The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), a pan-African movement revolutionizing how girls’ education is delivered, has won the Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has announced. The prize, which includes $2.5 million in funds, recognizes extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.
‘CAMFED has revolutionized how girls’ education is delivered, tapping into local expertise in a way that is sustainable and scalable. Further, the pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on families and girls, with estimates that 11 million girls may not return to school as a result of the crisis. The time for the global community to learn from this model is now’, said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
CAMFED’s model provides financial and social support for girls to attend and thrive in primary and secondary school. Post-school, CAMFED provides business training, finance, and support for young women to access higher education and employment opportunities, so that they can safely transition to a secure and fulfilling adulthood. Those joining the CAMFED Association, the pan-African peer support and leadership network, commit to mentoring and supporting each other, as well as the next generation, as they grow into respected role models in their communities, working to secure every child’s right to go to school, and change the status quo for girls for good.
CAMFED was founded in 1993 in response to the scale of girls’ exclusion from education, and in recognition of the transformative benefits that accrue when the right to education is secured for all girls. What began in Zimbabwe as a program supporting 32 girls in two schools has now become a movement that has already supported more than 4.8 million disadvantaged students in 6,787 schools across 163 districts in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
‘We are thrilled to have this recognition at this critical moment,’ said Angeline Murimirwa, CAMFED Executive Director – Africa. ‘So much is at stake. Around the world, we are faced with the question: How do we navigate the impact of COVID-19 and climate change without turning back the clock on women and girls?
‘The Hilton Humanitarian Prize shines a bright light on our movement, rising from Africa. This Prize belongs to our communities, for rallying around the education and leadership of young women who know intimately what poverty and exclusion feel like, and what it takes for girls to succeed. Because when girls succeed, and women lead, we can tackle the world’s most intractable challenges together.’
The Prize Ceremony will take place virtually on 13 October, followed by the conversation series later in the fall. Nominations for the 2022 Hilton Humanitarian Prize will be open from 19 August through 29 September 29.