Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 64 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 per day. Some 15 percent of the adult population has AIDS; an estimated 1.1 million children are orphans.
Girls experience high rates of exclusion from education because of the extreme poverty, most prevalent in the rural areas of Western, Luapula and Northern provinces. These provinces fare much worse than others in government assessments of income levels, education and health.
Zambia is ranked 13th out of 15 countries for literacy and numeracy by the Southern African Consortium for Measuring Education. Girls are far more likely to drop out of school, with the biggest disparities measured in rural communities: 27 percent of females in rural areas have no education compared to 18 percent of males. Pregnancy, early marriage and poverty are intrinsically linked and are the main challenges Zambian girls face in staying in school, particularly in rural schools.
In Zambia, we're working to solve those problems.
I believe educating girls is crucial, especially since our region is so devastated by HIV/AIDS and many of the children are orphans. Educating girls is the only way. If you are not educated, that’s the end of you.
Doreen Mukanzo, TV show host, head of television production and operations at ZNBC and Camfed Zambia Board Member
28,562 Girls Receiving Bursary Support
Camfed provides comprehensive bursary support for the full duration of a girl's secondary education. The scholarship covers everything from school fees, to uniforms, to shoes, books, pencils and bags.
244,867 Children Benefiting from our Safety Net Fund
Camfed's Safety Net Fund provides essential items to children at primary school to prevent them dropping out of school.
1,061 Partner Schools
Camfed works in genuine partnership with schools to help improve the learning environment for all pupils. Sharing information on school performance and working with the community to implement change is crucial to success.
21,055 Community Activists
Camfed's program works because of the commitment of local volunteers. These volunteers include everyone from traditional leaders, to government education officials, teachers, parents, and former pupils.
6,793 CAMA Members
Cama - the Camfed alumnae association - is the largest network of its kind in Africa. It offers peer support, mentoring, and training and leadership opportunities.
2,350 Teacher Mentors Trained
Camfed trains a teacher mentor at every school in which we work. These teachers are trained on child protection issues and offer crucial counselling support and advice to young people.
Latest news from Zambia
See what's happening in Zambia
Read the latest news stories about Camfed, watch videos and see photographs from across the country.
CAMA member, shea butter entrepreneur, and peer educator Ayisha Fuseini from the Northern Region of Ghana recently joined young entrepreneurs from across the world for a UN conference at the historic Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to share her success story.
When Camfed's Founder and President Ann Cotton first visited Zimbabwe in the early '90s, the prevailing view in the international development community was that girls were outside of school because of the resistance of families to their education. Not so.
On a panel entitled ‘Unleashing Girls’ Power,’ Lucy Lake explains how Camfed’s partnership with communities and engagement with government around girls’ education is transforming educational prospects for girls in sub-Saharan Africa – at scale.
From election booths to high-level panels: As young women in the pan-African CAMA network celebrate women’s empowerment through education, they show us what leading change really looks like
Stories from Zambia
Read some of our amazing success stories
Get an insight into how Camfed is making a difference by reading the stories of young women, teachers, parents and others.
“When we go and sensitise the community we cover so many issues – like early marriage, abuse, and the importance of education. ”
Rachel Sinyama, Western, ZambiaRead Rachel's story
“College life is really different. You find all sorts of people. Some were friendly and others were not. It took a while to fully adapt. A lot of Camfed staff really encouraged me and this helped the transition. I also had good friends who really understood my background. These helped me.”
Kasolo Ngandwe, Northern Province, ZambiaRead Kasolo's story
“I have become stronger and am a peer counsellor to the girls. By being a prefect and deputy head girl, I have learnt how to react to different issues.”
Chisanga, Mpika, ZambiaRead Chisanga's story
“I like helping the vulnerable and make them realise and fulfil their potential.”
Victor Walubita, Western, ZambiaRead Victor's story
Camfed Zambia team
Meet our staff in Zambia
In Africa, all our offices are staffed by nationals of that country.
Partners for success in Zambia
We are grateful to the generous donors and supporters who are helping us to make a difference.