Today marks the first ever International Day of the Girl – a day to recognise girls’ rights around the world. This UN-designated day highlights the growing momentum behind girls’ education and young women’s empowerment, which has been central to Camfed’s work across rural communities in Africa for the past 20 years. The first International Day of the Girl turns the spotlight onchild marriage – a problem that is depriving so many girls around the world of their own childhoods.
The White Ribbon Alliance estimates that 10 million girls under the age of 18 are married every year. Some are as young as 12 and 13. And many of these girls give birth when they are still just children themselves.
Girls’ education, the driving force behind all our work, is recognised as one of the most effective ways to prevent this.
Read about Camfed’s ground-breaking work in one rural community in Malawi, where more than half of the girls who drop out of school are pregnant.
Three of these girls are featured in the powerful film The Child Within.
With Camfed’s support, girls like Elina – who is shown in the film struggling to provide for herself and her son – can now go back to school.
She hopes one day to become a journalist: “It is still my dream to be an empowered woman,” she says.