Skoll Foundation

 

Posts Tagged ‘Campaign for Female Education’

Ann Cotton Speaks at U.S.-Africa Summit Hosted by the White House and Others

August 6, 2014 by
 
 
 

Camfed and the MasterCard Foundation Publish “When You Educate a Girl, Everything Changes”, Collection of Stories Charting the Journeys and Aspirations of Scholars in Ghana

Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), an international nonprofit organization that invests in the education of girls in rural Africa, announced that today, Founder and President Ann Cotton joined an esteemed panel of experts in Washington, D.C. to address the expansion of education, health and economic access in Africa. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was hosted by the White House, the George W. Bush Institute and the U.S. State Department.

First Ladies from nearly 30 countries joined Michelle Obama and Laura Bush to share success stories and identify actionable solutions to the challenges women and girls face in Africa.

“It is a great honor to participate in this Summit,” said Cotton. “For more than 20 years, Camfed has supported a generation of African girls and women with access to secondary and higher education, employment opportunities and, ultimately, into positions of leadership. I was asked to share our experiences and discuss ways to replicate Camfed’s success in rural Africa in many more locations.”

Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation are also excited to announce the publication of “When you educate a girl, everything changes”, a book which profiles MasterCard Foundation Scholars in Ghana supported by Camfed. The Scholars share the challenges they have faced in securing their education and their hopes for the future. read more

 

Ann Cotton Speaking at U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Today

August 6, 2014 by
 
 
 

As part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit today, the Office of the First Lady, the George W. Bush Institute, and the U.S. Department of State are hosting a day-long forum focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships. Camfed Founder and President Ann Cotton was just on a panel called “Education: Creating Opportunities and Investing in the Next Generation of Women Leaders.”

We will write more about her panel soon! Learn more about her fellow panelists: http://www.bushcenter.org/investing-our-future-us-africa-leaders-summit/summit-overview

 

Camfed Alum Wins Prestigious Award at Presidential Summit

August 4, 2014 by
 
 
 

We got this note from Camfed and wanted to share:

Ruka Yaro De-Liman, a leader of the Camfed Alumnae in Ghana and an Innovation Bursary Scholar, has been awarded $25,000 at the Presidential Summit in Washington DC. This week’s Summit was the final highlight of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Twenty-seven year old Ruka was one of the 500 Mandela Washington Fellows selected from 50,000 applicants in recognition of her entrepreneurship and community activism, and one of just 36 to receive an Award.

Through Camfed’s partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to support young female entrepreneurs in Ghana, Ruka launched her agriculture and poultry business. Ruka’s vision for Jamilullah Farm Enterprise is in her words, “to become the leading producer of wholesome meat and quality eggs in West Africa and create jobs for thousands of young people on the continent”.

At the Summit, President Obama, Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry paid tribute to the Fellows and their extraordinary promise as an emerging generation of African leaders. The First Lady spoke to them about major challenges, including girls’ education:….“across the globe, the statistics on this issue are heartbreaking. Right now, 62 million girls worldwide are not in school, including nearly 30 million girls in Sub-Saharan Africa….  And, as my husband said earlier this week, we know that when girls aren’t educated, that doesn’t just limit their prospects, leaving them more vulnerable to poverty, violence and disease, it limits the prospects of their families and their countries as well.” read more

 

Girl Summit: Highlights from Tostan, Girls Not Brides, and Camfed

July 23, 2014 by
 
 
 

Yesterday, the UK hosted the first Girl Summit, aimed at mobilizing domestic and international efforts to end female genital cutting (FGC) and child, early and forced marriage within a generation. UNICEF co-hosted the event and said prevalence of child marriage is decreasing “slightly” but that population growth means the number of young brides could remain stagnant.

