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CAMFED supports more students to access education

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Ms Deborah presenting a school uniform to one of the girls at Asarekrom
Ms Deborah presenting a school uniform to one of the girls at Asarekrom

The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to the education and development of girls, has touched lives and supported 428,717 students to go to school, since its establishment in Ghana in 1998.

The support is in the form of the provision of educational materials and basic needs, such as sanitary towels, to encourage the beneficiaries to stay in school.

A total of 68,908 girls have also received bursaries from CAMFED and have been assisted to go through junior and senior high school with full scholarships from the organisation.

It has also organised educational programmes, including leadership camps, to support poor and vulnerable children  to complete their education.

The National Director of CAMFED, Mr John Asibi Ali, at a meeting with the media at Mankessim in the Central Region last Thursday, said CAMFED also directed its operations to support the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by educating girls and empowering women to be leaders of change.

“CAMFED’s vision is to see a world in which every child is educated, protected, respected and valued and assisted to grow up to stem the tide of poverty.

ICT facilities

Mr Ali said CAMFED had also established ICT facilities to help give opportunities to rural communities to study the subject, and had also set up the Transition programme that allowed beneficiaries of its programmes to transit to the world of work, further their studies and support transformative leadership in rural Ghana, adding that CAMFED would continue to support educational institutions with educational resources to enhance the implementation of the free Senior High School programme.

A programme officer with CAMFED, Mrs Candace Bentil, said the organisation had impacted significantly on the lives of the individual beneficiaries and communities.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of CAMFED, Mr Samuel Asare-Danquah, also noted that CAMFED had trained over 2,000 teacher mentors helping in the schools to get the best out of girls.    

Beneficiary’s experience

In an interview, a beneficiary, Ms Deborah Boatemaa Asante, a third-year student of the University of Education, studying Social Studies and Political Science, told the Daily Graphic that without support from CAMFED, her life would have taken a different turn.

She said her life was going on well until her mother, who was single-handedly taking care of them, had an accident and became crippled.

“After my senior high education, there was no support coming to me from anywhere for me to continue my education to the tertiary level.

 Being the eldest, I took up teaching in a private basic school to help take care of my three other siblings.

Life was not easy,” she stated.

Even though she had the required grades to further her education at the tertiary level, she said, she worked as a teacher for four years and used the money she got to support her mother and siblings, until luck smiled on her in 2016, when she heard about CAMFED bursaries through her church and she was offered a bursary to go to school.

Leadership camps

After benefiting from several leadership camps, Deborah, who is now a member of CAMA, an alumnae network of CAMFED beneficiaries, said she had gained more confidence that enabled her to speak in public and also perform other leadership roles.

As part of  CAMA’s activities, Deborah and other beneficiaries of CAMFED visit communities to encourage students and pupils to stay in school.

Deborah and some of her friends spent part of their vacations at Asarekrom in the Adansi South District in the Ashanti Region and organised sensitisation programmes to encourage young girls to stay in school.

“It is a great opportunity to help other less privileged children remain in school.

 We do this by educating them on the importance of education. I am grateful to CAMFED for the opportunity to continue my tertiary education,” she said.