The protection and safeguarding of vulnerable young people is at the core of our model.
The protection and safeguarding of vulnerable young people is at the core of our model, with the young women of the CAMFED Association (CAMA) now leading the charge for gender equity and against exploitation.
Our Vision and Mission
CAMFED’s vision is of a world in which every child is educated, protected, respected and valued, and grows up to turn the tide of poverty.
As the most effective strategy to tackle poverty and inequality, CAMFED multiplies educational opportunities for girls and empowers young women to become leaders of change. Our focus is on girls and young women in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. This is where girls face acute disadvantage and where their empowerment will have a transformative impact.
The protection of vulnerable people is at the core of our work
The protection and safeguarding of vulnerable young people is at the core of our model. We engage with all those who hold authority in relation to girls in order to mitigate girls’ vulnerability to any form of abuse. This is enshrined in our Child Protection Policy which is recognized nationally and internationally as a standard of best practice.
At every government partner school, we train Teacher Mentors to look after the psycho-social wellbeing of vulnerable children. We also train School Management Committees in child protection, and partner with communities, civil society organizations, district officials, and other NGOs to step up action to reinforce child protection. At the same time, we work directly with government Ministries to develop child protection guidelines for national rollout.
Most importantly, the young women of the CAMFED Association (CAMA), are now at the forefront of our movement for girls’ education and gender-equity, safeguarding the rights and entitlements of vulnerable young people. Having lived poverty, marginalization and the risk of exploitation, these young leaders, peer mentors and role models now work hand-in-hand with CAMFED and communities to protect young people, support their education, ensure that they know and demand their rights, and provide them with the confidence and courage to transition into secure, independent lives free of exploitation.
Our governance structures
Following a rigorous assessment of CAMFED’s governance structures and systems over a three year period from international level to the level of the individual girl, senior partners from Linklaters law firm released the publication ‘Accounting to the Girl‘, which has become a reference point for best practice in the sector for reinforcing the rights and entitlements of vulnerable young people.
Basis of our Child Protection Policy
CAMFED bases its work and policies on the principles enshrined in many binding international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Convention of the Rights of the Child; United Nations General Assembly Resolution S-27/2: A World Fit for Children; International Labour Organisation Minimum Age Convention 138 of 1973; These include putting children first, protecting children, and ensuring the participation of children.
Excerpts from our Child Protection Policy
CAMFED incorporates child protection into its strategy, structures and working practices.
CAMFED’s organizational ethos values and respects all children and young people. We work in consideration of the whole being of the child or young person, including their physical, material and psychological well-being. The welfare of children and young people comes first in all our work.
CAMFED believes that communities can protect children from abusive situations, and we work to build their confidence to deal with these situations.
CAMFED recognizes that girls are especially vulnerable to abuse and that they require special protection. CAMFED believes that its aim of empowering girls is the foundation for enabling them to be less vulnerable to abuse of any kind. A key element of our program is to support girls to develop the confidence to reduce their exposure to abusive situations, and to be willing to report abuse or threatened abuse.
CAMFED recognizes that abuse can take many forms including physical, emotional, sexual or through neglect. Our procedures and processes take account of the different forms which abuse can take.
All CAMFED employees and program activists have a duty to act if children are not being protected.
CAMFED will work actively with all stakeholders to spread best practice in the protection of children.
CAMFED’s Child Protection Policy is reviewed by the Executive Team and ratified by the CAMFED International Board annually.