Celebrating Young African Women Entrepreneurs and Mentors During Global Money Week
Originally published by Camfed on March 11, 2015.
The young leaders of CAMA, Camfed’s alumnae association, are showing their communities and nations how a little bit of money can go a long way when young women have access to a quality education, and the opportunity to grow their ideas and share their knowledge.
At Camfed Ghana’s Second Young Women Innovators’ Fair, organized in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, 44 CAMA members marketed their businesses to 6,000 visitors
From 9-17 March, it’s Global Money Week, an annual, worldwide event coordinated by our partner Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) aimed at engaging young people globally in learning about saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment, and developing entrepreneurship. Related activities are taking place across Africa, where Camfed’s graduates in the CAMA network are leading on financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
“Global Money Week is a celebration of how training and resources can unlock the resourcefulness in young people from the most marginalized communities,” says Fiona Mavhinga, CAMA Development Manager and one of the founding members of CAMA, who now works closely with Camfed’s Young Women’s Empowerment Managers across five African countries. “Every day of the year our CAMA members are demonstrating how a little change can lead to big and sustainable social changes in their communities.”
Ghana’s Second Young Women Innovators’ Fair
CAMA and Camfed Ghana are celebrating the success of the second Young Women Innovators’ Fair, held in December 2014 in Tamale. This event is supported by Camfed in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation through the Innovation Bursary Program. The fair provided a platform for Innovation Bursary Program Scholars and other CAMA entrepreneurs - 44 young women in total - to market their businesses. Over 6,000 visitors attended, making this year’s fair one of the largest, and with the greatest variety of products and services, in the history of the Northern region. Stands at the fair included products and services as diverse as photography, art and décor, agricultural products, educational services, agro processing, solar energy, skin care and cosmetics, beads and accessories, textiles and garments, technical and contracting services, microfinance, and food.
One of the objectives of the Innovation Bursary Program is to dismantle gender-based stereotypes. CAMA members Amina Sumani, a tiler; Veronica Lariba Yakubu, a painter; and Barichisu Ibrahim, an electrician (pictured from left to right) actively promoted their respective professions.
CAMA member Fatima Yakubu, who helped out on Ruka Yaro De-Liman’s busy Jamilullah Farm Enterprise stand, selling poultry products and beautifully prepared food, commented, “The fair was a great success, with many people coming to buy our products for the holidays. CAMA members made a big effort to show communities just what women can do when they are given the opportunity. What is even more important is that CAMA members pass on the skills they learn to their peers, and are creating jobs in rural areas. That way they are helping other girls and young women build their dreams.”
The Young Women’s Innovator Fair exemplifies what is being achieved through Camfed and CAMA’s extensive financial literacy and entrepreneurship training programs, as well as the seed money and loan schemes administered by CAMA. Below are just some of the events Camfed-supported students are involved with during Global Money Week:
Financial Advocacy in Ghana
During Global Money Week in Ghana, CAMA’s core trainers and peer educators in financial literacy will appear on the radio across the Northern region, talking about the benefits of financial literacy. In Tamale, young women will network with a bank official to spread the word about money management and banking. CAMA’s peer educators will be delivering their usual financial literacy sessions at rural schools, talking about earning money, saving, budgeting and banking.
Financial Management Skills for CAMA Learner Guides in Zimbabwe
Camfed’s innovative and transformative Learner Guide Program supports young women graduates in the CAMA network to act as mentors and role models for children at local, rural schools. They deliver guided learning and wellbeing sessions, as well as financial literacy training. The Learner Guide Program also offers interest-free loans for graduates to start or grow their own businesses.
During Global Money Week in Zimbabwe, core trainers among CAMA members are joining Community Development Committee members from the Ministry of Women Affairs in 24 districts to monitor Learner Guides’ businesses and offer onsite financial management training, including bookkeeping and monitoring cash flow. All of Zimbabwe’s 1,700 Learner Guides are receiving financial awareness training, with an emphasis on the importance of saving. Once their financial training is complete, the Learner Guides will visit local schools to share their knowledge.
A Better Life through Saving in Zambia
This Global Money Week, Camfed Zambia is organizing financial literacy meetings with school children across Chinsali, Sesheke, Shangombo, Isoka and Mpika districts. The information is being shared with financial literacy trainers in the CAMA network across five further districts, who in turn will organize training sessions. The meetings taking place from the 9th to the 14th of March will include presentations all around the theme "A better life through saving."
Financial Empowerment in Malawi
Camfed’s Seed Money Scheme enables CAMA members to access basic business management training and apply for small grants to set up their own businesses. From the 12th to the 14th of March 2015, Seed Money Scheme Training is taking place in Nkhotakota, Mzimba and Nkhata Bay, followed by training for members from Chikwawa, Nsanje, Chiradzulu and Thyolo, Malawi from the 16th to the 27th of March 2015. Grant disbursements in Phalombe, Mulanje, Mzimba North, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chikwawa and Nsanje are taking place between the 12th and the 27th of March 2015.
Delivering Financial Literacy
CAMA’s Peer Educators deliver financial literacy programs to their local communities as part of their ethos of mentorship, leadership and multiplying the benefits of their education. It is an ongoing activity, celebrated during Global Money Week, as community members in villages across 13 rural districts learn about money.
Monitoring and Exchange Visits
Between March 12 and March 31st, Camfed Malawi’s staff and Community Development Committee members are monitoring financial literacy training program delivery, and mentoring CAMA members who are running their own businesses. Malawi’s CAMA members are planning exchange visits to learn more about CAMA financial literacy training programs in Ghana, and about loans provided through Camfed’s partnership with Kiva in Zimbabwe.
Loan Education for Learner Guides in Tanzania
Camfed’s partnership with Kiva enables young women who volunteer as Learner Guides and mentors at local schools to access interest-free loans. During Global Money Week in Tanzania, 25 Learner Guides who have completed their loan repayments will be issuing progress reports, while 60 new Learner Guides will receive financial literacy training specifically around loans. They will learn about the Kiva program, the banking process, savings, and loan repayment via mobile money transfer services. In the week commencing the 9th of March, a one-day Kiva loan product review and design meeting will take place with 10 core trainers and 90 CAMA leaders in Tanzania, while 60 CAMA leaders will receive a three-day financial management and leadership training. 30 new Kiva loans will be issued on the 20th of March.