London, United Kingdom — The main objective of the non-profit advocacy group for girls’ education is to improve access to education for girls. But when the beneficiaries of such efforts continue the purpose of the organization in their private lives, it shows how influential the organization is in the first place. It happened in the case of Natasha Mabuza, who became a strong supporter of
CAMFED and Natasha Mabuza
CAMFED, a non-profit organization based in Zimbabwe and active in several African countries, explains its work on its website: for Africa. To achieve this, CAMFED targets young women in poor and rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. These women are grappling with poverty and gender issues that prevent them from accessing education and opportunities. CAMFED recognizes poverty as a significant ‘barrier to education’ and a driver of hunger, physiological poverty and early marriage.
Natasha Mabuza was one Zimbabwean girl facing such difficulties. Growing up with her grandmother, she witnessed her grandmother struggle to provide her with her education despite facing problems of poverty and inequality. . During her childhood, Mabuza sold roasted peanuts that her grandmother raised to pay for her elementary school tuition. Her grandmother’s ambition and her hardworking nature endowed her Mabuza with the same qualities.
After being inspired by her uncle to become an accountant, Mabuza sought to make that dream a reality despite the difficulty of the subject and the regular absence of an accounting teacher at school. Mabuza tried to pursue it by any means necessary and taught himself with his workbook. It wasn’t until secondary school that Mabuza ran out of money and had to drop out of school. Her big dream of becoming an accountant collapsed.
Step into CAMFED
At this point, CAMFED stepped in to help Mabuza. Mabuza’s agricultural educator and CAMFED-trained teacher, his mentor, and Mabuza’s local community “recommended that Natasha receive support from her CAMFED throughout middle and high school.”
With the support of CAMFED, after high school Mabuza applied to study Management Information Systems at Ashesi University in Ghana. Mabuza received support in the form of donations of money, shoes and clothes from the CAMFED Associated sisters. In addition, the Mastercard Foundation offered Mabuza a scholarship to fund her higher education.
During his time at Ashesi University, Mabuza developed several leadership skills. Her role model today is Patrick Auer, the founder of Ashesi University, who has also received an international scholarship for her higher education. Returning to Ghana in 1997, Aua founded Ashesi University, “a new kind of university that believes in ethics, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.”
Advocate for Girls’ Education in Africa
Mabuza is now seen as an important role model for many young people, especially girls, in her community. As part of this network, Mabuza and her other members gave back to the community and worked together for girls’ education in Africa.
In the summer of 2015, two years after completing her degree at Ashesi University, Mabuza spent her semester break as an intern at CAMFED Zimbabwe. It is through this experience of hers that she has grown to become a leading advocate for girls’ education in Africa.
That summer, Mabuza participated in initiatives that included high-profile meetings with government officials, ministries, school representatives and parents in the communities where CAMFED works. In addition, Mabuza received invitations to speak to hundreds of elementary and secondary school students, and she met with some of the most vulnerable girls in the CAMFED program.
Through these opportunities, Mabuza shared her story and the importance of education and aimed to empower students in education through her words of wisdom. It’s just transit,” Mabuza says on the CAMFED website.
Mabuza motivated different groups for different purposes. For government officials, we encouraged them to invest in their communities and education. For parents, he stressed the importance of sending their children to school, and for students, he emphasized their right to education and their “responsibility to learn.”
Future plans and goals
Mabuza has many goals to achieve in the future, hoping to strengthen girls’ education in Africa. Mabuza wants to address various major obstacles to girls’ education in Zimbabwe, including poverty, hunger, inequality and child marriage. Her Mabuza, one of the first CAMFED Association members to enter the information technology field, has “great ambitions for African youth.”
To achieve this, Mabuza pledges to continue helping others by building a network of young people and informing them of how they can reach their goals regardless of their background. It has an ambitious dream to build “Africa’s largest youth development center” to connect and inspire young people and equip them with “leadership, entrepreneurship, collective action and community service” skills. All her ambitions are tied to her desire to make her grandmother proud and to make lasting change in Africa.
– Claudia Efemini