The Learner Guide Programme is central to scaling CAMFED’s impact across Africa. It sees female school graduates —once themselves supported by CAMFED—return to their local school, volunteering as mentors and role models. Trained in delivering life and learning skills, as well as vital sexual and reproductive health information and psycho-social support, these young leaders work with schools, communities and district governments to deliver a life-skills and wellbeing curriculum, and keep vulnerable children in school. Learner Guides also provide a vital school-home link, connecting vulnerable children to additional support from school staff, the community and local services (education, health, social welfare). Learner Guides have a profound understanding of the psychology of poverty, because they have lived it, and by training new guides in communities we can unlock the potential of 5 million more girls by 2025. Deeply rooted in their school and community, Learner Guides understand the local challenges, inc. issues and pressures behind early pregnancy and child marriage. In return for their commitment, Learner Guides gain access to interest-free loans enabling them to start or grow local businesses, and they are eligible for an accredited qualification recognised by employers and teacher training institutions. This in turn creates the pipeline of trained teachers and future education leaders who are attuned to the needs of marginalized young people.
The Learner Guide Programme addresses systemic gaps and challenges in under-resourced education systems. It sets young women school graduates on the path to economic security, while incentivising and shaping their support to the younger generation of children, both in school and as they finish their education. “Adolescence is a time when so many girls are pushed out of school. This often leads to exploitation, abuse, early pregnancy and early marriage — and a brighter future lost. School opened up the door to so many opportunities for me. After graduation, I trained as a CAMFED Learner Guide to mentor children in my local school — the same school I went to! I am very excited to be giving back to my community. I am a motivator, a role model.” Dyness, a CAMFED Learner Guide in Zambia. For an investment of $50,000, we can enable 5,000 girls across sub-Saharan Africa to receive the quality education they deserve, setting them on the path to financial independence and agency over their lives. Your support will add momentum to CAMFED achieving its headline goal of ensuring another five million girls are learning and thriving in school and on a path to economic independence by 2025.
We track and measure the impact of our work through monitoring and evaluation, longitudinal surveys, and in-depth research led by National Office teams working in partnership with CAMFED Association members and community champions. Because of our long-term support for girls through school and into independent adulthood, CAMFED has a unique opportunity to track the economic and social impact of investing in girls’ education and young women’s leadership - on individuals, as well as on communities and beyond. CAMFED Association members make up 30% of CAMFED’s staff globally, and 40% of its African directors, and sit on national and international committees adding significant insight and value to the sector by contributing lived experience and evidence on ‘what works’ in girls’ education and women’s leadership. CAMFED has earned a reputation as a world-class development model and gained global recognition for its work, most recently awarded the 2021 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
“CAMFED is more than an organisation, it’s more than a development model – it is a movement, a movement with the strength to transform Africa.” – The Hon Julia Gillard AC, CAMFED Patron, and former Prime Minister of Australia. In sub-Saharan Africa, 52 million girls are out of school, with millions more at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their exclusion creates a vicious cycle of poverty that traps women – and their families – for generations, and is widely recognised as the single biggest impediment to economic security, prosperity, and climate resilience. CAMFED sees girls’ education as a non-negotiable right, and since 1993, our highly responsive model has supported more than 4.8 million children across Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. CAMFED’s grassroots leaders have united community and government stakeholders to bring marginalised children back into the classroom and dismantle the social and financial obstacles to girls’ education and women’s economic inclusion. Beyond school CAMFED’s support continues in the form of the CAMFED Association, a self-governing network of 178,000 young women, educated with CAMFED’s support. Through the Association, they are leading action on the big challenges their countries face – from child marriage, and girls’ exclusion from education, to climate change, driving systemic change within their communities for future generations.