User Profile

Camfed USA

About Me:

Camfed is an international organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. Our focus is on rural areas of Africa. In this context of widespread poverty, girls and young women face massive exclusion from education and the opportunities that education itself unlocks. Girls and young women in rural areas of Africa are the most disadvantaged social group in the world today. They are unable to challenge the status quo from their position of acute vulnerability. Girls’ circumstances can only improve if their communities are in a position to support them. And in turn rural communities can only change if girls’ circumstances improve. Educating girls and women helps individuals. It also unlocks energies which drive social and economic development. Camfed unlocks the resources that begin the process of change. We empower communities to solve problems - to identify their own resources, knowledge and creativity - and supplement these with finance and training. Together we build around girls a supportive environment in which they can attend, and succeed, at primary and secondary school, and progress into young adulthood with opportunities that include professional training, higher education and job creation. Since 1993, Camfed has developed and refined a development model that sets in motion a virtuous cycle of change. The most powerful example of the model in action is Cama - the Camfed alumni - whose members are reinvesting the benefits of their own education in their families and communities.

Exhibit change by:

amfed takes a long-term view. We believe that communities cannot overcome chronic poverty through short term 'projects' that span three or four years. If parents cannot support their child to go to school when she is 10, they are unlikely to be able to do so when she is 14, by which time educational costs will have risen. In partnership with parents, guardians and schools, we provide support through childhood and adolescence into young adulthood. This system is responsive to the needs of individuals at critical moments, in the transition from primary to secondary education to job creation, employment or higher education. This approach creates a culture of responsiveness that girls absorb and go on to replicate in their lives. The power of the program is in the transformation in girls' and young women's lives and how they use this to transform the lives of others. Camfed also builds the capacity of schools to respond to the needs of children. Across Africa, schools are more than educational institutions, they provide vital social support for poor children, especially those who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. Headteachers describe themselves as 'mothers' and 'fathers' to many children, ensuring that they are at school and have food and friendship. Resources for schools include educational materials, at once boosting the educational environment and the morale of rural teachers who feel forgotten by the national level ministries. People who live through problems are best placed to provide creative solutions to solve them. Camfed's work places these people at the centre of programme design and implementation. The inclusion of people who have generally been marginalised, in a visible problem-solving process, builds confidence and pride, enabling them to own success. This process creates a new social context in which girls can move, as educated young women, into positions of influence, their progress can be celebrated by the community at large because they had a big hand in achieving the young women's achievements.

I'm passionate about:

Film and filmmaking offer powerful tools to achieve social change. Camfed's filmmaking enables grassroots filmmakers to tell their own stories in their own setting. The marketing and distribution strategies enable communities across Africa, and audiences internationally, to see the films, engage in dialog, and act for change.