Help keep 3,750 children in school!

by Campaign for Female Education (Camfed)

We are pleased to provide the supporters of Camfed with updates from our Mothers Support Groups in Zimbabwe working to keep their communities’ children in school. These MSGs are groups are made up of local mothers and grandmothers, most of whom have never been to school themselves, who have come together to organize support for children who have lost one or both parents and children from the neediest families in their communities.

Consider the Pepukai Mother Support Group, in the Chiredzi District of Zimbabwe. Most of the two dozen mothers and grandmothers in this group never attended school themselves, but they are committed to ensuring that children in their community, especially the girls, do. The mothers use profits from baking bread, weaving mats, raising goats and chicks, and growing vegetables – to pay for school fees, uniforms, food and school supplies to send 11 children, including 7 teenage girls, to school.

The Pepukai group is one of more than 2,500 parent support groups that have been brought together and seeded by Camfed with small sums of usually around $100, as well as extensive training and encouragement. With a keen desire to connect and learn from each other, they organize their own exchange meetings across districts, often traveling hundreds of miles to spread the word and help one another organize efforts in their communities. In 2011, more than 48,000 children received educational support through local philanthropic initiatives like this. Some communities have even been inspired to create Father Support Groups, a chance for the men of the community to join the mothers in supporting education in such efforts as building girls’ hostels.

 “People in rural communities have a lot of potential,” says Cama member Fiona Mavhinga, “But poverty is standing in their way.” Mothers Support Groups have fostered this potential in so many areas affected by severe economic decline in Zimbabwe, and restored confidence in education as a path out of poverty. This vital support provided by Mother Support Groups is relieving the pressure on poor families, helping improve children’s attendance and retention in school. The groups also speak out in support of children, talking to other parents about the importance of their child going to school, and the disadvantages of early marriage and against child abuse.

The momentum of Mothers Support Groups has continued to grow, empowering women, men and even children in their communities to coordinate their efforts to keep all children safe and educated. With sincere gratitude for the support we have received from our Global Giving community, we have reached our fundraising goal and will be closing this project. Thank you!

Mothers feeding students, nourishing the future.

Thanks to you, supporters at Global Giving, the efforts of Mothers Support Groups in Zimbabwe are ever expanding to help keep more children in school and prepared to learn. There are over 150 Mother Support Groups in Zimbabwe, made up of 10-30 women from rural communities. They band together to help children in their communities gain greater access to an education, and to remove the obstacles that keep them from achieving their dreams.

For many of these mothers and grandmothers, going to school is an experience that they themselves did not have, and they have come together to ensure that children not only can pay their fees for school, but also have everything they need to succeed, including supplies, books, uniforms, and meals. We’re excited to share the accomplishments of the Thuthuka Mother’s Support group as they find new ways to reach this goal.

Thuthuka Mother Support group,  Zwehamba

Marita, a member of the Thuthuka Mother’s Support Group in Zwehamba, Zimbabwe exemplifies the drive that the women of the Mothers Support Group have for caring for children in their community. Having raised five children of her own, she recognizes the some orphans in this district are lacking a supportive community of adults. Together with her fellow mothers and grandmothers, Marita gives kindly advice and guidance as well as and resources they need to complete school.

 Since forming, the Thuthuka Mother Support Group has raised money from poultry and gardening projects to buy pens and exercise books for orphaned students at Zwehamba Primary School. The women then decided to use their motivation and success to take on a new challenge: providing meals to children in schools.

This school feeding project provides meals for children at the primary school 3 days a week to help improve the comfort, attendance, and concentration of children, particularly those who walk a long way to school on empty bellies. With this meal cooked and distributed by the mothers, the students are able to stay alert in class and ready to learn.

A new approach to feeding hungry students

The mothers running this program are pioneering a new approach to school feeding. In many of these meal programs, the mothers tend to only work in the background to help cook. But Camfed Mother Support Groups take leadership roles in all aspects of the school meal projects – from planning and cooking to monitoring and evaluating to ensure that they are successful. With years of experience helping out at the school already, Marita says the Thuthuka Mother Support Group is highly motivated and proactive.

“Before the head teacher and the committee would even call for a meeting, we would have already sent our mealie meal[1] as women to the school. We won’t wait for the meeting, they will find us already done,” she says.

But it’s not just the children that have benefitted from this new approach. Marita has said that her involvement with Camfed – working together with head teachers, education officials and school management – has given her the kind of confidence and voice that a lot of rural women lack. “I have become self-driven, “ she said. “ I am now able to talk and voice out my opinions even though I am a woman.”

A continued commitment to education:

Through the generosity of the Global Giving community, Mothers Support Groups are helping to nourish growing minds and reinforce the importance of the involvement of women in improving their communities. The Mothers Support Group members of Zimbabwe have told us that supporting children in education and volunteerism to them is a life-long commitment, and we invite you as supporters to join them on their journey to expand their services to additional children across the region.

[1] Mealie meal refers to the ground maize used to make the children’s meals.


Mothers Give the Gift That Gives Back

We are very excited to update our supporters at GlobalGiving this holiday season on the successes and new initiatives of Mothers Support Groups in Zimbabwe as they work to keep children in school and foster change in their communities.

