Charity Spotlight: Camfed

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In sub-Saharan Africa, 28 million girls are out of school. 75% of girls start primary school, but only 8% finish secondary school. Poverty is the root cause. Children in the poorest countries are nine times more likely to be out of school than those in the richest. Yet if all adults had a secondary education, poverty would be reduced by two thirds.

Girls face more barriers to education than boys, including responsibility for household chores, younger siblings or ill relatives. The cost of school fees, stationery, uniforms, and especially menstrual hygiene products is often beyond reach. Long journeys to school pose the risk of exploitation. Many girls have lost one or both parents, and live in child-headed households or with frail elderly relatives. Families often see early marriage as the only means of securing a girl’s future. Yet this risks her health, her well-being, and her education. Deeply embedded gender inequity also leads to girls lacking a sense of entitlement to education — a psychological barrier to learning, compounding physical and financial hurdles.

25 years ago Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, established its community-led girls’ education program in sub-Saharan Africa. Decades later, the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda, emphasizing quality secondary education and gender equity, increased global momentum. The World Bank is saying it; the Global Partnership for Education is saying it; the UN is saying it: Educate girls, and the returns not only benefit them and their families but their communities and nations.

To learn more about Camfed and how to get involved, visit camfed.org.

  

 

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