Educating girls in Africa

Uncommon Heroes: Ann Cotton

During a trip to Zimbabwe in 1990, Ann Cotton realized that Africa would never conquer poverty and disease unless its women were educated.

She found that families that could not afford to educate all their children would give priority to boys. She knew that educated women are less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, and that they marry later and have fewer children who are healthier and more likely to go to school.

She launched CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) in 1993. By selling baked goods, she raised enough money to send 32 girls to school, and she has since built the organization to support 68,290 children in school. It reached more than 480,000 community members through various initiatives in 2004 alone.

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