Founder and president Ann Cotton launched Camfed in 1993 in Zimbabwe, where 15.3 percent of the population has HIV/AIDS and 68 percent live on less than $1.25 per day. One in four children are orphans.
Despite a difficult social and economic situation in Zimbabwe, we’ve significantly increased our programs there since 1993. Our partnerships with thousands of rural schools provide vital help for poor children. For many, particularly those who are orphans because of HIV/AIDS, school is the only place where they can get adult guidance. A network of Camfed-trained teacher mentors works throughout the partner school system and helps solve problems girls encounter at school or home.
We’ve improved the school environment for hundreds of thousands of children in Zimbabwe. We provided scholarships so the poorest girls in rural communities could attend high school. We also built hostels so girls would no longer have to walk long, unsafe distances to get to school, improving their chances of academic success. However, many children still do not get the education to which they are entitled or gain the skills they need to find gainful employment once they graduate.
In Zimbabwe, we're working to solve these problems.
There is no better gift to the Zimbabwean child than to let him or her know that education is not up for grabs.
Angeline Murimirwa, Executive Director of Camfed Zimbabwe and one of the first girls Camfed supported
70,420 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.
219,141 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.
2,158 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.
64,452 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.
13,906 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.
3,403 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 Zimbabwe
See what's happening in Zimbabwe
Read the latest news stories about Camfed, watch videos and see photographs from across the country.
Congratulations to 16-year-old Nomatter! The Camfed bursary student from Zimbabwe won a silver and a bronze medal in the 400m race at the 2nd African Youth Championships in Mauritius this April. She went on to beat her best at the COSSASA Athletics championships in Lesotho in May, and will be on her way to represent Southern Africa in the 400m in Colombia this July.
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.
Stories from Zimbabwe
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.
“I used to go to school barefooted, with my face full of hunger. If only I get the chance, I will do something great.”
Runyararo Mashingaidze, Chikomba, ZimbabweRead Runyararo's story
“Now that I'm in medical school, I have faith the gates to success are wide open. I just have to walk through them.”
Talent Tokoda, Chikomba, ZimbabweRead Talent's story
“I advise all youngsters to make a life for themselves and not rush into marriage, to work hard and not be taken down by disability. ”
Coleen Nyamupfukudza, Mashonaland West, ZimbabweRead Coleen's story
“The 'Together We Can' concept is working really well in our community because it is bringing different stakeholders together to help children.”
Mrs Chibuwe, Manicaland, ZimbabweRead Mrs Chibuwe's story
Camfed Zimbabwe team
Meet our staff in Zimbabwe
In Africa, all our offices are staffed by nationals of that country.
Partners for success in Zimbabwe
We are grateful to the generous donors and supporters who are helping us to make a difference.