Skoll Awardees Girls Not Brides, Camfed and Tostan were featured in many of the news stories coming out of the Summit. Perhaps the biggest? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will start a major study on FGC female genital mutilation. Other news:

*Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Washington Post op-ed, which discussed how like-minded organizations are linking together across continents. “Joined by groups as varied as Uganda’s Amani Initiative and Indonesia’s child empowerment groups in the districts of Grobogan and Dompu, the work of what are popularly called “the wedding busters” is now being coordinated globally by Plan International and Girls Not Brides,” he wrote. read more

 

Skoll Awardees Advancing Girls’ Education

May 12, 2014 by
 
 

A recent Nick Kristof column about the plight of the kidnapped Nigerian girls brought to light how readers can help support girls’ education there and around the world. First Lady Michelle Obama, like Kristof, mentioned Skoll Awardee Malala Yousafzai this weekend (listen to her Mother’s Day Address).

Here’s an excerpt from Kristof’s New York Times column, “What’s so scary about smart girls?”

“…That’s when a nonprofit called the Campaign for Female Education, or Camfed, came along and helped pay for Angeline to stay in school. She did brilliantly in high school and is now the regional director for Camfed, in charge of helping impoverished girls get to school in four African countries. She’s paying it forward. Educating girls and empowering women are also tasks that are, by global standards, relatively doable. We spend billions of dollars on intelligence collection, counterterrorism and military interventions, even though they have a quite mixed record. By comparison, educating girls is an underfunded cause even though it’s more straightforward. Readers often feel helpless, unable to make a difference. But it was a grass-roots movement starting in Nigeria that grabbed attention and held leaders accountable to address it. Nigeria’s leaders perhaps now realize that they must protect not only oil wells but an even greater treasure: the nation’s students. Likewise, any of us can stick it to Boko Haram by helping to educate a girl. A $40 gift at Camfed.org buys a uniform so that a girl can go to school.”

Besides Camfed, Skoll Awardees Tostan, The Citizens Foundation, The Afghan Insitute for Learning and Girls Not Brides all have primary or secondary focuses on girls’ education. The Visayan Forum Foundation helps prevent girls from being sold into human trafficking and teaches them life skills, entrepreneurship and IT so they can get jobs or pursue further studies. Watch our blog this week for more about these Skoll Awardees helping make sure girls around the world attend school.

 

Sally Osberg in Forbes: How Social Entrepreneurs Deliver New Solutions to Global Problems

April 16, 2013 by
 
 

CEO Sally Osberg mentions eight Skoll awardees as examples of how social entrepreneurs are delivering new solutions to global problems in her latest op-ed. An excerpt:

“Imagine that you are a mother living in a village in rural Gambia. At least one of your eight children will probably die before reaching the age of five. It doesn’t matter that there are vaccines or treatments for the disease that will take your child—measles, hepatitis, diarrhea, or perhaps HIV. What you know is that it’s a ten-kilometer walk to the health clinic. When you arrive, you’re likely to find a sign saying the nurse couldn’t get there that day.

Andrea and Barry Coleman, stars in the world of motorcycle racing, saw the problem when they went to Africa to support the work of children’s charities. It wasn’t lack of medicine or healthcare workers. Rather, what was missing were the parts, mechanics, and maintenance for vehicles taking workers and supplies to villages and clinics. The couple wept over wasted vehicles rusting behind health-ministry offices, then returned home and mortgaged their house to found Riders for Health, a reliable, scalable vehicle-maintenance system for healthcare delivery.

The story of Riders for Health is a story of social entrepreneurship.”

Read the rest: http://www.forbes.com/sites/skollworldforum/2013/04/08/how-social-entrepreneurs-deliver-new-solutions-to-global-problems/

 

International Women’s Day: Letters from our Awardees

March 8, 2013 by
 
 

Many Skoll awardees work with women and girls, so we thought we’d share some of their public letters and videos today, International Women’s Day. Above, you can see Tostan’s video from Women’s Day last year, and they will soon post their new one from today.

