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Supporting Access to Education for Girls in Zambia

Supporting Access to Education for Girls in Zambia

Samaria outside her secondary school in Zambia.

Girls in rural Zambia face many barriers to education. Some are unable to pay school fees due their extreme poverty, and others face long distances between their homes and school facilities. As a result, a large number of girls drop out of school in the upper primary and secondary grades.

Supporting education, and in particular education for girls, is an important part of Irish Aid’s work in Zambia. In partnership with Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), Irish Aid has been supporting marginalised girls to access secondary education. CAMFED supports girls through bursary packages, assisting the girls to complete their secondary education and increasing their chances of accessing skills training once they complete school.

CAMFED’s bursary programme has helped Samaria to complete her secondary education. Samaria is from a rural area of Zambia, and both her parents passed away when she was young. Her uncle struggled to pay her school fees, and after she passed her Grade 7 examinations, she had to leave school.

“My hope of completing my education stopped then as for secondary school you need to pay fees as well as having your books, uniform and other essentials. Luckily for me, the School Based Committee identified me as a beneficiary for CAMFED bursary support and I was called back to school. I could not believe the good news and I was grateful for the opportunity. I no longer worried about dropping out of school. Thanks to the Irish Aid and CAMFED support, my long awaited dream of becoming a teacher has been rekindled.”