SISTER: A Scalable Solution to Girls' Exclusion from Education

CAMFED International

SISTER fuels an ever-multiplying virtuous cycle through which girls go to school, succeed, and become leaders who in turn support the younger generation of girls.

Last Updated: June 2023
Competition Participation
100 & Change logo
Gender Equality
  • Northern Region, Ghana
  • Central Region, Malawi
  • Morogoro Region, Tanzania
  • Luapula Province, Zambia
  • Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
  • Tete, Mozambique
  • Limpopo, South Africa
  • At-risk youth
  • People of African descent
  • Women (19+)
  • 1. No poverty
  • 4. Quality education
  • 5. Gender equality

Executive Summary

Girls’ education is heralded as one of the greatest opportunities of our time to tackle the biggest global challenges, including population growth and climate change. Yet poverty denies millions of girls education. The highest rates of exclusion are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

If we are to unlock the unparalleled returns for the benefit of humanity that girls’ education can bring, the world needs a new solution—one that ensures millions of more girls enroll in school, enabling them to capitalize on their education and step forward as leaders.

SISTER creates post-school opportunities for young women in Sub-Saharan Africa, linked to their leadership in supporting marginalized girls in school. The result is an ever-multiplying number of girls who join school, succeed, and then lead change for the younger generation. Within five years, SISTER will support 5 million marginalized girls in secondary school and open the gates to millions more.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

CAMFED International

Organization Headquarters
Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
101 to 300
Annual Operating Budget
$25.1 to 50 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.


Over the past year, the speed and success with which we have pivoted to provide support to communities hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic have been vital. Lockdowns and school closures put already vulnerable rural girls at higher risk of school dropout, abuse, and early marriage. Our decentralized, community-led infrastructure, with the young women of the CAMFED Association on the front line, shifted quickly from school- to community-based support, using low-tech monitoring tools to track girls' welfare, identifying safeguarding risks, and making appropriate referrals.

We also ran socially distanced study groups. This continuity of welfare and learning support meant that we saw exceptionally high rates of return to school among our clients—more than 94 percent across all five countries. In Malawi, where comparative data is available, the return rate of 98 percent among our clients was 20 percentage points above the national average.

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