Brussels, September 17, 2019 (CAMFED) Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), an international non-profit organization, is on a mission to invest in girls and women in the poorest rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 33.3 million girls of primary and lower secondary school age are out of school. This number rises to 52.2 million when taking into account girls of upper secondary school age.

Poverty is the greatest barrier to accessing an education – overcoming this barrier by investing in girls and women is a proven way to improve the health and wealth of entire nations. It's also one of the most effective ways of tackling climate change, because addressing gender inequity unlocks women's power over their own lives, and those of their children.

By tackling poverty and inequality, and by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, CAMFED empowers young women to step up as leaders of change. And, as a result, their empowerment is now transforming communities.

CAMA, the alumnae association for CAMFED graduates, is the largest network of its kind in Africa - and spurring remarkable change as young women from rural communities use their education to benefit others, and work to break the cycle of poverty for good.

This association of educated young women, brought together by a common background of acute poverty and a belief in the power of education, is now making enormous strides in local communities - and on the international stage.

Young women from rural communities have personally experienced many of the world’s biggest challenges — including exclusion from education, gender-based violence, early marriage, climate change, food insecurity, unemployment, HIV/AIDS and malaria. That personal knowledge and understanding is a powerful basis on which to engage with local traditional leadership, as well as global decision‐makers.

Since 1993, CAMFED’s innovative education programs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi have directly supported more than 3.3 million students to attend primary and secondary school, and nearly 5.7 million children have benefited from an improved learning environment.