From Ann Cotton, Camfed:

“Government legislation in Malawi protects the right of child mothers to return to education. Nabena is now one of the 33 child mothers in the Chikhwawa District going back to school this year with Camfed’s support. We are working in a further 16 districts, guaranteeing all costs for these girls and thousands more through the duration of their secondary school education…On this International Women’s Day, let’s work together to ensure that girls do not carry the responsibilities of womanhood too soon, but grow up through a childhood filled with the educational opportunity that is the right of every child.” Read the rest: https://camfed.org/latest-news/newsletters/international-womens-day/ and read her post on Skoll World Forum: http://skollworldforum.org/debate-post/we-want-quality-education-because-we-are-children-of-quality/

Arzu posted this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlJXqUFmeIc&feature=share&list=UUZHWfrWD9xNUgfbFOOW0gGw

Last, but not least, is Melinda Gates’ message on our very own Skoll World Forum site: http://skollworldforum.org/debate-post/we-can-help-women-and-girls-determine-their-own-future

 

Sally Osberg’s Op-Ed in the Financial Times’ “This is Africa” Magazine

December 26, 2012 by
 
 

“Social entrepreneurs see possibility where others see problems. They are unapologetically ambitious, setting their sights not just on incremental improvements but on systems-level transformation. And to achieve their audacious ends, social entrepreneurs enroll those most vested in that transformation — people oppressed, marginalised, or constrained by an existing reality.”

Those are Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg’s words in This is Africa, a new publication from the Financial Times that “seeks to examine African business and politics in a global context and to make sense of the relationships that Africa is building with the rest of the world.” read more

 

Powerwashing: Kristin Gilliss’ Trip to Ghana with Camfed

November 13, 2012 by
 
 

I spent last week in Ghana with Camfed, learning more about the return on investment to girls’ education and young women’s economic empowerment. On a hot afternoon near Tamale, as both we and our food melted, our group joked about the fancy word deliquescent, which we collectively defined as the scrumptious state of your Oreo cookie turned to mush in milk (or an English digestive biscuit which has absorbed your afternoon tea, said our British contingent!).

What happens, though, when WORDS deliquesce? Answer: the same thing. Original meaning dissolves into watered-down mush. Sustainability, anyone? Choose your meaning. In the environment sphere, we criticize how “greenwashing” and nominal CSR activities undermine genuine sustainability efforts of corporate leaders, such as those engaged in Ceres’ company network. Well Greenwashing, meet your new friend: Powerwashing.

In international development, phrases associated with tenets of sustainable development, such as “community empowerment” and “stakeholder engagement,” have joined the list of jargon. Recent research funded by donors such as DFID is confirming that What Works in Girls Education in Ghana is a model that holds true to these principles. But not the watered-down, deliquescent version of these terms. To reclaim meaning from jargon, these words must define evidence of genuine power transfer.

Which is why visiting Ghana was energizing last week. Camfed believes that successfully supporting an individual girl means investing in the structures—community, school, government– that support her, and I saw power in communities. How do you see a new vector of power that centers on investing in girls’ education? I saw it as I thanked a Ghanian chief for permission to visit his village, and he shared a guinea fowl and yams with the Camfed team. It may seem simple, but support from a traditional leader for girls’ education is anything but in a culture where development firm Coffey reports “massive inequalities in educational outcomes remain, especially between rich and poor, north and south, and girls and boys… By the time children reach secondary school, inequalities are particularly apparent. For example, only 3% of girls from the poorest 20% of the population complete Senior High School, compared to 88% of girls from the richest 20%.”

Too often, development practitioners have an agenda to impose on communities, and convenings center on informing rather than listening to citizens. Camfed approaches development as a social change process. And it works. Because for Camfed, “community empowerment” is not an afternoon workshop to check the box on “stakeholder engagement.” Communities have decision making power (which girls are neediest in this village? Who should represent the community at the District level?) over their own investment in girls and young women. Men don’t have to lose power for women to gain it; real development is accretive and advances the interests of both men and women or it will not be sustainable.

