CAMFED’s women leaders #ChooseToChallenge


CAMFED has introduced an award-winning, ‘Learner’s Guide’ to ensure girls continue to learn during the C0VID -19 pandemic.

CAMFED is a pan-African movement, revolutionising how girls’ education is delivered.

The ‘Learners Guide’ is a local radio programme that delivers life skills and wellbeing curriculum to over 400,000 students in four African countries via regular broadcasts.

Presently, more than 400,000 students in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia with access to radios have been able to listen to interactive sessions of CAMFED’s “My Better World life skills and wellbeing” curriculum on local radio stations.

As part of the programme, CAMFED Association members have been delivering radio-based sexual and reproductive health sessions, promoting child rights, addressing safeguarding concerns, and advocating widely against harmful practices such as child marriage.

When schools reopened after the first wave of the pandemic, 98 per cent of the vulnerable girls supported by CAMFED in Zambia and Malawi reported back to school as a result of the Learners Guide Project.

In a statement to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, CAMFED said it had chosen to challenge what leadership looked like as they joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day.

It said galvanizing community support around the most vulnerable, they were tackling poverty and injustice, gender inequity, child marriage, abuse, youth unemployment and climate change.

The statement said, Doris from Tanzania, who completed her education with CAMFED support, chose to challenge the gender norms that kept young women in her community from reaching their full potential.

On the family level, Doris’ community activism and business savvy had changed the mindset of her stepfather, who once refused to invest in her education, unable to envision the returns.

Having earned her respect and admiration through her leadership, Doris now chaired family meetings and a role model to vulnerable girls and a business trainer to her peers, changing the aspirations of girls and young women around her; providing jobs; and using her income to support more children through school.

It said mentors from “Learners Guide” had been at the forefront of CAMFED’s response to students’ needs when schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and quick to pivot their activities and focus.

It said millions more girls faced the risk of falling permanently behind and never returning to school, with poverty pushing them into exploitative labour, early marriage, early pregnancy and other types of abuse.

The statement said Mercy from Ghana explained that she was able to reach out to about 2,000 people weekly in the Mfantseman district through the use of radio, WhatsApp, posters and village meetings, with their main listeners being parents, community leaders and young mothers, who called into the radio programme.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year to recognised the efforts of women to make the world a better place and also throw a spotlight on the rights of women.

This years celebration is on the theme, “Choose to challenge” and calls on women to challenge gender stereotypes and bias against them.

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