mentoring girls through the same program that paid for their own educations.

MacKenzie Scott, 116 Organizations Driving Change (2020)

Leadership rising from Africa

  • 25%

    25% of our Executive Team are founding CAMFED Association members

  • 5

    5 democratically-elected CAMFED Association National Chairs sit on our Board

  • 100%

    100% of staff working in CAMFED offices in Africa are nationals of those countries

Discover our leaders’ lived experiences

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I met my former high school teacher on an extraordinary day

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into the room — The Head of School was my former high school teacherHe was so full of pride and mentioned to everyone that day that I was his former student. He urged his students to also do him proud one day.”

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Try explaining social distancing in a context of ubuntu

In rural villages across Africa, we have grown up and we survive on ubuntu — that humanity towards one another, the realization that it takes a village to raise a child, and that ‘I am because you are.’ Now, a pandemic is hitting communities that are ill equipped to cope with it — financially, medically, and socially.”

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Celebrating a new generation of teachers

Growing up as girls in marginalized rural communities whose families struggled to send us to school, we could only dream that we’d become the teachers, doctors, lawyers and leaders of tomorrow. But we succeeded!”

From student to leader

Faith Nkala was one of the first girls supported to go to school by CAMFED. She became a founding member of the CAMFED Association and is now our National Director at CAMFED Zimbabwe. She recalls her time at school with 20 other CAMFED clients including Angeline Murimirwa (now our Executive Director – Africa) and Lucia Punungwe (the first CAMFED Association member to also train as a Teacher Mentor).

We told ourselves that we did not choose to be poor, but we could choose where we wanted to go, who we wanted to become. So every term, the top 21 girls would be us. We just made sure that we helped each other. Lucia and I were good at math, so we would help others with math. And Angie was very good at arts subjects, like history and literature, so she would help us to understand those… We continued to work together and we ended up as the leadership team at the school — we were all prefects. We were demonstrating that it’s not about poverty, it’s not about background, but it’s about the willpower to do what is right.

Faith Nkala – National Director, CAMFED Zimbabwe

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Angeline Murimirwa speaking at the 2018 Skoll World Forum

CAMFED Executive Director Angeline Murimirwa reveals her epiphany moment, when, with 400 other young women, she co-founded the CAMFED Association.

She advises the audience: “Be willing to learn and be able to face criticism. Be open to having your truth challenged. And most importantly, know that you are enough.”

The virtuous cycle

CAMFED’s model promotes a virtuous cycle of empowerment by supporting girls and young women through every stage of their development

Primary education

At primary level, CAMFED provides funds to school-based committees to cover essential school-going costs for vulnerable children – both boys and girls – at risk of dropping out of education. We also establish and nurture Parent Support Groups, which volunteer their time and resources to keep poor children in school, by providing nutritious school meals for example. This opens the door to…

…Secondary education

CAMFED commits to supporting each girl, selected through a transparent process by her community, through the entire secondary school cycle, providing the support she needs to stay in school, such as school fees, supplies, a uniform, essential personal items, and boarding fees where required. We train Teacher Mentors to look after girls’ psycho-social needs. They are then supported to achieve…

…Economic independence

Through the CAMFED Association, young women graduates access peer support, training and financial resources that open up new pathways to independence, including financial literacy, ICT, health, business and entrepreneurship training. Young women can access seed grants to help them set up rural businesses creating employment and prosperity in their communities. The respect they gain sets them up for…

…Leadership

CAMFED Association members commit to supporting more vulnerable children through school, multiplying the benefits of their education. As role models and mentors they deliver health, wellbeing and financial literacy programs, share sustainable agricultural practices and business skills, and sit on local and selected committees, seeding change in marginalized communities. This in turn means more children can access primary education.

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Our unique operating model

CAMFED’s three-pronged operating model integrates operational excellence with community championship and the expertise of the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support. It ensures that we remain accountable to each girl we support, and that her needs are met in a way that is responsive to her specific context. As a result, 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, even and especially in times of crisis.

Discover our unique model

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty

Donate

Eric Starr $15

Frederick Fedewa $50

Stephen Kevan $2500

Fran Taffer $100

Annie Durbin $1000

Adele Grunberg $500

Matthew Reid-Schwartz $100

Kim Pengelly $1000

Kerri Hame $150

Henry Burton $200

George Coope $50

Lillian Pearson $25

Jackie Wilson-Farber $75

Jane O'Grady €50

Jackie Wilson $75