Camfed (Campaign for Female Education) is an international, non-profit organisation focused on educating and empowering girls and young women in a bid to eradicate poverty and help develop societies. Camfed programs operate in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi.
In 1993, an English woman named Ann Cotton started Camfed at her kitchen table after a visit to Africa. Nineteen years later, Camfed has helped 1,451,600 children with their education. In addition, they have also set up the Cama Network – an offshoot of Camfed which trains and organises women to provide support, healthcare and education to others in their communities,
Wonderful as these things are there has been an unexpected outcome from this whole endeavour – the Camfed graduates have become individual philanthropists themselves.
The girls who have benefitted from the help given by Camfed, are now helping an average of 5 other girls at any one time – not including their own families who they also help.
As Ann Cotton says – “They are becoming real role models in their communities. It may be that the neighbor’s child can’t go to school because she doesn’t have a skirt, so she’ll provide that. Or maybe she’ll pay another girl’s school fees. This was something we didn’t expect at all. It shows the power of education.”(1)
Human beings. Endlessly wonderful once they get a chance.
(1) Half the Sky, Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, p. 203
- This month’s Camfed news: ‘Mildred makes History’ (athenebristol.wordpress.com)
- Educate the Girls! (pfcairns.wordpress.com)