But it can’t ignore differences. I was grateful to a young woman for sharing her perspective with me about why Camfed’s financial literacy curriculum in Ghana should include a module on reproductive health. Again, as she explained it, it seemed obvious that money and sex are related—that truth is not limited to geographies of rural poverty! Girls often need to negotiate control of their own bodies, and talking about topics from family planning to HIV/AIDS  in the context of financial literacy can be powerful:  “You can manage your finances, but if you don’t manage your family size it will in the long run affect your finances. So we talk about family planning,” she shared. In fact, girls expressed desire for more access to information on reproductive health.

Camfed’s approach represents an alternative development paradigm.  And, thanks to amazing research and documentation of key principles by Linklaters, it’s open source. From traditional tribal leaders to elected officials, from mothers to fathers, from teachers to alumni: power is shared. Camfed is a conduit for resources and sees itself accountable, together with the community, to the client they jointly serve: the girl. There’s nothing mushy about that.

Read more about Camfed’s work in Ghana and learn about similar results in Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe here.

 

Camfed’s Ghana Program in The Guardian

October 16, 2012 by
 
 

A powerful story in The Guardian shows the impact of Skoll Awardee Camfed in Ghana. The piece focuses on the poor education that many children get, leading them no closer to great careers – and how Camfed solves that. An excerpt:

“Camfed – which has provided funding for more than 66,000 children to attend primary and secondary school in Ghana since 1998 – believes it has found a way to supplement the poor quality education on offer in state-run schools. In 2002 it created a Ghana ‘Cama network’ of Camfed alumni, which brings together young women who have graduated with its support.”

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/oct/16/female-entrepreneurs-ghana-poor-education

 

Sally Osberg at CGI: “We need the disruption, discipline and drive of social entrepreneurs”

September 24, 2012 by
 
 

Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg just spoke powerfully at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual meeting. Acumen Fund’s Jacqueline Novogratz said afterward: “Sally, that really was spectacular.” Afteward, Sally was swarmed with accolades from people.

So what did she say?

Here are some of the most favorite quotes (based on the wide applause in the room!)

“If we are going to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, we need social entrepreneurs. We need their disruption.” [She then gave a detailed example of this in Riders for Health's work].”

“We need the discipline of social entrepreneurs. They are accountable to those they serve and to those who are making a difference.” [She gave the example of Camfed and its governance model].

“We need the drive of social entrepreneurs.” [She shared how the Marine Stewardship Council only grew to scale when they hired a social entrepreneur to run it].

“It’s not that we don’t need business. It’s not that we don’t need governments. It’s not that we don’t need big NGOs. We need the disruption, discipline, and drive of social entrepreneurs.”

Her second loud applause was when she mentioned the The Global Social Progress Initiative, or GSPI, which will create and widely disseminate measurement tools that encourage countries to assess their social performance over time and focus the attention of leaders and social investors on those areas that will most effectively improve well-being.  “There is a lot that can be measured in this world,” Osberg said, “and if we want to be making a difference, we need this information in a readily transparent way. We hope this will be a powerful tool for us all.”

Above, watch the entire video.

 

Great Profile of Camfed in The Independent

July 12, 2012 by
 
 
 

We are loving this piece on Camfed, which says what the organization does — investing in girls education– is not unusual. But,  “it is how it does it that makes the difference – and after 20 years working in rural Africa it can show that its unique model prompts transformational changes even in the most disadvantaged areas on earth.”

Enjoy! http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/lessons-from-the-global-classroom-supporting-girls-through-school-can-transform-communities-7936300.html

 

Three Skoll Awardees Among the 60 “Extraordinary” Fast Company List

June 22, 2012 by
 
 
 

“Every change agent needs an agency,” writes Fast Company, in its latest “top” list.

Congratulations to Erin Ganju of Room to Read, Ann Cotton and Molly Melching, as well as Skoll Foundation friend Pat Mitchell, who the magazine chose as part of the top 60 list of women who “tackle areas of dire need.”

See them all here: http://www.fastcompany.com/women-heroes/2012

 

Sally Osberg on Front Page of Huffington Post

April 20, 2012 by
 
 
 

This piece, called “Social Entrepreneurs ‘Refreshingly Uncynical’ — But Not At All Delusional” is featured on the front page of the Huffington Post today. (Sally is above, right, with Eve Ensler at this year’s Skoll World Forum.) Enjoy!

