Involvement of the Roger Federer Foundation

Since 2011 the Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting Camfed in Zimbabwe. The local partnerorganization is implementing a novel initiative to address the critical issue of child hunger and provide social support and financial aid to prevent children from dropping out of school and continuing to live in a cycle of poverty. The very successful programme stands at the beginning of its third phase and the Board has approved up to date a total of CHF 3,600,000 to this initiative. The achievements of the programme as reported by an external evaluation included:

  • Over five years, the programme targeted 70,000 preschool and primary school children in 120 poor, rural communities in the Districts of Matobo, Umzinghwane and Shurugwi in Zimbabwe.
  • 120 schools were still continuing to deliver regurarly school meals provided by the community.
  • The programme provided a stimulating learning environment for the ECD level as well as Grade 1 and 2 classes in the 120 schools from which over 45,000 children could benefit.
  • The programme reached 110,000 children through community health training on topics such as nutrition and hygiene.
  • Commenting on the impact of the programme, the external evaluation noted that "the intervention has acted as the catalyst for community engagement, joined up thinking, capacity building, knowledge sharing and volunteering” between the schools and the long-term community partners, including School Development Committees and parents, particularly rural women in Mother Support Groups. 
  • Reaching vast numbers of vulnerable children: The programme’s Safety Net Fund provided 32,000 children with uniforms, stationery, sanitary items, toiletries, medication costs and other provisions to enable them to attend school and prevent a drop-out.
  • Fostering community ownership: The evaluation noted that in identifying and selecting children for support for the Safety Net Fund, communities “focused attention on their responsibility for vulnerable children and have developed financial management practices.”
  • The creation of a holistic web of support for children: The programme’s various components (material support for school, improvement of early learning environments, reduction of child hunger, improvement of health knowledge and the promotion of community philanthropy) had an “interconnectedness/synergy” and brought “all the key actors together,” including government and civil society partners.
  • The interventions are moving towards being sustainable through established and ongoing Income Generating Activities due to training of more than 300 Mother Support Groups on income generation, the provision of seed money grants for school income-generation and assistance to access market opportunities.

In the third phase the programme will be extended to another 120 schools in two new districts, Nkayi and Umguza, in order to reach additional 43,869 children, but will continue working with 90 schools in Umzingwane and Matobo currently reaching 64,969 students. The objectives are:

  • To start 120 Mother Support Groups (MSGs) in Nkayi and Umguza to establish school meals initiatives, with a special focus on ECD-Grade 2 children
  • To train 120 MSGs in Nkayi and Umguza in income generation and relevant skills to support the school meals programme and provide small business start-up grants to support the setting up of enterprises by mothers.
  • To enable MSGs to create and access new markets with their products by participating in national and international fairs and shows, with the potential to share best practice with MSGs and similar groups regionally
  • In collaboration with Provincial Education Office to organise annual exchange visits for MSGs to share best practice across districts.
  • To start Safety Net Funds to 120 schools in Nkayi and Umguza at critical points of the school year, to support children with essential school-going items and reduce drop-out.
  • To disburse resource grants to improve the learning environment (prioritising ECD classes) to 120 new schools in Nkayi and Umguza and 90 established schools in Matobo and Umzingwane.
  • To improve WASH facilities within 120 primary schools and estalish a minimal hygiene standard.
  • To train 130 more young women as Learner Guides who will work to support the school meals activities and raise awareness of WASH issues amongst pupils , MSGs and the wider community.

Our implementing partner CAMFED

CAMFED has been working to eradicate rural poverty and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa for almost 20 years already. The organisation concentrates its involvement on the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. The supported girls not only receive school fees and books – they are supported throughout the whole of their schooling, so that they can successfully complete their education and can look forward to a successful future. Over a million children in the poorest regions of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana and Tanzania have been supported by CAMFED to date. CAMFED is exemplary in its incorporation in the local community. The passing down of knowledge from one generation to the next is also very important to the organisation. Today, successful formerly supported school leavers cooperate in the programmes.



Zimbabwe Facts

12 Mio
Compulsory education
6-13 years
Enrolment ratio
Illiteracy rate
17% of children under 5 are undernourished

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