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1 January, 2018 - 13:47 By Tony Quested

This year, invest in African futures, and double the return

CamFed - Faith being mentored by Alice, who has taken her into her home so she can be close to school. Photo:  Eliza Powell/Camfed

Maybe you saved £100 on your new sofa, and you’re wondering how best to spend it. Or perhaps you’ve decided to make a real difference in someone’s life in 2018. 

Whether you’re a fan of BOGOF (Buy One, Get One Free), or an astute business person looking for the best return on your investment, one inspirational Cambridge organisation can help you meet that objective.

Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, has pledged to support one million girls in Africa through school within just five years, and then on into independence, entrepreneurship and leadership in their communities.  

For a few more days, that goal is currently being turbocharged through Camfed’ partnership with the UK government, which is doubling donations to the charity’s #UnlockFutures appeal through UK Aid Match until 10 January 2018. 

Keeping the Faith

Faith’s story – her name has been changed to protect her identity –exemplifies why your support is so important and illustrates the potential unleashed through Camfed’s support. 

Following the tragic death of both parents when she was just three years old, Faith was taken in by her aunt in rural Zambia. Faith’s aunt laboured long hours at a farm, but struggled to raise enough money on her own to pay for Faith’s secondary school fees. 

When Faith was in Grade 8, the situation became particularly difficult as her uncle, the main breadwinner of the family, also passed away. Then Faith met Alice, and her life changed forever. 

Alice, a member of the Camfed alumnae (CAMA) association, is from the same district in northern Zambia. Growing up in extreme poverty, at the age of 14 Alice was forced to drop out of school, at serious risk of becoming a child bride. 

Camfed supported Alice to complete her education. Today, she is a CAMA leader, working with Camfed at district level to support more vulnerable girls to stay in school and out of child marriage.

“When I heard I can go back to school I was happy because I had someone to sponsor me, I wouldn’t have to be chased out of my school. I was so excited because I wanted to finish school so that I can become a doctor, so that I can make my life better, and secure a better future for my family.”

Now in Grade 9, Faith is a prefect, and enjoys the extra responsibility and leadership that this role brings. Inspired by Alice, Faith acts as a mentor to her classmates, encouraging them to never give up on school, no matter what their situation is. 

Faith loves to walk to school with her classmates, waking at 5 am each morning to get ready for school. Her favourite subjects are Maths, Science and English.

“I have faith in myself that I will finish school, and I will be able to go to college, and reach my dream career of becoming a doctor.”

Before the Christmas break, Camfed was just over two-thirds of the way to reaching its £1 million target under UK Aid Match. Every donation by individuals (not companies) will be doubled by the UK Government until 10 January 2018.

Now is the time to make a lasting difference!


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