Donate

Supporting girls to learn and lead in Malawi

CAMFED Malawi was launched in 2009, and by 2023 was working in 17 districts. Malawi suffers from an acute lack of secondary schools, meaning children —  especially in rural areas —  often have to travel long distances to school. This makes them extremely vulnerable to exploitation and school drop out. In addition, there is a critical lack of qualified teachers, with a pupil: teacher ratio of 72:1 at secondary level.  With very few female teachers, those girls able to get to school lack the role models to help encourage them to stay. 

In the rural communities CAMFED serves, the majority of people work in the agricultural sector, which is vulnerable to volatile economic growth and adverse weather conditions. In recent years the country has seen economic growth, but significant challenges remain. 

In Malawi, girls from poor families face considerable barriers to access education. Many lack the resources to stay in school, resulting in high rates of early marriage, teen pregnancy, and school drop out. I believe that with the right educational support, every child has the power to break the cycle of poverty. Education is a powerful instrument for improving health, achieving gender equality and socio-economic growth. Through our network of young women in the CAMFED Association, the Malawian government, parents, local communities and Civil Society Organizations, CAMFED supports the most marginalized girls on their journey to independence. Together we can!

Robert Chioza, Engagements Director, CAMFED Malawi

Image

Education ignites our potential

“CAMFED demonstrates that by investing in the education of girls and young women in Malawi, they are investing in the development of the nation and the world as a whole. Powerful, educated young women like myself, possess the ability to disrupt the cycle of poverty and spark long-lasting transformation within our communities. Education ignites our potential and facilitates profound changes in our lives.”

Chisomo Luciano, CAMFED Association National Chairperson, Malawi.

Barriers to education

Children in Malawi face multiple complex barriers including a lack of secondary school places, poverty, and risk of child marriage.

  • 70%

    In Malawi 70% of people live below the international monetary poverty line of $1.90 per day.

    UNDP (2019)

  • 13%

    Only 13% of girls complete upper secondary school in Malawi, and among the poorest children this falls to 2%.

    UNICEF (2019)

  • 42%

    In Malawi 42% of girls are married before the age of 18, and 9% are married before the age of 15.

    UNICEF (2020)

Play videoImage

Tackling child marriage

Meet Rose Alexander, a member of our CAMFED Association in Malawi. In this video, Rose explains how she and other young women in this powerful network rally school and community support to end child marriage. Together, they have annulled a significant number of child marriages and supported girls to continue their education.

Read video transcript

Malawi has the 12th highest child marriage prevalence rate in the world, although marriage below the age of 18 is now illegal. The country has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. CAMFED Association members like Rose work closely with parents, community members, schools, and social workers to help girls stay in school and out of child marriage.

Since 2009, CAMFED Malawi has....

  • 259K

    supported 258,520 students to go to primary and secondary school using donor funds.

  • 201K

    Of these, 200,990 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.

  • 58K

    and we have supported 57,530 students 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.

  • 3.9K

    CAMFED Malawi partners with 3,901 schools - We work in genuine partnership with government schools to help improve the learning environment for all students.

CAMFED Malawi provided input into the development of the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriages, and worked closely with the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare to convene a national meeting to develop a plan of implementation. We also supported the formation of a national by-laws framework to prevent child marriage, and were invited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to join a task force on the National Girls’ Education Strategy.

Importantly, the young women leaders in the CAMFED Association of graduates are now at the forefront of tackling child marriage in their communities, working with schools, parents, education authorities, traditional leaders, social workers and the police to catalyze action for vulnerable girls.

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.

  • 905K

    Since 2009, 905,250 students have been supported to go to school by CAMFED Association members and community initiatives.

  • 591K

    Of these, 590,892 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.

  • 314K

    and 314,358 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.

  • 35K

    Our movement in Malawi has grown to 34,673 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.

Related News and Stories

A1697C87-2186-4395-B95E-F72E31BFDD9D

FilmMalawi

Video – Esnart, Malawi

Esnart, a CAMFED supported student in Malawi, scored 6 points (the highest grade) in her school leaving exams. She was one of only three students nationally and the only girl to be awarded such a high grade. At her graduation ceremony in front of the whole school, she was congratulated on her achievement, and was also welcomed officially into the CAMFED Association.

Hero-image-Gladys-Maleke-197750-CAMA-Malawi-Reporter-Malawi-Broadcasting-Corporation_WhatsApp Image 2019-06-10 at 11.02.18

StoryMalawi

Gladys

CAMFED's support made my dream of training as a journalist a reality. Now, I amplify the voices of marginalized girls and women in Malawi through my professional platform.

Posha-MW-EAC-Student-2023

NewsMalawi

One year of our project with Educate A Child

In its first year, our joint project has reached 40,050 children at the highest risk of drop-out in 1,355 schools across Malawi.

Students-USIU-Kenya-at-CAMFED_Ministry-farwell-event-MW-August-2023

NewsMalawi

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.

Hero_image_-_CLF_bikes

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Bicycles bringing inclusion

April 2023

CAMFED Malawi’s Susan Silika speaks about how our partnership with World Bicycle Relief is helping to bring inclusion for people living in underserved rural communities through the provision of bicycles. They are proving successful as part of a holistic package of support for girls at school, and for young women graduates leading our peer mentor outreach. 

