Here at Spark, we’re all about partnering with organizations who find innovative ways to empower women. So we were very excited to hear about past grantee CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) and their exciting new use of a rapid-growth technology: cell phones.
CAMFED’s all-women volunteer group in Mpika, Zambia, used cell phone surveys to gather and upload information from girls in CAMFED’s scholarship program. A process that until recently required paper survey forms and lengthy mailing times only took a few button pushes. Vital information about the girls’ well-being, attendance, and experience with CAMFED’s benefits was transmitted instantly. This allows it to be analyzed faster and thus for any needed changes to happen quickly.
Laurie Zivetz, Head of Impact at CAMFED, says the speed of the cell phone was “very exciting” and “the technology enhanced the importance of the surveys in the women’s eyes.”
Not only does this cutting-edge use of technology allow CAMFED to better serve these girls, it integrates education, empowerment, and technology. By accustoming these girls to the power of technology, CAMFED is preparing them for a world where cell phone use in Africa grew 550% in five years.
In 2007, Spark gave $3,000 dollars to CAMFED’s Mother Support Groups, community-based organizations of mothers who sell locally-produced goods to finance school supplies for girls in their area. They also mentor and support orphans of HIV/AIDS. Our grant allowed MSG members to support marginalized girls, attend business education, and visit other MSG groups to exchange knowledge and strategies. Spark is thrilled to see CAMFED embracing technology and working hard to give these girls what they need to thrive in the modern world: an education.