Situated in East Africa, Tanzania has few natural resources and its economy is based largely on agriculture. It has the lowest rate of high school enrolment in Africa. 

Camfed Tanzania launched in 2005, working with the government to boost secondary school enrolment. We first started our work in the town of Iringa, where many girls who couldn’t afford secondary school fees were leaving home to become “house girls” in urban centers. Frequently, they were abused and exploited, and many returned home infected with HIV, or pregnant. 

By paying their school costs, we are able to support thousands of girls through high school every year. However, many challenges remain: schools are understaffed and lack vital resources such as textbooks and equipment.

“I have been with Camfed since it started in Tanzania. What makes me feel so excited about our work is seeing the girls we are supporting rising from despair to having hope. Some of the girls have been able to achieve things they thought they’d never be able to achieve – passing exams, running businesses, and becoming Learner Guides, mentors and role models to other vulnerable children. They are now respected by their families and communities, holding positions of responsibility, and giving back by helping others. That obvious change in each girl has happened because Camfed has invested in them. This is what motivates me to go to work each day.”

Lydia Wilbard, now National Director, Camfed Tanzania

Tanzania has started to build many secondary schools, but there is a lack of highly qualified (especially female) teachers, and of learning materials.  This is compounded by school-going costs and long distances in rural areas, and the fact that the teaching language currently switches from Swahili to English at secondary level. Without access to resources and support, children find it very hard to acquire the literacy and language skills required to learn and pass their exams. We started addressing these issues through trained Teacher Mentors, who work across government partner schools, identifying new ways of helping girls to pass their exams in a context where 49% of students fail.

Teacher Mentors are now being joined by Learner Guides - young women in our CAMA alumnae network, who return to local schools to support vulnerable children with life skills, study skills and literacy training. Learner Guides understand the barriers imposed by poverty, having lived it. As peer role models and mentors, they are transforming prospects for young people.

We provide textbooks for all our partner secondary schools, as well as individual “My Better World” workbooks for the students supported by Learner Guides. We are also starting to introduce e-readers to provide targeted, relevant materials to students in support of a new literacy curriculum, delivered by Learner Guides.

  • 35,395

    Girls Supported with Secondary Scholarships

    Camfed provides holistic and targeted support for girls to go to secondary school, covering needs that include school fees, uniforms, books, pens, boarding fees and disability aids.

  • 78,902

    Students Supported to go to Primary School

    Camfed's Safety Net Fund provides essential items to children at primary school to prevent them from dropping out of school.

  • 675

    Partner Schools

    Camfed works in genuine partnership with schools to help improve the learning environment for all students. Sharing information on school performance and working with the community to implement change is crucial to success.

  • 24,546

    Community Activists

    Camfed's program works because of the commitment of local volunteers. These volunteers include everyone from traditional leaders, to government education officials, teachers, parents, and former students.

  • 12,505

    CAMA Members

    CAMA - the Camfed alumni association - is the largest network of its kind in Africa. It offers peer support, mentoring, and training and leadership opportunities.

  • 110,066

    Children Supported by Community Initiatives

    CAMA alumnae partner with their communities to support more vulnerable children to go to school, by providing school meals, paying school fees, buying supplies, or providing a home to orphans.

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