Fossil Foundation celebrates young people who are charting their own course to a brighter future. Audacious Under 24 takes you into their world—in their words.
Marjory’s big audacious goal is to unleash the power of young people by becoming a teacher.
The 20-year-old student from the Samfya district of Zambia is on a path to do just that. After completing her schooling in 2014, she joined Camfed’s alumnae network, CAMA, which empowers 100,000 young women across Africa to harness their education, leadership skills and curiosity to benefit others. Marjory enrolled in CAMA’s Shaping My Future program, where she developed key life skills such as business management and family planning, and learned about women’s rights and how to be independent.
Despite personal losses and difficulty gaining access to education early in her life, Marjory sees nothing but a bright, fulfilling future—one that certainly involves graduating college, teaching children, and sparking a sense of true grit in others. “Go out there. There are all kinds of jobs,” she says. “Don’t feel shy that people will be pointing fingers at you, and don’t lose hope in whatever you’re doing, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.”
What was your day-to-day life like prior to knowing anything about the CAMA program?
My mother died when I was seven, and I never knew my father. I was raised by my grandparents, but it was very hard for me to go to school because they could not pay for my school fees. In grade 8, one of the teachers at my school said they were choosing girls to sponsor as Camfed beneficiaries and I was one of the girls that was chosen.
What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned through the program?
What I learned in the CAMA “Shaping My Future” program helps me in my daily life. Now I own my own business selling women’s clothing. I know how to budget and how to run a business. We learned a lot about good decision making in daily life when living on our own or living with others.
Since joining, I’ve been doing charity work with other CAMA girls. We teach young people about HIV/AIDS and support children in school by donating uniforms and school supplies. We also help the elderly.
Tell us about a moment or experience that has been the most meaningful?
In the Shaping My Future program, the most meaningful topic I encountered was women’s rights. As women we are not really given those rights. In the program we learned how we can defend ourselves and how we can use those rights in our daily lives. For example, when you get married when you are very young, we learned that your rights do not come from your husband. You can also make your own decisions. Every person in the world has the freedom to make their own choices because we have those rights.
What do you imagine for your future now that you’ve finished the program?
I imagine my future to be perfect – very bright, because I have learned so much and am now running my own business and helping others.
What message or advice do you have for other young people?
Don’t rely on others; make yourself useful. Don’t sit back and wait for someone to come and tell you how to do things.