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Education is a universal right. It is also a matter of justice.

CAMFED believes that every child is entitled to a quality education in a safe environment, and to a life as an independent adult. With access to education, women can do amazing things: launch climate-smart businesses, become health workers, run schools, and lead governments, making the world a better place for everyone.

Education is a universal right. It is also a matter of justice.

CAMFED believes that every child is entitled to a quality education in a safe environment, and to a life as an independent adult. With access to education women can do amazing things: launch climate-smart businesses, become health workers, run schools, and lead governments, making the world a better place for everyone.

Education is not freely available to everyone - and in many parts of the world girls are the first to be excluded from it. Girls are the first to drop out of school, and the first to be failed by the system, facing the perils of early marriage, early pregnancy, and abuse. Without the choice to write their own futures, their endless potential is wasted.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 32.6 million* girls of primary and lower secondary school age are out of school. This number rises to 52 million when taking into account girls of upper secondary school age.

Poverty is the greatest barrier to accessing an education – overcoming this barrier by investing in girls and women is a proven way of improving the health and wealth of entire nations.  It's also one of the most effective ways of tackling climate change, because addressing gender inequity results in female leadership for climate action, sustainable agricultural practices, healthier families, increased resilience to climate shocks, and a more sustainable future for us all. 

 

* Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS, 2019). This number has risen from 28 million (UIS, 2015).

Education changes everything

She'll earn up to 25% more per year of secondary school

90%

She'll reinvest 90% of her earnings in her family

3x

She’ll be 3 times less likely to become HIV-positive

She’ll marry later and have a smaller, healthier family 

She’ll invest in her children’s education and support their studies

She’ll resist gender-based violence and discrimination, and change her community from within

Imagine you're a young girl in rural Africa. 

You went to primary school, loved your lessons, and enjoyed playing with your classmates. But when it was time to go to secondary school you had to drop out. You may have lost one or both of your parents, and are looking after younger siblings, or helping out elderly grandparents. Your extended family does not have the money for school fees, food, uniforms, or transport.

You now have to work to earn money to help your family.  You're vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and early marriage, at risk of physical violence, HIV/AIDS, and serious complications during pregnancy and childbirth.  Without education, you're denied the chance to fulfil your potential, and break the cycle of poverty for good.

Then imagine that CAMFED steps in to support you.

Selected by your community, you receive the financial and social support to go to school, including mentorship by young women who know exactly what you’re going through. Together we dismantle the barriers to your education, partnering with parents, teachers, government officials and traditional authorities to deliver your entitlements. The support is not a one-off injection of money, but a package that allows you to get into school, do well academically and socially, and maximize the value of your education after graduation.  You join the CAMFED Association of women leaders and acquire the skills to start a business, or apply for a job or further education. You decide if and when to marry and have children. And you reinvest your expertise and leadership in the community that nurtured you.

Meet Fanny, a CAMFED client

One of millions of girls living in extreme poverty in child-headed households, Fanny understands only too well the choice and opportunity an education can afford. Now that she's supported at secondary school, she's ready to shake up the world.

Meet Nimatu, a CAMFED Association leader

Supported by CAMFED to complete her education, Nimatu is now an inspirational leader and philanthropist in the CAMFED Association.  Through her Changemakers Girls’ Club, she mentors 60 girls at the only Senior High School in her district.

"When you educate a girl, you educate a nation"

Find out more about how we catalyze the power of the most vulnerable girls and young women to create the future they imagine — for themselves, for their communities, and for Africa.

Find out more

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