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The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) is an international non-profit organization tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change. Since 1993, CAMFED’s innovative education programs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi have directly supported more than 2.6 million students to attend primary and secondary school, and more than 5 million children have benefited from an improved learning environment.

CAMFED’s comprehensive program addresses the access, retention and completion of education for girls in remote, underserved rural communities.  It places girls at the center of a holistic model that acknowledges the broader context of disadvantage in which they live. CAMFED’s model is integrated and embedded within district and school education structures, strengthening the home-school link and building the capacity of those school, community and government structures to support girls through their education and into a secure adulthood.

CAMFED has created a unique virtuous cycle that is expanding support for girls’ education in a sustainable way through CAMA – the CAMFED alumnae association. Pioneered by the first young women to complete secondary school with CAMFED’s support, CAMA harnesses the transformative potential of young women’s leadership. Unique as a constituency of young women from rural areas who are connected across the African continent, and set to grow to a membership of more than 150,000 by 2019 as a direct outcome of our current education programs, CAMA represents an unstoppable new force for change.  

CAMA’s power lies in its institutional, as well as its emotional, infrastructure. Members share huge determination and resilience against a background of rural poverty and marginalization.  They are deeply committed to ‘plowing back’ the benefits of their education into their communities and working to break the cycle of poverty for good. Across the five countries in which CAMA is established, its members are now supporting over 500,000 children to attend school each year.

A Unique Lending Approach:
To support themselves, their families, and children in their community, many CAMA members wish to start small businesses after receiving training through CAMFED, and many who already operate small businesses wish to expand them. Kiva loans, funded through Kiva lenders, make it possible for CAMA members to achieve these goals.
CAMFED provides loans to CAMA members without charging financial interest. Instead of paying financial interest, CAMA members pay “social interest” by volunteering in a structured program, which benefits the community and reduces the borrower’s financial burden.

The CAMA members perform many different “social interest” roles. For instance, some CAMA members volunteer as Learner Guides. As Learner Guides, they lead students at their local school through sessions that help them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, entrepreneurship, and communication skills. They also follow up with students who miss school regularly and work with their families and communities to address the root causes of their truancy and ensure the students continue to attend school. Examples of other “social interest” roles include helping new CAMA members transition from secondary school to safe and secure adulthood as a Transition Guide, mentoring and supporting less experienced entrepreneurs as a Business Guide, and supporting and advocating for early childhood education (ECD) in the community as an ECD Activist. Generally CAMA borrowers dedicate at least 10 hours per month to their volunteer role while repaying their “social interest” loan.
CAMFED’s Impact:
CAMFED supports girls in 5,745 government partner schools across 146 districts in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi to access school, succeed, and become leaders of change in their communities. To date, CAMFED’s programs have supported over 2.6 million children to attend primary and secondary school.

To fully realize the investment in girls’ education, CAMFED’s programs extend past the secondary school level so that young women are assisted to develop agency, financial security and decision-making power.  CAMFED works with CAMA to help them pursue diverse pathways after secondary school through a post-school transition program, support for tertiary education, and programs to develop entrepreneurship and leadership skills. Members of CAMA commit to giving back to their communities through philanthropy and volunteer service, creating a virtuous cycle of girls’ education. There are currently over 120,000 CAMA members, with membership expected to reach 150,000 this year.
CAMFED Malawi's Mission Statement
CAMFED envisions a world in which every child is educated, protected, respected and valued, and grows up to turn the tide of poverty.
As the most effective strategy to tackle poverty and inequality, CAMFED multiplies educational opportunities for girls and empowers young women to become leaders of change. Our focus is on girls and young women in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. This is where girls face acute disadvantage and where their empowerment will have a transformative impact.
Why Kiva Works With CAMFED Malawi
Kiva supports CAMFED Malawi’s work to help young women from rural impoverished backgrounds start or grow their own businesses. The financial independence of having their own businesses gives these educated young women more agency to determine the future they want, and makes them less vulnerable to economically-motivated urban migration or early marriage. Being part of the CAMA network, the borrowers receive ongoing support from their fellow members while contributing to their communities by repaying the “social interest” on their loans.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva May 30, 2018 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $175,975 $1,958,960,270
Amount of raised Inactive loans $4,450 $198,810
Number of raised Inactive loans 14 174
Amount of Paying Back Loans $38,800 $161,515,145
Number of Paying Back Loans 134 189,106
Amount of Ended Loans $132,725 $1,768,242,580
Number of Ended Loans 508 2,370,068
Delinquency Rate 100.00% 12.15%
Amount in Arrears $18,265 $12,196,492
Outstanding Portfolio $19,946 $100,379,645
Number of Loans Delinquent 134 72,762
Default Rate 9.74% 1.83%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $12,923 $32,307,398
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 99 84,791
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 2.47% 0.50%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $4,348 $11,998,745
Refund Rate 0.45% 0.54%
Amount of Refunded Loans $800 $10,526,300
Number of Refunded Loans 3 9,596

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 99.55% 78.24%
Average Loan Size $268 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $268 $589
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,891
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8.3
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $900 $5,599
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 29.81% 7.00%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 0.39 days 8.93 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $680.33 $43.86
  Average Loan Term 12.18 months 11.47 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 175 1,178,680
  Journaling Rate 27.10% 42.25%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.02
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 0.57

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2018 data)

    This Lending Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 0% APR 76.00% PY 27.02% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) 1.87% -1.7% -3.10%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 12.00% 0.00%

Country Fast Facts

Lending Partner Staff

Karina Catlin
John Chapalapata
Edna Chipungu
James Ingram
Billy Kandoje
Madalitso Kapyola
Calvin Malonje
Elsie Mwimba
Glory Ngosi
Tony Peckham
Susan Silika