Executive Advisor, CAMFED Association
Fiona Mavhinga was one of the first young women who completed her education with CAMFED’s support. Today, Fiona is a lawyer and leads on the strategic development of the CAMFED Association, the Association founded by former CAMFED clients who organize and act on behalf of girls and young women and contribute to their communities. Through the CAMFED Association, women are leading action on the big challenges their countries face – from child marriage, and girls’ exclusion from education, to climate change.
Having experienced first-hand the vulnerability even of those young women who manage to complete secondary school – with no resources, and no employment opportunities available in rural areas – Fiona became a key founder of the CAMFED Association. Organized into elected committees from district to national level, the Association provides a robust mechanism for cascading knowledge and offering training and leadership opportunities to young school leavers. Connected through mobile technology, young women overcome rural isolation, help build each other’s lives, and use their experience and expertise to support many more vulnerable children to stay in school, thrive and lead change. The CAMFED Association now provides the backbone of the programs through which CAMFED is bringing about systemic change. As Executive Advisor, CAMFED Association, Fiona is leading on ways to grow and replicate this powerful model.
Fiona has spoken on numerous international platforms, notably at a policy roundtable and plenary session at the 2016 Girls’ Education Forum hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and a 2015 roundtable on the Let Girls Learn initiative with First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, and the Secretary of State for International Development of the UK. She joined two fellow CAMFED Association leaders to stand with Malala Yousafzai when world leaders committed to the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations in September 2015. In November 2017, Fiona spoke on the panel ‘Empowering Women and Girls Around the World’ at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. In November 2018, Fiona joined CAMFED Association leaders at a special event organized by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust in Zambia, where the Association’s leaders met The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, the President of the Trust, together celebrating what young change-makers are achieving in their communities.