Supporting girls to learn and lead in Zimbabwe

CAMED Zimbabwe launched in 1993, in tandem with CAMFED International, and has continued to expand across the country. Our partnership with rural schools across 28 districts provides vital support for marginalized children, and since its inception has improved the school environment for millions of students. Through our holistic program of financial and psycho-social support, we provide the most marginalized girls with the tools they need to thrive in school and beyond.

Due to a challenging social and economic situation, many students struggle to find employment once they graduate. CAMFED Zimbabwe, through our women leaders in the CAMFED Association, is working to bridge the gap between school and secure employment by offering business and financial skills training to school leavers, helping them to access new economic opportunities and support themselves and their families.

Zimbabwe continues to have one of the world’s fastest shrinking economies, which has resulted in increased poverty and mass unemployment. This situation has been further compounded by droughts that have left about half of the population food insecure. Even during this difficult time, we continue to perform remarkably well as an organization in supporting partner schools to stay functional, retain teachers, and limit child dropout. We not only assist disadvantaged families with meeting the educational costs for their children; we engage them with respect, and support them to invest their expertise, love and labor to ensure their children can go to school and thrive. The challenges ahead of us are profound, but we remain energized by our conviction that a time shall come when each and every child will be in school.


Every time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for the strength and resilience of all women, igniting a flame that lights the path for generations to come

“I firmly believe that collaborative efforts and supportive networks like the CAMFED Association network are essential in tackling poverty and ensuring access to education and business opportunities in Zimbabwe. Together, we pledge to champion the cause of vulnerable girls, ensuring they receive the support they need to break the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future.”

Lisa Gwitirwa – CAMFED Association Chairperson, Zimbabwe

Barriers to Education

Poverty remains the greatest barrier to education for children in Zimbabwe

  • 72%

    In Zimbabwe, 72% of people live below the national poverty line.

    UNDP (2019)

  • 14%

    Only 14% of girls in Zimbabwe complete upper secondary school, and among the poorest children this falls to 1%.

    UNICEF (2021)

  • 34%

    In Zimbabwe, 34% of girls are married before the age of 18, and 5% before the age of 15.

    UNICEF (2020)

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Meet Beauty, CAMFED Association member & agriculture expert

With support from CAMFED, Beauty was able to go to agricultural college, helping her build an ambitious business plan as well as expertise in climate-smart crops and growing methods. Today, she is putting food on the table for her whole community, providing jobs and learning resources for others, and protecting the environment around her.

Read video transcript

Since 1993, CAMFED Zimbabwe has....

  • 405K

    supported 405,399 students to go to primary and secondary school using donor funds

  • 240K

    Of these, 240,288 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.

  • 165K

    and we have supported 165,111 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.

  • 1.7K

    CAMFED Zimbabwe partners with 1,698 schools - We work in genuine partnership with government schools to help improve the learning environment for all students.

Catalyzing action for vulnerable children 

In addition to marginalized girls, CAMFED supports children living with disabilities and boys with tailored packages of support, addressing the barriers that keep them from attending and succeeding in school. The districts where boys are selected for support are those where boys’ educational outcomes are the worst in the country. CAMFED Zimbabwe’s position as Chair of the Gender and Disability Committee under the National Education Coalition enables us to advocate for policies to promote equitable, quality education.

In 2019, Zimbabwe experienced its worst drought in decades, which, in tandem with the impacts of Cyclone Idai and a severe economic crisis that sent food prices spiraling, created the country’s worst acute food insecurity crisis in 10 years. With many families struggling, the risk of school dropout and child marriage remains high.

Zimbabwe has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals and during its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum, the government reaffirmed commitment to this target.

Our young women leaders in the CAMFED Association are 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.

  • 2.3M

    Since 1993, 2,301,540 students have been supported to go to school by CAMFED Association members and community initiatives.

  • 1.8M

    Of these, 1,751,068 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.

  • 550K

    and 550,472 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.

  • 89K

    Our movement in Zimbabwe has grown to 88,854 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.

