Article by Joanna Buoniconti, Staff Writer
We may not think it, but in the United States we are privileged to many things that others can only dream of having. An access to education is not as easily provided to the youth in third world countries, as it is to the youth of America. This issue is especially dominant within the female population. Females, in fact, make up two-thirds of the worldwide illiterate population. In the sub-saharan regions of Africa, the CAMFED organization (Campaign for Female Education) has been working to remedy this issue; and to date have supported 2.6 million girls through providing them access to a secondary school education.
In speaking to the executive director of the US chapter, Brooke Hutchinson, it became clear just how life-changing the work that they are doing is. They are not only providing women with an access to education, but with a future as well. Most young girls do attend primary school, it is upon entering into secondary school when the divide appears. The harsh truth is that many families in Africa cannot afford to send their daughters to school. It’s not that the schools cost any of the citizens money to attend, it comes down to the fact that they need young girls to help in the fields or at the market and the cost to have someone else do that is often too great for families to bear. Underprivileged families often have to
choose to send their sons to secondary schools over their daughters, because they have a higher likelihood of finding a job afterwards.
CAMFED was established in 1993, and its premise exists upon alleviating the financial burdens of families who want to give their daughters an education, but not have a means to. Contrary to what someone may think the organization does not choose the girls, rather the community recognizes the girls that are the most vulnerable and deserving of this help. The company works with those in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, and Malawi. They receive a majority of their funds from various government and large statutory organizations in addition to support from individuals. This past October, CAMFED has launched a
partnership with Michelle Obama under her Global Girls Alliance organization. Whose premise coalligns with the foundation of CAMFED, in which they heavily invest in female leadership through education.
There is no denying that women are going to be the face of the future. In order to assume our rightful power and places in the world, we need to look out for those that come after us who may not have been granted all of the experiences that we were privy to. Unlike other similar organizations, CAMFED recognizes the importance of an education but also what comes after. They have a peer mentor
program called CAMA, consisting of 120,000, in which women who have graduated come back and help those who are going through similar experiences that they went through. All young girls have the potential to follow their dreams and lead the world into a brighter future, they just have to be given the
opportunity to succeed. “The proof of what girls’ education looks like is so powerful. And our goal is to
help as many girls as we can.” Upon graduating most girls start their own businesses, or go into the business field. Education shapes us for the better, and CAMFED is truly opening so many doors for these young women in ways that are unimaginable.To make a donation, please visit camfed.org