Implementing the Camfed-Mastercard Foundation transition program: A year on



Over the past years, Camfed and its partners have been working with young women to forge innovative pathways to enable their successful transition from school to a secure position from which to make future choices. To address the perculiar challenges young people face in their transition from secondary school, Camfed Ghana, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is implementing a transition program titled “Enable young women to transition from school to entrepreneurship, further study and transformative leadership in Ghana”. The transition program is designed, amongst others, to enable young women to transition from school toentrepreneurship, further study, employment and transformative leadership in Ghana.


The specific objectives of the transition program are to equip young women who complete secondary school with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions on their pathways to successful livelihoods, and connect them to accessible and affordable sources of capital and financial education for business launching and growth. The program is also designed to demonstrate the positive impact of supporting educated young women during their transition to influence policy towards supporting their transition into adulthood, and empower them to play active roles in local and national development.


The design of the transition program was based on Camfed and the Mastercard Foundation’s shared belief that further education, employment and entrepreneurship are some of the most viable pathways to economic security for the majority of young people. Thus, the focus is on creating the enabling environment and promoting access to new resources for young people to put them on sound footing to be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead.


The transition program builds on the foundation of quality secondary school education to support young women to make a successful transition to further study, entrepreneurship or work, including tailored advice on careers and support for university applications. Ithinges on structures and partnerships developed over the years of educating girls and empowering young women across the country. It specifically builds on the Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship (FLT) components of the Investing in Leaders of Change Program, the Wellbeing Program, Career Guidance and Teacher Mentoring Programs.


Program designed to address current challenges


The transitionprogram was specifically designed to address current challenges facing many young people globally, and in Ghana in particular. It is common knowledge that the transition   from secondary school represents a particularly challengingperiod in the lives of young people, particularly girls. It is a perilous time, especially for girls from poor rural communities. They complete secondary school to enter adulthood in a context of a dearth of employment opportunities and immense pressure to marry early or start contributing to family income, leading to them leaving home for urban centres in search of bridging opportunities. This makes girls very vulnerable and susceptible to a host of challenges which serve as impediment to their ability to achieve their fullest potential.


Creating sustainable opportunities for the youth to transition into employment and self-employment is important for ensuring that they are able to access the means for sustainable livelihoods. This is particularly important considering that Ghana’s youthful (15 -35 years) population accounts for 35.9 percent of the total population out of which 40 percent receive no education at all. About 20 percent are educated to the secondary level while 3.8 percent have received tertiary education. These varying educational attainment levels have a strong bearing on the transition of youth to the world of work, be it at the secondary or tertiary level. This is because education is a key determinant for employment and self-employment.


Transition program milestones


The transition program encompasses a training programme with modules that are delivered by young women with support from Camfed and a range of other partners. The training programme has offered secondary school leavers support during the vulnerable transition period from secondary school into adulthood and they have been exposed to available options to set up a business, seek employment or further their education. The school leavers have been given training on modules such as wellbeing skills to cope with the pressures of life after school, rights and choices available to them, sexual and reproductive health and women’s rights, financial education for financial inclusion, core business skills, career pathways and citizenship.


The training programme is delivered by young women called Peer Educators (PEs). PEs have since the implementation of the transition program reached out to some junior and senior high school students as well as other community groups to deliver the agreed modules to them. Cumulatively, 1,502 PEs have successfully delivered complete modules to a total of 163,468modular recipients.In addition, 315 school leavers have been assisted to apply for jobs out of which 138 have successfully secured employment. 


Another one hundred and thirty eight school leavers have been capacitated to self-start small scale businesses while 268 others have been assisted to apply and have secured admission into tertiary institutions. With the successful implementation of the training programme, the entrepreneurship component of the transition program is set to kick-off. The entrepreneurship component seeks to equip beneficiaries with knowledge, skills and resources for self-employment and income generation. 




As we celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8 on the theme, Press for Progress, Camfed affirms its commitment to work with partners such as the Mastercard Foundation, and indeed all like-minded organizations to provide opportunities for girls and young women to overcome the barriers confronting them and achieve their fullest potential. Camfed focuses on the girl-child and is committed to multiplying girls’ access to education and empowering them to be leaders of change in their families, communities and nation at large. “We are happy to be given the platform to reach out and to make a difference in the lives of the school leavers. The benefit is mutual – for me as well as the school leavers”, Sandra Ghunney, a PE from the Gomoa West District says of her experience on the transition program. It is our firm belief that with support, these young people will create change that matters within their communities and will usher in a new era of inclusive prosperity in Africa and beyond.

A Peer Educator in a session with modular recipients