How can education make the world more equitable?

Join us (virtually) on October 7th to find out! Together with the Yidan Prize Foundation and the University of Cambridge, we’re hosting a conference at Jesus College. Register now – it’s free. Register now
Donate

Ann Cotton OBE

Founder and Trustee, CAMFED International

As founder and Trustee of CAMFED Ann Cotton has been focused on improving opportunity for children at the margins of education for more than three decades. She began her career in a London school by establishing one of the first centers for girls excluded from mainstream education. Her commitment to girls’ education in Africa began in 1991, when she went on a research trip to Zimbabwe to investigate why girls’ school enrolment in rural areas was so low. Contrary to the common assumption that families weren’t sending girls to school for cultural reasons, Ann discovered that poverty was the main roadblock. Families couldn’t afford to buy books or pay school fees for all their children. Instead, they had to choose which children would receive an education. Since boys had a better chance of getting a paid job after graduation, daughters were rarely selected.

Ann knew that educated girls were less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, would marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and would support the next generation to go to school. She understood that poverty and exclusion affects girls both psychologically and economically, and if girls could be educated, supported by their communities, and empowered to shape their own destinies, they could change their communities and nations forever. In 1993, after grassroots fundraising that supported the first 32 girls through school in Zimbabwe, Ann founded CAMFED.

Ann is an Honorary Fellow at Homerton College, and Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the Cambridge University Judge Business School. She is a noted speaker on international platforms, including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Skoll World Forum. In 2014, she addressed the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by the White House, George W. Bush Institute and U.S. State Department. In 2016, Ann shared insights and experiences at The United State of Women White House Summit. She has won numerous awards for her work, including an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Cambridge University; an OBE in honor of her advocacy of girls’ education in Africa; the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship; Woman of the Year in the UK; and UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In November 2014, Ann was awarded the WISE Prize for Education, becoming the fourth WISE laureate alongside Vicky Colbert, Founder of Escuela Nueva in Colombia, Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder of Pratham in India, and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC in Bangladesh.

Articles mentioning Ann Cotton OBE

News_thumbnail_-_Dorcas_EDD

NewsCanada

Dorcas Apoore: A young leader on the global stage

At the age of 23, Dorcas Apoore’s list of achievements is astonishing. A young woman from a vulnerable background, she has overcome all odds to run her own flourishing social enterprise and pursue tertiary education -- a first for her marginalized, rural community in Ghana. Dorcas’ commitment to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) led her to be selected as one of 16 Young Leaders from around the globe, to participate in the 2018 European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels on 5 and 6 June.

Ann_Cotton_Malawi

NewsGhana

Ann Cotton: Ahimsa Award Recognizes Girls’ Education Imperative

Ann Cotton, Founder and President of Camfed, which for over 20 years has supported girls in sub-Saharan Africa through school and into independence, today received the Ahimsa Award at the House of Commons in London.

2014_WISE_Prize_for_Education_Ms_Ann_Cotton_OBE_listing

NewsUnited Kingdom

Camfed Founder Wins Global Prize for Girls’ Education Innovation in Africa

Ann Cotton’s work to support community-owned, integrated education programmes for girls and young women in rural Africa was today recognised with the WISE Prize for Education

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty

Donate

Raquel Shank $50

Kirsty Dunphey $200

Frank Stallons $53

Fabre Lambeau £30

Naeemah Coleman $10

Jennifer Haist $5

Stephen Watkins £30

Sophie Hooker £120

Diane and Richard Frank $36

Mel O'Gorman €10

Lawrence kahan $25

Sylvia Cohen $18

Kenneth Laing £50

VISHAL KUMAR $100

Liam Grant £10