Ann Cotton, Founder and President of Camfed, has been awarded the 2014 WISE Prize for Education. The Prize was presented by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, at the sixth World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha, Qatar on 4 November 2014.
The WISE Prize for Education is the first distinction of its kind to recognise an individual or a team of up to six people for an outstanding, world-class contribution to education. The WISE Prize for Education is enhancing the status of education by giving it similar prestige to other areas for which international prizes exist, such as literature, peace, and economics.
The WISE Prize for Education Laureates are inspiring role models for all those concerned with building the future of education as the foundation for a more secure, prosperous, and sustainable world.
It was in 1993 when Ann Cotton founded the nonprofit organisation Camfed after returning home from a trip to western Zimbabwe. She realised that the biggest obstacle to girls' education was being trapped in a vicious circle of poverty. This realisation caused her to take action.
Since then, she has continously worked to reverse the cycle of poverty and inequality by supporting girls through school, and empowering young women to become leaders of change. By now, Camfed’s programmes are implemented across 5085 partner schools in 115 rural districts of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi and are owned and run by the communities.
Over time, the establishment of an alumni network of educated young women, named CAMA, has contributed to the success story: the network is the driving force behind Camfed, one that unlocks the potential of girls and young women by educating and mentoring them. Camfed has managed to create an unparalleled infrastructure of partnerships, systems, community experts, and education activists.
As Ann Cotton puts it: “Just imagine one million girls in Africa, all of whom are from a background of rural poverty; all of whom understand the anxiety and the frustrations of poverty. Just imagine them working in the education and health systems, in politics, in journalism, in law, in engineering, in science – just imagine the power of what they can do to transform our world.”
For more information on Camfed's work, take a look at the NGO's web page: https://camfed.org/latest-news/camfed-founder-wins-global-prize/
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