We are also delighted to share that thanks to your support, we are almost halfway to achieving our goal to help Mother Support Groups keep 3,750 children in school!


Mothers Changing Their Communities

Mother Support Groups are comprised of mothers and grandmothers who are committed to supporting the educations and aspirations of children in their communities. They strive to give children the educational opportunities that many of the women never had. Group members band together to come up with income-generating ventures that will help provide school supplies, uniforms and fees necessary for needy children to attend and stay in school.

Thanks to your generous donations, Mother Support Groups are able to continue their important work and we’re pleased to share the achievements of Starlight Mother Support Group in Chikomba East District, Zimbabwe.


Starlight Mother Support Group

Established in 2006, Starlight Mother Support Group, which is made up of 12 members, is an entrepreneurial group with a proven record of working to safeguard not only the future of children in their community, but also the wellbeing of their whole community and beyond.

“Mother Support Groups sacrifice a lot. They sacrifice their time and their money. They could use their money to do other things but they choose to help children who are suffering. They have become role models to other women in the community.”

-- Mr Chizema, School Headmaster, Chikomba East District.

In 2008 a seed grant from Camfed allowed the group to grow and provide food for their community members who were struggling to feed their families. More recently, in 2011, the group started a chicken-rearing project with a grant from Camfed. The project’s success has enabled the group to expand their income-generating activities.

This past June,  the group was contracted to cater a Chikomba East district high schools’ sporting event. Charging $1 per plate, Starlight Mother Support Group supplied meals – which included some chickens from their chicken-rearing project – for over 200 people. To date, the success of their income-generating activities has allowed the group to provide 40 needy children with exercise books, socks and uniforms, soap and maize. This support ensures that children can attend school well fed and with confidence in their appearance and ability to participate fully in school.

For Starlight Mother Support Group members, every day is an opportunity to give gifts to others around them and enrich their own business and entrepreneurship skills in the process.

Thank you for supporting Mother Support Groups throughout 2011 and particularly during this season of giving. We look forward to updating you on Mother Support Groups’ dedication and efforts to unlock a brighter future for children in their communities.


We are excited to update you, our supporters at GlobalGiving, on the efforts of Mother Support Groups in Zimbabwe as they work tirelessly to ensure children stay in school and succeed.  

 Mothers Volunteering for the Good of Future Generations

 Mother Support Groups, which are comprised of 10-30 women who are mothers and grandmothers, who had limited access to formal education, play a key role in ensuring a brighter future for needy children in their local communities. Driven by a desire to lift the next generation to greater heights, these groups of volunteers engage in income generating activities to ensure that children are adequately fed and have school supplies, uniforms and fees necessary to attend and stay in school. Thanks to your generous contributions, Mother Support Groups are able to continue their important work and we’re pleased to share the achievements of Pepukai Mother Support Group in Wedza, Zimbabwe.

Pepukai Mother Support Group, Wedza

Pepukai Mother Support Group, which is comprised of 11 members, is a vibrant group whose business savvy and commitment to children’s education has made a notable impact in their community.

In 2009, the group received a $100 grant from Camfed with which they started a baking project to generate income. Success of the project allowed them to eventually buy 50 chicks to start a chicken rearing project. This project has done so well the group now has 100 chickens and has allowed them to start other income generating projects like weaving mats and brooms and growing produce.

To date Pepukai Mother Support Group has supported four elementary school age children and seven high school girls with school fees, uniforms and clothes. Additionally they’ve bought and donated 50 notebooks and pens to a local high school.

“I have gained a lot from being part of an MSG. I have learnt that a child is everyone’s child. It’s important to help each other in the community because it makes life better. I have learnt that we do not have to wait for donors to give us aid, but that we ourselves can work with our hand and become donors”. 

                                      -- Mrs Rangarirai Musasanuri, Member of Pepukai Mother Support Group


Continuing Mother Support Groups’ Work

 Thank you very much for your continued support to help Mother Support Groups improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in their communities. We look forward to updating you on the incredible volunteer efforts of Mothers Groups in Zimbabwe.

We are pleased to update our supporters about Mother Support Groups in Zimbabwe, who are helping children stay in school with support from GlobalGiving.

Mothers Giving Back

 In the rural communities across Africa where Camfed works volunteer Mother Support Groups are stepping up to help many orphaned and vulnerable children who face severe obstacles.

With support and training from Camfed, members of Mother Support Groups who are mothers and grandmothers who weren't able to finish school themselves because of poverty, give of themselves to give the opportunity of education to others.

Gertrude Kariko a member of Nyangani Mother Support Group in Zimbabwe, has seen the transformative power of support from others in her own life. Her daughter, who is now a qualified nurse, was supported through school by Camfed. Gertrude now supports some orphans in her community to go to school. She says, “I sacrifice to help them but I know it is for a good reason. They can help themselves better in the future with an education than without it.”

Continuing Mother Support Groups’ Work

 We appreciate your continued support to help Mother Support Groups care for children in their communities. Through these groups, dedicated women are serving as mentors and role models for children and ensuring that they have all the supplies they need to stay in school and succeed.


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Organization Information

Campaign for Female Education (Camfed)

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Campaign for Female Education (Camfed)
Project Leader:
Devon Davey
Development and Administrative Officer
San Francisco, CA United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 72 donors like you, a total of $5,170 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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