Social entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, it seems. So many people are doing amazing work in Africa through young, creative organizations like Kiva, Ushahidi, Maker Faire Africa, and many others. But I found myself drawn to, inspired, and completely charmed by a sixty-year old English woman, Ann Cotton, who has devoted her life to the pursuit of a simple, compelling idea: that educating young women can save the world.
Ann Cotton founded CAMFED, the CAMpaign for Female EDucation, in 1993 by running bake sales and raising money to support the education of 32 girls in two of the most impoverished districts of Zimbabwe. Since then, CAMFED has supported the progress of hundreds of thousands of young women in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana and Tanzania, and Cotton has been widely recognized for her work.
Here's Ann Cotton speaking with Global X of the Skoll Foundation's SocialEdge program. I especially like the part where she talks about her hopes for the future of 2017:
How I would love to see the world in 2017: a place of justice, a place where we really have tackled poverty. And one of the ways of doing this, one of the best ways of doing this is by investing in the education of girls. Every boy and every girl, every human being is born to a woman. And just imagine, if every human being in the world was born to an educated woman, who had the confidence to help her children, who had the knowledge to help her children.
I hope to be able to make contact with Ann Cotton and CAMFED, to share what we are doing here in EVOKE and to find the common threads that could lead to collaboration between our communities.