Cambridge charity Camfed wins major international education award



The work of Cambridge-based Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) has been recognised again by a major international award - this time for its work in Tanzania.

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a leading international initiative for innovation and collaboration in education, has today named Camfed Tanzania’s Learner Guide Program as one of the six winning projects of the 2017 WISE Awards, which recognise high-impact projects from around the globe for their innovative solutions to 21st century education challenges. Winning projects had to be scalable and replicable, demonstrating a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and society.

"Congratulations to all the winners! When I heard the news I shouted for joy — and for more than 800 young women here in Tanzania, who are committed to changing the futures of marginalized girls at school. What an extraordinary opportunity to raise the voices and acknowledge the expertise of some of the most vulnerable girls in Africa while contributing to the global knowledge of what works to transform young lives.”
- Lydia Wilbard, National Director, Camfed Tanzania

The Learner Guide Program trains young educated women — most of whom were supported to go to secondary school by Camfed — to return to their local schools as mentors and role models. Learner Guides volunteer to deliver a structured life skills curriculum, helping marginalized children succeed. As Learner Guides, the young women work with schools, communities and district governments to break down the barriers to girls’ education. Learner Guides can earn a vocational qualification (BTEC) for their work, and gain access to interest-free loans to grow their own businesses. Respected for their expertise at every level, they are multiplying the returns of their own education for the benefit of their communities.

"Our six WISE Awards winners reflect the wide range of what can be achieved in advancing education when there is a creative solution and a determination to see it through. We look forward to showcasing our winners and runners-up at the WISE Summit in Doha in November, and to supporting their progress as they grow.”
- Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO, WISE

The Learner Guide Program was selected as a WISE Awards winner in recognition of its impact in supporting young women’s education and employment opportunities.  

Part of Camfed’s multi-dimensional approach to girls’ education, it has resulted in an unprecedented uplift in learning outcomes, especially among the most marginalized girls.

Lydia Wilbard, Camfed Tanzania’s National Director and herself a member of Camfed’s CAMA alumnae network, will be speaking at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in November 2017, where the winning projects will be celebrated.

“Young women like Zuhura bring the lived experience of poverty and exclusion to the classroom.  They are the experts in supporting marginalized students to stay in school, succeed, and lead,” she said.

“Together we have designed a sustainable and scalable approach. It delivers unprecedented results for girls in school, and opens new paths for young women after school.”

Read Learner Guide Zuhura’s story here.




Six projects from around the world have been selected by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) for innovative and impactful approaches to today’s most urgent education challenges

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a leading international initiative for innovation and collaboration in education, has named the six winning projects of the 2017 WISE Awards, recognizing and promoting innovative education initiatives around the world. The six winners were selected from a group of 15 finalists by a panel of expert judges.

The 2017 WISE Awards winners:

PhET Interactive Simulations (US/global) - an engaging education solution promoting science and math literacy through interactive simulations, founded by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman and housed at University of Colorado Boulder.

The Learner Guide Programme (Tanzania/UK) - a mentorship programme led by Camfed Tanzania to support education and employment opportunities for young women in rural areas.

The Speed School project (US/global) – an intensive, child-centered program run by the Luminos Fund to enable out-of-school children to catch up to their grade level at government schools.

Ubongo Edutainment (Tanzania) – a Dar-es-Salaam-based initiative providing fun learning to millions of kids in Africa through animated educational content across multiple platforms including TV, SMS and smartphones.

42 (France / US) – a free computer programming training program open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 30, whether they possess an academic degree or not. The program focuses on project-based, peer- to-peer learning.

Lights to Learn (Spain / Latin America) – a program led by the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) providing electricity to support quality education and community development in rural and marginalized regions of Latin America.

To be selected, the winning projects were required to show success and innovation, demonstrating a transformative impact on individuals, communities and society. They must be financially stable, have a clear development plan and be scalable and replicable. The judging process as well as on-site due diligence was overseen by independent education consultants from Parthenon-EY.

The six WISE Awards winning projects as well as the runners-up will be celebrated at the eighth World Innovation Summit for Education, November 14-16, 2017, in Doha, Qatar. The application process for the 2018 WISE Awards will be launched at this time.

In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each winning project receives $20,000 (US). For further information, visit

To read more information, click here.

Camfed International

Camfed is an international non-profit organisation tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change. Camfed invests in girls and women in the poorest rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa, where girls face acute disadvantage, and where their empowerment is now transforming communities

Camfed International directory information