When it comes to having access to education, women are at a disadvantage situation. A study held by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) reveals that in 2017 there were 758 million adults who could not read or write simple phrases. More than half (63%) of that total were women. A parcel of 27 percent of the illiterate population lives in the African continent, in the sub-Saharan Africa region. But there are people willing to make a difference and change the lives of those who need it the most. The Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) is an institution devoted to change that reality. If you do not know this project yet keep reading and learn how female entrepreneurial education is transforming the lives of African girls.
It is an international non-profit organization dedicated to fighting poverty and social inequality through female education. Its goal is to ensure that girls go to school and empower themselves to lead transformation in their communities. Camfed has programs in five Sub-Saharan African countries: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania, and Malawi.
Since its start in 1993, the organization has provided access to primary and secondary education to 2.6 million girls. More than 5 million children have also benefited from the innovative teaching environment established by the program, which has a network of over 5,000 schools.
The institution financially supports families of children who are in elementary education, whether boys or girls, paying expenses directly related to the school.
Camfed also maintains and helps support groups for the families of these children, who are committed to ensuring all the necessary conditions for students to remain in school.
High school girls receive assistance throughout the cycle, with trained teacher mentoring and financial support for uniforms and books, school fees and other expenses. With access to quality education, young women learn about health, finance, sustainable agriculture practices, and entrepreneurship and they become multipliers of all of that knowledge.
Once graduated, they also have access to an education program focused on their professional specialization in which they have the opportunity to start their careers, either by creating their own business, specializing in health and education or in another area of interest.
According to Unesco, girls are the first ones to leave school. Low grades, domestic responsibilities, early marriage, and teenage pregnancy are just a few of the reasons that force them to stop investing in their education. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, 9 million girls between the ages of 6 and 11 years old have never been to school – compared to 6 million boys.
In addition, to reduce inequality, Camfed invests in women’s education because of its transformative power. According to the organization, women reinvest 90% of what they earn in the development and well-being of their families. Young women who have access to quality education are also three times less likely to get the HIV virus.
They will get married later, invest in their children’s education, and resist to gender-based violence and discrimination. These are girls with the potential to change the way their communities lives.
Were you able to learn about how women’s education can change the world for better? In addition to initiatives like this one, there are several other possibilities to guarantee a more equal society. One of them is social entrepreneurship. Check out this interview with Guilhermina Abreu, in which she talks about the theme.