CAMFED Zambia was launched in 2001 to tackle girls' exclusion from education.
Supporting girls to learn and lead in Zambia
CAMFED has been operating in Zambia since 2001, when we were invited to support the Ministry of Education to improve access to and completion of education for rural girls.
Despite having obtained a lower middle income status, Zambia continues to face high levels of poverty and inequality. Girls experience high rates of exclusion from education, particularly in the rural areas of the Western, Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces where CAMFED operates. These provinces fare much worse than others in government assessments of income levels, education and health, although educational outcomes across the country continue to be poor.
By 2021, we had expanded our Zambia operations from 3 districts to 49, across four provinces, including two new districts in Central Province. Today, CAMFED Zambia works with government schools, communities, and local stakeholders, to improve learning outcomes and widen educational access for girls and marginalized children.
I am passionate about supporting girls and young people to stay in school and reach their potential
“Parents in the community are happy that they have me as the testimony of education. They see where I am now and they want their children to be educated. They say I am a role model and come to me with their problems.”
Meet Melody*, a secondary school student in Zambia
Melody’s family faced acute poverty and she was at risk of dropping out of school to become a child bride. CAMFED stepped in with bursary support and school-going essentials like books and sanitary pads, ensuring Melody has all the support she needs to stay in school and thrive.
*Not her real name. This pseudonym was chosen at the time of filming as Melody was underage.
supported 528,125 students to go to primary and secondary school using donor funds
Of these, 434,208 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.
and we have supported 93,917 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.
CAMFED Zambia partners with 1,408 schools - We work in genuine partnership with government schools to help improve the learning environment for all students.
Unlocking Futures for Girls in Zambia
CAMFED supports marginalized children in rural areas of Zambia who are at high risk of early marriage to continue their education at their local secondary schools.
Children and teens are supported by a network of young educated women in the CAMFED Association, who join forces with local government and community authorities to uphold girls’ rights and ensure they have the necessary support to attend school and succeed.
Our programs are also benefiting thousands of children with an improved learning environment, specifically reaching out to girls with disabilities to ensure they are not left behind in their pursuit of their right to education.
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.
Since 2001, 272,459 students have been supported to go to school by CAMFED Association members and community initiatives.
Of these, 180,538 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.
and 96,271 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.
Our movement in Zambia has grown to 17,549 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
Ministry of Education's Joe Kamoko praises CAMFED Association COVID action
In a speech delivered at the 2022 CAMFED Zambia Annual General Meeting, Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary for Educational Services, Joe Kamoko, highlighted the government’s awareness of the barriers to girls’ education. He commended CAMFED Zambia for its efforts to dismantle these barriers, led by young women who continued to step up even in the COVID crisis.
On World Teachers’ Day we celebrated 117 young women educated with CAMFED support, newly recruited as government teachers in Zambia. Our sisters are being hired in their own districts – directly addressing rural teacher shortages and increasing representation of young women teachers. They bring local knowledge, language, and commitment to their work, and are increasing the number of professional female role models for young women and girls.
Navitas Education Trust partners with CAMFED in Zambia
The Navitas Education Trust, which aims to transform lives through education, will be investing in improving access to quality education for disadvantaged girls and increasing employability of young women in rural Zambia.
Education Plus initiative signals a great step forward for girls' education in Africa
CAMFED welcomed the launch of the new Education Plus initiative that identifies girls’ education as the foundation for improving health, well-being, future earnings, and more, for individuals, communities and countries. African leaders convened in Lusaka, Zambia in July, 2022, to make a collective commitment to keeping adolescent girls in school.
My name is Grace and I am a member of the CAMFED Association — the network of women leaders educated with CAMFED support — and the Association’s secretary for Mporokoso District in Zambia. I would like to become an ICT teacher and teach others how to use computers.
Looking to the future, I hope that girls in my community and across Zambia receive the best possible education and become independent leaders. I would like to see girls becoming aware of decision-making, knowing about their wellbeing, choosing the right career paths and learning to manage finances. As young women they will become entrepreneurs and self thinkers who are aware of their rights and choices.
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.
On October 29th, 2021, CAMFED Zambia gathered with partners, stakeholders, government officials, and our young leaders in the CAMFED Association at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka to celebrate our 20th anniversary at our Annual General Meeting.
“We heard your daughter on the radio” – COVID activism in Zambia
In her blog, Tisiyenji Ngoma, CAMFED Association District Chair in Kasama, Zambia, shares the practical measures she and her peers are leading to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tisiyenji was supported to go to school by CAMFED, and is acting now to secure the rights of girls.
Dorcas grew up in rural Zambia and was forced to drop out of school due to poverty. But then a CAMFED Trained Teacher Mentor identified Dorcas as needing financial support and helped her return to school. Today, Dorcas is a university graduate, agriculture expert, and entrepreneur, determined to plow back the benefits of her education to her community.
Harriet Cheelo, representing the climate-smart Agriculture Guides in the CAMFED Association of women leaders in Zambia, joins CAMFED’s Director of Enterprise Catherine Boyce, and Sky News hosts Anna Jones and Katerina Vitozzi to explore the role of girls’ education and women’s leadership for climate action in this podcast.
We can’t afford to lose our future leaders – it’s in our power to keep girls learning and safe from abuse
Supported by CAMFED through secondary school, Dyness graduated in 2018, joined the CAMFED Association of women leaders, and seized the opportunity to train as a Learner Guide. In her blog she explains how she uses her experience growing up in rural Zambia to support vulnerable children today.
In her column highlighting climate-related stories for Inside Climate News, Katelyn Weisbrod interviews CAMFED Association Agriculture Guide Harriet Cheelo from Zambia, an example of the power of girls’ education to deliver a new generation of climate leaders.