Non-profit

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)

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CAMFED, founded in 1993 as the Campaign for Female Education, is a charity focused on providing scholarships to girls and young women for primary and secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa. CAMFED is funded through donations to its international affiliates and through funds provided by former CAMFED alumni directly to students.

CAMFED formed to provide scholarships to girls in Zimbabwe, whose socialist government, then led by dictator Robert Mugabe, provided few educational opportunities, especially for women. As of 2020, CAMFED is active in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. In 2020, CAMFED directly funded 123,000 scholarships on the primary or secondary school level.

Program

CAMFED was founded by Ann Cotton in 1993 as the Campaign for Female Education. 1 It was established to improve access to education for women in developing countries, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. CAMFED is particularly active in Zimbabwe, whose socialist government has provided unsteady educational opportunities to its citizens since it took power in 1980. 2 3 CAMFED is also active in Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, and Tanzania. 4

In November 2020, it was estimated that CAMFED was directly providing scholarships for approximately 123,000 girls a year. 5 CAMFED has been praised for its innovative approach to poverty alleviation and education, which focuses on providing opportunity rather than direct economic aid. A major part of CAMFED’s approach its reliance on the tendency of CAMFED scholarship recipients to fund scholarships for others, in turn. 6

Association with Other Organizations

CAMFED is associated with the Skoll Foundation, founded by former eBay president Jeffrey Skoll. 7 Major Amazon shareholder Mackenzie Bezos announced in July of 2020 that she intended to donate to CAMFED. 8 Since 2018, the organization has been noted as a particular interest of British royals Megan Markle and Harry Windsor. 9

Key Figures

Ann Cotton

Cotton was born into a family of mineworkers in Wales and was educated as a teacher. After beginning her teaching career in the south of London, she traveled to Zimbabwe, where she decided to start the CAMFED program. 10

Lucy Lake

Lake is the CEO of the CAMFED international organization, headquartered in the UK. She was granted an OBE in 2019 and won the Yidan Prize, founded by Chinese billionaire Yidan Chen, in 2020. 11

Angeline Murimirwa

Murimirwa was one of the earliest recipients of a CAMFED scholarship and currently serves as the organization’s executive director for Africa. 12

Financing

In 2019 CAMFED received £38.6 million in funding and spent a total of £32.1 million ($42.6 million) on its grant, scholarship, research, and overhead expenses. 13 That year, £14.7 million ($19.5 million) of outflow was spent on girl’s education, £11 million ($14.6 million) was spent to “Enable educated women to lead change,” the remaining £6.4 million ($8.5 million) was allocated to research, fundraising, and advertising. 14

References

  1. McVeigh, Tracy. “Ann Cotton: Educating Millions within Africa by Inspiring Sustainable Change,” February 28, 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/feb/28/ann-cotton-educating-millions-within-africa-by-inspiring-sustainable-change.
  2. IWPR. “Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s Education Revolution Reversed – Zimbabwe.” ReliefWeb. OCHA, September 5, 2008. https://reliefweb.int/report/zimbabwe/zimbabwe-mugabes-education-revolution-reversed.
  3. Kristof, Nicholas. “Choose a Gift That Changes Lives.” The New York Times. The New York Times, November 21, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/21/opinion/sunday/charitable-holiday-gift-guide.html.
  4. “Our Impact – CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education.” Camfed. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://camfed.org/our-impact/.
  5. Kristof, Nicholas. “Choose a Gift That Changes Lives.” The New York Times. The New York Times, November 21, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/21/opinion/sunday/charitable-holiday-gift-guide.html.
  6. Starkey, Kim. “Pay-It-Forward Scaling: A Powerful New Approach Exemplified By CAMFED.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, February 6, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimjonker/2020/02/06/pay-it-forward-scaling-a-powerful-new-approach-exemplified-by-camfed/?sh=832b003b5cf7.
  7. “Camfed Wins Prestigious Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship – CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education.” Camfed. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://camfed.org/latest-news/skoll-foundation-award/.
  8. Scott, MacKenzie. “116 Organizations Driving Change.” Medium. Medium, July 28, 2020. https://medium.com/@mackenzie_scott/116-organizations-driving-change-67354c6d733d.
  9. Betancourt, Bianca. “Sussexes Donate $130,000 to African Girls Education Charity for Prince Harry’s Birthday.” Harper’s BAZAAR. Harper’s BAZAAR, September 15, 2020. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a34031580/prince-harry-meghan-markle-donate-african-education-charity/.
  10. McVeigh, Tracy. “Ann Cotton: Educating Millions within Africa by Inspiring Sustainable Change,” February 28, 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/feb/28/ann-cotton-educating-millions-within-africa-by-inspiring-sustainable-change.
  11. “Our Team – CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education, Lucy Lake.” Camfed. https://camfed.org/about/team/.
  12. “Our Team – CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education, Angeline Murimirwa.” Camfed. https://camfed.org/about/team/.
  13. CAMFED. “CAMFED Annual Report 2019.” CAMFED, 2019. https://camfedorg2015.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/files/CAMFED_annual_report_2019_web.pdf.
  14. CAMFED. “CAMFED Annual Report 2019.” CAMFED, 2019. https://camfedorg2015.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/files/CAMFED_annual_report_2019_web.pdf.
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