Recent News and Stories


Processing plant opens for female fruit producers

CAMFED, in collaboration with Zimbabwe’s national trade development and promotion body, ZimTrade, has bolstered women’s economic opportunities in Mudzi, Zimbabwe by setting up a baobab processing plant. The baobab fruit producers will benefit from improved processing methods and value-addition training, aiming to increase earnings and boost economic opportunities. 



A new approach to climate education launched in partnership with Ministries of Education in Zambia and Zimbabwe

CAMFED, in partnership with Ministries of Education in Zambia and Zimbabwe, has launched a new in-school climate education program, led by young women graduates.



Video: Patience’s Story

Patience, a CAMFED Association member and Agriculture Guide from Wedza district in Zimbabwe, demonstrates how increasing productivity in agribusiness has supported her household and community to thrive.




I know how it feels to be excluded and underestimated due to my background and gender. Now, I’m changing the status quo for other girls and women.

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Soon after I started junior high school, I had to drop out for two weeks because we could not raise the resources required for me to continue. It was then that I was selected for CAMFED support, through the CAMFED Teacher Mentor and my community. I knew then that I could take ownership of my destiny and utilize this opportunity to change the storyline of my family and my community.

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Winnie Farao

I am Winnie Farao, a founding member of the CAMFED Association of women leaders in Zimbabwe. I am part of an unstoppable movement who are making a great difference to communities, countries and nations.




My name is Sibusiso, I am a member of the CAMFED Association. I overcame many barriers to education growing up as an orphan in rural Zimbabwe. Now I am a law graduate and CAMFED Association member, I can support myself and others.




I’m Head Girl at my school, Junior MP for my district, an aspiring neuroscientist and powerful education advocate — inspiring girls with my passion for science.



Video: Hi, I’m Noreen, an aspiring Business Analyst from Zimbabwe

I'm Noreen, a secondary student from Zimbabwe. Through education, I gained knowledge, I got confidence and all my barriers to opportunity broke down. Education my power!


Natasha Mabuza in Borgen Magazine

CAMFED Association member Natasha Mabuza from Zimbabwe speaks to Borgen Magazine about her future ambitions after completing her secondary education with CAMFED support. She’s overcome poverty to become a leader of change in her community, encouraging other girls and young people to pursue a career in STEM.  

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CNN's profile of Angeline Murimirwa

JUNE, 2022

This 3-minute-long video contains the highlights from the African Voices Changemakers special about Angeline (Angie) Murimirwa, CAMFED’s Executive Director – Africa.




I'm Happiness, a CAMFED Association member and entrepreneur from Lupane District in Zimbabwe. With training from CAMFED I started a mobile phone repair business. My business is thriving and I'm hoping to diversify into solar power and batteries. Now I'm a role model in my community and I teach other women how to use and embrace technology.



MECCA Muse: Math teacher and trailblazer Lucia

This month, CAMFED’s partner MECCA—the beauty retailer and global beauty brand curator based in Australia and New Zealand—has selected CAMFED Association member, Math teacher and mentor, Lucia Punungwe to feature as the MECCA Muse.

Nomakhosi, CAMA, Zimbabwe Hero



There is one thing I know for sure, is that through all those hard times in my life, my pillar of strength has always been education.

CAMA-Zim-Shurugwi-Agriculture-Guide-Training_Sinikiwe-Makove_WhatsApp Image 2020-10-15 at 14.42.37


BBC features CAMFED in climate action podcast on girls’ education & empowerment

CAMFED’s Fiona Mavhinga and Esnath Divasoni star on the BBC Radio Four podcast, ‘39 Ways to Save the Planet’ with Tom Heap, to discuss the active benefits of supporting girls through school — from agency, independence, health and earning power to practical and policy leadership on climate issues.



Looking at girls’ education through a different lens

In their Opinion piece on Devex, CAMFED Co-Executives Angeline Murimirwa and Lucy Lake urge the global education community to tackle the fundamental, structural inequalities that are at the root of the problems that perpetuate girls’ and women’s marginalization.

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


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