Founding member of the CAMFED Association, Zimbabwe
CAMFED continued to support me after school and I started a degree in Psychology at The University of Zimbabwe in 2000, graduating in 2003 with first class honors. At university there were other CAMFED Association members and together we could support and encourage each other. One was Fiona Mavhinga, who was a senior student doing law, and another Faith Nkala. Knowing I had sisters at the university made me feel confident that I could overcome any challenges.
I started to view myself as a leader and wanted to make sure that my community would benefit from my experiences. In 2004 I completed my Masters degree in Development Studies which deepened my understanding of communities, nations and the global community at large.
After completing my Masters degree I started working for CAMFED as an Officer for the Safety Net Fund. My role was to support CAMFED partner primary and secondary schools by collaborating with school leaders, parents and pupils to identify their major challenges and provide grants to solve these challenges — for example funding to drill a borehole when a school was lacking adequate water supplies. I was so happy to pursue my passion for community development by linking communities with funding to create sustainable change.
My leadership skills continued to develop, and, in 2021, I represented CAMFED at a dialog organized by the Ministry of Health for a community sexual and reproductive health outreach program. I drew on my practical experience and knowledge, making sure information was relevant and useful for girls in rural communities.
Currently I am a Senior Program Officer at CAMFED, responsible for tertiary education. I help young women in rural areas to access university and further education opportunities such as technical and vocational education and training (TVET). I support them with applications for courses, funding, accommodation and other necessities. In rural areas we don’t have universities or technical colleges. So for a young rural woman to do a degree, she has to move away from her community to an unfamiliar area. The young women in the CAMFED Association chapter there become their new family and friends, and help her to settle into university life.
I am passionate about seeing young women prosper and advance up the ladder of education. They’re very gifted and I know they’ve got what it takes to be heard and to make a difference.
Part of our commitment as a CAMFED Sisterhood is to support younger generations, either financially, socially or both. As well as my own three children, I am currently supporting three boys and three girls with their school going needs. It has been a delight to see families happy that their children are learning in school.
One of my greatest role models is my mother. She is one woman who never had the opportunity to go to school, not even a single day, but she had the passion to support me. She directed me and our family in a way that I would think any other educated woman would do. My second role model is CAMFED Executive Director – Africa, Angeline Murimirwa. She brings people together. Whether you’re in Ghana, Tanzania, or Zimbabwe, we are all part of the same Sisterhood. She’s got energy, passion, she never tires. I want to follow in her footsteps!
I know not of any other association other than the CAMFED Association that makes a difference when it comes to changing lives. There are young women who are Transition Guides (ensuring a safe journey into the world for girls leaving school), Learner Guides (supporting students in school with self-development skills), and Community Activists. We make real time interventions and solve issues, particularly for young people.
My ambition is that the CAMFED Association gets the recognition that it deserves, because we are making a great difference to communities, countries and nations. There is so much potential for us to scale up our ambitions and achieve global influence. We can have a movement of young women geared towards change all over the world!
In future, I see myself influencing decision-making bodies that really care about girls and rural children. I will play a bigger role in setting up committees and rallying friends to support more children through school. I will work flat out to see our intentions through.
So now, 23 years after first meeting CAMFED, my focus is no longer only on my family and my parents. My focus is on building a legacy and generations of positive girls who believe they can do anything to make this world a better place. It is putting smiles on families faces by getting their children educated.