Spanish prize honors group empowering African girls, women

National/World

MADRID (AP) — A consortium of non-profit groups that aims to reduce poverty in Africa through educating more girls and empowering women has won a Princess of Asturias award.

The Campaign for Female Education, or CAMFED, was chosen in the International Aid category, a foundation named after the heir to the Spanish throne, King Felipe VI’s daughter Leonor, announced Wednesday.

The jury of the prestigious prizes noted that since it was founded in 1993, CAMFED has contributed “to a social transformation” that has benefited millions of girls and young women in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With 330 employees and around 150,000 volunteers, the non-governmental organization invests in the education of girls in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia by creating a network in which former beneficiaries of its work become supporters of the education and employment of new recipients.

That strategy of intergenerational help “has promoted a systemic change that is based on the pillars of equity, social justice and commitment to leadership,” the jury said.

The foundation’s International Aid award is the sixth announced this year from a total of eight.

Endowed with 50,000 euros ($61,000), the prizes are among the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world. An awards ceremony typically takes place in October in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo.

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