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CAMFED in Ghana

CAMFED Ghana launched in 1998, working in the Northern Region, and by 2020 was operating in 12 regions and 38 districts. In the communities where we work, chronic poverty excludes many girls from education, with less than a quarter of children in the poorest households attending lower secondary school. This persistent poverty pushes vulnerable girls into unsafe work or child marriage.

CAMFED Ghana works to support the most marginalized girls to finish secondary school, and through our transition programs help them into post school employment or further education and training.

In Ghana, there continues to be a big gap between urban and rural, rich and poor. And while marginalized girls in poor rural communities are the first to be excluded, our future hinges on their success. We welcome the government prioritizing girls’ education, and are working with communities, schools and government authorities to build networks and relationships around the most vulnerable girls and young women– so that they get the targeted support they need to access school, learn, thrive and then lead the way for others. 

Sally Ofori Yeboah, National Director, CAMFED Ghana

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When you educate a girl child you educate the world

“In Ghana the major challenges to girls’ education are poverty and teenage pregnancy. Many girls drop out of school and lose their confidence because of these issues. As the CAMFED Association Chairperson in Ghana, I conduct advocacy and sensitization in communities to help more girls stay in school. With my team at CAMFED Ghana, we provide bursary support for children in low income families and campaign against child marriage.

“I believe that creating independent and self-motivated women begins with giving quality education to girls. These educated women will go on to create long-lasting, positive change in their communities and the wider world.”

Karima Mohammed, CAMFED Association Chairperson, Ghana

Barriers to Education

Particularly in rural areas, girls and students with disabilities remain at high risk of exclusion from education due to poverty, gender inequality and long distances from school.

  • 28%

    28% of children in Ghana live below the national poverty line of GH¢1,314 per person per year, rising to 45% of children living in rural areas.

    UNICEF (2020)

  • 42%

    Only 42% of girls in Ghana complete upper secondary school, and among the poorest children this falls to 19%.

    UNICEF (2019)

  • 27%

    Nationally, 27% of girls are married before their 18th birthday, and in northern Ghana, rates can be as high as 40%.

    UNICEF (2016)

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Meet Nimatu Siisu

Nimatu, a member of the CAMFED Association (CAMA) of women leaders educated with CAMFED support, recounts her personal story of transformation through education. She now pays forward the benefits of her schooling, supporting a new generation of girls to stay in school, learn, thrive, and become leaders in their own right.

Our unique “power house” are the members of the CAMFED Association – our network of women leaders educated with CAMFED support. Once themselves excluded from education, now they are at this critical point in the journey of humanity where they are standing up for their local communities. As mentors, Learner Guides, rural entrepreneurs and philanthropists, they are the role models girls need to see and create a different future for themselves and for Ghana.

Sally Ofori Yeboah, National Director, CAMFED Ghana

Since 1998, CAMFED Ghana has....

  • 213K

    supported 213,491 students to go to primary and secondary school using donor funds

  • 123K

    Of these, 123,042 students have been supported to go to primary school. CAMFED's Safety Net Fund for partner primary schools provides essential items for children to prevent them from dropping out of school.

  • 90K

    And 90,449 students have been supported to go to secondary school. CAMFED provides holistic support, that might include school or exam fees, uniforms, sanitary wear, books, pens, bikes, boarding fees or disability aids.

  • 1K

    CAMFED Ghana partners with 1,189 schools - We work in genuine partnership with government schools to help improve the learning environment for all students.

Tackling early marriage

Ghana co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution, recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts, and the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution to end child, early and forced marriage, recognising that it is a violation of human rights. In spite of this progress, child and early marriage remains an issue, particularly in the rural, northern areas where CAMFED works.

Early marriage limits girls’ skills, resources, knowledge, social support, mobility, and autonomy, they often have little power in relation to their husband, putting them at greater risk of domestic violence, HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy. For married girls and young mothers, this only entrenches the cycle of poverty as out-of-school they lack the resources and support to enter secure employment.

CAMFED Ghana collaborates with the government to ensure that young women not only stay in school, but see the pathway to independence and business leadership. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Enterprises Agency to support training for young women in establishing businesses. In collaboration with the Government’s Guidance and Counselling Unit, CAMFED Ghana developed the Ministry of Education’s five-year Guidance and Counselling Strategic Plan, Teacher Mentor Training Manual and Civic Education Handbook.

Communities taking action

Together with CAMFED Association leaders, we catalyze the activism of CAMFED Champions in our partner communities to support more vulnerable children to go to primary and secondary school.

  • 471K

    Since 1998, 470,835 students have been supported to go to school by CAMFED Association members and community initiatives.

  • 240K

    Of these, 240,056 students have been supported to go to school directly by CAMFED Association members. Often using profits from their businesses, CAMFED Association members support on average 3 more children to go to school - multiplying the impact of their education.

  • 231K

    And 230,779 students have been supported to go to primary and secondary school through community initiatives. This includes parents, teachers, education officials and traditional leaders, who rally resources to support even more children to go to school.

  • 40K

    Our movement in Ghana has grown to 40,072 CAMFED Association members helping to form the largest network of its kind in Africa. Young women educated with CAMFED support spearhead our programs and help more vulnerable children to go to school.

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Olivia faced many barriers to her education, but with CAMFED’s support was able to finish school and go on to university. Today, Olivia is an entrepreneur and agriculture expert, employing a team of over 36 people, mainly women, and increasing vegetable production in her community in Northern Ghana.

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Grassroots leadership benefitting girls, communities, and our planet

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