Meet Bvumai, a CAMFED scholarship recipient and CAMA member who lives in Mola, Zimbabwe.
Like so many children in her village, Bvumai was orphaned at a very young age. She became an early beneficiary of CAMFED’s efforts to provide school fees to vulnerable girls in Zimbabwe. With this support, she finished school, and then joined CAMFED’s alumnae network, CAMA.
CAMFED’s journey began in Mola - where Bvumai lives today - when Ann Cotton, CAMFED’s founder, undertook research there into why girls were excluded from school. In 1993 CAMFED was founded and 32 girls from rural Zimbabwe were supported through school.
When the first set of girls completed school in 1998, CAMFED recognised that despite completing school they faced a number of hurdles to become economically independent adults. They were invited to form the CAMFED Girls’ Association and were the first members of CAMA.
The resources and support she accessed through CAMA has resulted in her operating two successful clothing shops. This made a significant improvement to her family’s standard of living after she became widowed with two small children.
“My children are living a better life now.”
This photo shows the celebrations of Zimbabwean CAMA members at an event in 2001. Now the network is over 33,000-strong and is spread across Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Bvumai also cares for her deceased sister’s two children. Thanks to her business success, she’s able to send the children to better schools, and she has a high standing in her community. She’s proud of her business, and loves to brag about the numbers in her ledger! As a leader within CAMA, Bvumai is a Community Health Trainer devoted to helping her village fight against HIV and AIDS. She also supports and encourages other little girls in her village to focus on their studies, put off getting married, and work hard for a better life.
Through volunteerism and mentorships, CAMA members like Bvumai continue to help girls who are still in school overcome their challenges and take pride in their stories.
Read more inspirational stories
Check out more inspirational stories of CAMFED-supported girls and CAMA members