At this year’s United Nations Climate Summit an award was given to CAMA, the alumnae network of the Campaign for Female Education, a non-profit aiming to end female unemployment and climate change at the same time.
In this region of Africa–whether it’s due to community stigma or a lack of resources–33.3 million girls do not attend school. CAMA trains young women from poor farming communities in rural sub-Saharan Africa to adapt their communities to climate change.
Clarah Zinyama, one of CAMA’s national directors, recalled her life before CAMA. “We lived in thatched houses, two round houses, and the situation was like most incidents of malnutrition — we didn’t have enough nutritious food,” she said, “Then, with this kind of living, my parents couldn’t manage to have enough money to send us to school.”
CAMA gave her the support she needed to transform not only her own life, but her entire community. In school, she studied climate change resistant agricultural practices and brought them back to her home village in Zimbabwe.
One project Zinyama’s team has worked on is reusing plastic bottles in the irrigation system to keep crops hydrated for longer. In rural Zimbabwe there is little access to clean water, and consequently entire villages rely on plastic water bottles.
CAMA is a great example of how women can solve global issues. “Their project serves as a beacon, guiding us towards a more resilient future for all,” said the Manager of the UN Climate Change Global Climate Action Program. “A shining example of a scalable, effective climate solution, that’s led by young women.”