Zimbabwe’s Education Minister formally launched a £12 million investment in girls’ education on Wednesday that will enable 24,000 girls from the poorest rural families to enrol in and complete secondary school.
The investment from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) represents a major achievement for Camfed, which began in Zimbabwe in 1993 by supporting just 32 girls in two districts. The latest investment allows Camfed to provide four times as many secondary school bursaries as it currently offers and will increase its reach to 28 districts.
“We are so excited by this investment from DFID, it allows us to realise our potential,” Executive Director and former Camfed bursary recipient Angeline Murimirwa said in an address to guests at Chifamba High School in Guruve District.
“It allows us to utilise the huge capacity and commitment existent in the national, district and community partners with whom we work. It gives us the chance to transform the opportunities for a generation of girls today… and not ask them to wait for another year, decade or century.”
Minister of Education, Sport, Arts & Culture, Senator David Coltart, told the audience: “It is recognised universally that educating the girl child is one of the most important requirements for promoting sustainable development and economic progress.”
He added: “The Government of Zimbabwe has limited resources and because of this our education programmes to ensure equality and excellence in education are restricted. It is in this context that the work Camfed does is so critical and we are delighted that DFID has provided the generous support it has to guarantee that the good work Camfed has done in the past will continue.”
Since its launch in Zimbabwe in 1993, Camfed has helped to secure a better quality education for almost 2 million children in five countries. Girls supported through Camfed bursaries have gone on to become lawyers, teachers, doctors and businesswomen.
The DFID investment complements its recent $38m contribution to the second phase of Zimbabwe’s Education Transition Fund, which supplies books and other materials to schools. For further details on DFID’s work in Zimbabwe see http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Where-we-work/Africa-Eastern–Southern/Zimbabwe/