By Sally Osberg

Just as I was coming up for air after our ninth Skoll World Forum, held each spring in the U.K. at Oxford University, David Brooks’ New York Times column on social entrepreneurs hit my desk. Talk about timing!

For starters, Mr. Brooks cites coffee shops, universities and “a certain sort of conference” as fertile ground for bumping into “some of these wonderful young people who are doing good.” Big note to self: be sure to invite him to the Forum next year. Not only would this global community of 900 delegates welcome his savvy perspectives, he’d discover just how many social entrepreneurs are actually doing what he thinks they aren’t.

In his provocative piece, “Sam Spade at Starbucks,” Mr. Brooks attests to the appeal of the “refreshingly uncynical” women and men he considers social entrepreneurs. But they’re missing a big beat, he believes, by shunning government, and by thinking “they can evade politics” in their pursuit of social progress. Our experience at the Skoll Foundation suggests otherwise.

So, with all due respect, allow me to take up Mr. Brooks’ gauntlets.

Contrary to his concern that “you can cram all the nongovernmental organizations you want into a country, but if there is no rule of law… your achievements won’t add up to much,” in fact, many social entrepreneurs are directly and indirectly supporting the rule of law. Landesa, for example, a new addition to the Skoll Foundation portfolio, works with governments in 40 countries to transfer property rights, which ultimately bring food, income, and the opportunity to transcend poverty. In India, for example, a local state government worked with Landesa to educate women about their land rights and help them through the land-application process. Already, 100 women in that small area have their land titles. They are counted among the 105 million families who have received land rights because of Landesa’s government partnerships.

Mr. Brooks is concerned that social entrepreneurs have “little faith in the political process.” But a number of organizations work with a “healthy political process.” Camfed (the Campaign for Female Education) partners with the Zambian government to enforce child protection as a cornerstone of its education plan. (In Africa, it’s common for teachers to pressure their female students to have sex with them). Now, 1,500 schools have these plans in place. The real social progress? Experts agree the best way to bring lasting social benefits to a country is to expand educational and economic opportunities for girls. In total, Camfed has given grants to 60,000 girls to complete secondary school.

While Mr. Brooks thinks young activists are “not as good at thinking nationally and regionally,” Partners in Health (PIH) is doing just that, by partnering with the governments of Haiti and Rwanda to ensure sustainable access to first-class medical care. In Rwanda, the year-old Butaro Hospital is a collaboration between PIH and the Ministry of Health. It provides salary incentives and extensive training to healthcare workers. In Haiti, PIH will soon open Mirebalais Hospital, which former President Bill Clinton recently visited. PIH is also helping the Haitian Ministry of Health develop an immunization program to protect all Haitians against cholera, which has already killed more than 7,000 people. read more

 

Google Supports Five Skoll Awardees

December 14, 2011 by
 
 

$3.25 Million Grant Supports Hands-On, Expanded Learning Programs

Citizen Schools, a national non-profit that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income students, today announced a $3.25 million dollar grant from Google.org to support its programs in 17 communities. More than 350 Google employees have volunteered with Citizen Schools since 2006, teaching nearly 100 hands-on courses called apprenticeships. Citizen Schools is one of several dozen organizations receiving grants from Google.org at the end of 2011. Other Skoll Awardees getting grants include GoodWeave, CAMFED, Afghan Institute of Learning and Free the Children.

