The organisation’s Officer for Mzimba North Henry Tembo said this at Ekwendeni Community Day Secondary School in the district during an induction for out-going Form Four girl bursary students from the organisation.
Tembo said among other things the activity was aimed at sharing the challenges faced by girls especially those in rural areas after finishing school and finding lasting solutions.
“Most girls face challenges caused by multiple issues including forced marriages, so we want to equip them with knowledge on how to overcome them,” Tembo said.
Tembo said isolation too, remains a night mare for most of the girls.
“Most of them come from rural areas as a result they are spread far apart after finishing school which brings a challenge of not knowing what is happening so we want them to join the CAMFED Association for them to have a voice,” he said.
One of the teachers Florence Ngulube of Emvuyeni CDSS said apart from tackling economic issues amongst girls the meeting is also addressing the fears and insecurities at leaving school caused by multiple issues such as family poverty and social pressure to marry early.
“One of the challenges is the cycle of poverty which were among other things promoted by the parents themselves, but as of now most parents and guardians are able to appreciate the advantages of educating a girl child ,” said Ngulube.
It was also discovered that some girls as young as 16 years old were forced to marry either by their parents or peers.
Letia Mvula a student at Choma CDSS testified that she has been receiving numerous calls from peers and relatives pushing her to get married.
“I am being forced to marry saying I am old enough but the coming in of CAMFED has helped me a lot to overcome such challenges,” said Letia.
Among other things the meeting was also meant to promote economic independence in young women as well as providing a platform where young women and girls could have a voice.
The CAMFED Association was started in Zimbabwe in 1993 as a way of creating post school opportunities for girls in their communities towards their economic security.