Mercy-Chirwa-CAMFED-101-Screenshot-2023-05-19 2

FilmMalawi

CAMFED 101 with Fiona Mavhinga and Mercy Chirwa

Mercy Chirwa joins Fiona Mavhinga in conversation, to give an update on Cyclone Freddy, two months on. She also shares what it is that motivates CAMFED graduates to give back to their communities. 

Student-In-Class-Listening-Chikwawa-MW-15-Aug-2019_Catherine-Cardwell-MVI_7177

NewsMalawi

Cyclone Freddy’s trail of destruction in CAMFED partner communities

We will be rallying around partner communities - especially disadvantaged children of school-going age - for whom the cyclone is another crushing blow on top of the cholera outbreak.

Website_story_-_landscape_MALUMBO

StoryMalawi

Malumbo

I'm Malumbo, a climate-smart agriculture expert from Malawi. I am helping to build resilience to climate change and support this generation of girls to thrive in education.

Racheal-Banda-201755-CAMA-Defence-Force-MW-Oct-2023

StoryMalawi

Racheal

I am so proud of myself for working hard and remaining resilient. In achieving my nursing degree and joining the Malawi Defense Force, I am able to pay my education forward. This year I paid tuition fees for a student at Kamuzu College of Nursing and I have also managed to support my father at home and my siblings with their school fees. 

Hendrina-Chauma-702203-LG-Machinga-MW-LG-Documentary-Yidan-Funded-Oct-2022_Christopher Loades-DSC02074

StoryMalawi

Hendrina

I'm Hendrina from Malawi. CAMFED stepped in to support my secondary education so I could follow my dreams of becoming a clothing designer. Today I’m a respected businesswoman and I am even making school uniforms for CAMFED students.

Tawonga-Zakeyu-Daudi-126043-CAMA-at-Earth-University-Machinga-MW

NPR interviews CAMFED Association climate activist Tawonga Zakeyu

August 24, 2022

Read about how, following her CAMFED-supported education, Tawonga from Malawi is plowing back climate-smart knowledge into her community and supporting young women farmers to increase their yields and create jobs for other young people.

Linley-475568-CAMFED-LG-Angie-Murimirwa-Teacher-Mentor-primary-school-Mulanje-Malawi_WhatsApp Image 2022-04-07

NewsMalawi

CNN profiles CAMFED’s Angeline (Angie) Murimirwa in Changemakers series

This episode of CNN’s African Voices Changemakers filmed in Malawi, highlights the leadership of Angeline Murimirwa, CAMFED’s Executive Director – Africa, and her sisters in the CAMFED Association, using their lived experience to achieve gender equality. 

Tapiwa

FilmMalawi

Video: Hi, I’m Tapiwa, an aspiring Lawyer from Malawi

I'm Tapiwa, a secondary student and aspiring Lawyer from Malawi. I want to encourage both girls and boys to fight for their rights!

Screenshot of Malawi News article on Susan Silika CAMFED Malwai 2022-08-05

NewsMalawi

Malawi News’ interview with CAMFED’s Susan Silika

In a feature interview in the Femail section of Malawi News, CAMFED Malawi's National Director, Susan Silika, describes her life and career journey, what drives her, and how women can demand a seat at the table.

Susan-Silika-CAMFED-National-Director-DAC-Interview-Screen-shot-MW-30-06-2022

Celebrating Day of the African Child in Malawi

June 16, 2022

In celebration of Day of the African Child 2022, Susan Silika, National Director at CAMFED Malawi, and members of the CAMFED Association are interviewed by the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. They reflect on the progress that has been made towards children’s rights and removing the barriers to girls’ education in Malawi.

Madalitso-Kambauwa-Deputy-Minister-of-Education-MW-and-student-at-MCF-Tertiary-Lunch-Event-11-Nov-2021

NewsMalawi

University Scholars blazing a trail for girls and women in Malawi

We are thrilled that 190 Mastercard Foundation Scholars at CAMFED Malawi have secured places at university, after graduating from secondary school. We celebrated the young women’s achievements last month at an event held in Blantyre with the Ministry of Education.

Fanny-Profile-Thumbnail

FilmMalawi

Video: Meet Fanny – she’ll shake up the world

Meet Fanny from rural Malawi. She’s one of millions of girls living in a child-headed household, and affected by extreme poverty. Fanny almost dropped out of school altogether, but with support from CAMFED and encouragement from her Teacher Mentor, she is back in school and positive about her future. You won’t meet a more eloquent advocate for the transformational power of girls’ education.

News_feature_-_Prince_Harry_Duke_Sussex_CAMA_Malawi

NewsMalawi

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet with CAMFED Association leaders in Malawi

At a rousing event in Lilongwe, Malawi, His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex was joined by The Duchess of Sussex (via live link from South Africa) to meet 50 members of the CAMFED Association. The President and Vice-President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) were keen to hear updates from our young women leaders work in girls’ education since their last meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty

Donate

Kelsy Hoerauf $25

Cynthia Brahaney $31.9

Cynthia Marcy $13

Jaya Mangra $16.1

Sophie Underwood $79.2

Julie Grau $13

Brenda Wilton $13

Robert Genovese $63.4

Sharon Arrindell $5.6

Sue Durham £52.2

Jim Ahern £12.7

Jessica Atkins $26.6

Patricia A Alshabazz $5

Andrew Thomas $20