Learn more: http://www.citizenschools.org/news/press-release-google-supports-citizen-schools-with-volunteers-and-dollars/

http://www.goodweave.org/news_detail.php?cid=6&news_id=478

http://news.camfed.org/us/2011/12/google-grant-to-fund-groundbreaking-use-of-technology-to-keep-girls-in-school/

 

 

 

Sally Osberg: “Social Entrepreneurs Are The Answer”

November 16, 2011 by
 
 
 

Today at 2 p.m. GMT, Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg answered questions in a live chat on the Bellagio Initiative web site. An excerpt:

Q: ‘Can bottom-up entrepreneurs help major international top-down corporations become more startup friendly?’
SO: Great question! Happily, social entrepreneurs are the answer…I want to underscore that social entrepreneurs partner with their stakeholders and communities; it’s their MO in fact…lots of folks think that social entrepreneurs are lone rangers, but they are anything but. Think of the “social” in social entrepreneur as not just describing the why and what–a status quo that leads to oppression, marginalization and victimization of human beings, communities and populations, the goal of social benefit and value, but also the “how,” a way of working with those served.

Read more from Osberg, who gives great examples in Skoll awardees Camfed, Tostan, IDE-India, Riders for Health, Partners in Health, Root Capital and Kiva, here: http://action.bellagioinitiative.org/pages/online-qa-sally-osberg

 

From extreme poverty to businesswomen: how it happened

August 23, 2011 by
 
 

Florence, Esnart, Ng’andwe and Precious are poor. They have lost some of their parents. But now, they are starting their own businesses, and we get to watch them in action (see above). That’s because their journey is captured in the new documentary, The Entrepreneurs, produced by Skoll Awardee Camfed and See Change Films.

Three years ago, Camfed launched a program to empower young women entrepreneurs in Zambia, in partnership with the 10,000 Women initiative and the University of Cambridge. Florence, Esnart, Ng’andwe and Precious embark on five months of training to prepare them to launch their own businesses.

But with courage and determination, they defy the odds and start their own businesses, proving that anything is possible. The Entrepreneurs airs today at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 a.m. on Link TV (Channel 375 on DirecTV and Channel 9410 on Dish Network). You can also watch it above.

 

Chat live tomorrow: Learn from a Zambian woman helped by Camfed

June 15, 2011 by
 
 
 

Skoll awardee Camfed is hosting a live online forum with Penelope, one of Camfed’s superstar graduates, Thursday. They are inviting supporters to join the conversation by sending her questions about her life, and the issues that her community faces in rural Zambia.  The event is not coincidentally June 16, the Day of the African Child, which honors children’s right to an education.

Penelope has transcended a background of extreme hardship to become a filmmaker, an IT expert, teacher, and global leader. By age 12, she lost her family, her home, and her opportunity for an education. However, with Camfed’s support and her strength, she graduated from high school, and  now speaks on the international stage, teaches computer skills, and challenges injustices in rural Africa through producing films.

At 12 noon EST (9 a.m. PST) Thursday, Penelope will be online in the IT center that she manages in a remote area of northern Zambia, answering questions about her journey, life in her community, and social issues such as educational exclusion. Talk to her on Twitter <http://twitter.com/#%21/CAMFED> , Causes <http://www.causes.com/causes/72910> or Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/camfed> .

 

 

Lessons in Leadership: Young Women in Rural Africa Reflect on Route Out of Poverty

May 23, 2011 by
 
 
 

Camfed reports on progress on a major collaborative mentoring, training and economic empowerment project for young women in Africa.

Late last year, 150 ambitious young women from across Africa gathered in rural Zambia to learn lessons in leadership from some of the most inspiring social entrepreneurs in the world. Last month, these young women gathered once again to reflect on their incredible achievements so far. read more

 

TrustLaw Releases Multimedia Coverage of the Skoll World Forum in Oxford: 11 thought leaders interviewed

April 20, 2011 by
 
 
 

TrustLaw, a service of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has published a series of 11 interviews on, “What is the Shape of Social Entrepreneurship in 2011,” from the 2011 Skoll World Forum.

“Even in the place where men and women so effectively called together called for change, we have seen a reversal of fortune… as people inthe region come to realize that more open, participatory societies will actually lead to greater stability, greater security and peace, if you will, within our society, they will also realize that… if women are not fully engaged at all levels in our society we will not acheive the potential that is there.” -Queen Noor of Jordan read more

 
 

© 2014 Skoll Foundation.