‘I DREAM OF BECOMING A CIVIL SERVANT’
Around the world, an estimated 20 million girls may never return to school after the pandemic.
In Mali, Sitan was 16 when her school was closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus – and her family made arrangements for her to get married. But following an awareness-raising meeting we set up with parents and the village authorities, with the aim of supporting girls to stay in education, Sitan is now back at school.
"I see a bright future for me and all the girls who have the chance to continue their studies until graduation,” Sitan says. “Today I dream of graduating and becoming a civil servant to support my family and community.”
Our work around the world
- In Burkina Faso, we’ve set up radio listening clubs at 20 schools to help children catch up with their studies, after the pandemic and conflict forced them out of education.
- In Nicaragua, we’re working to reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy and support girls to stay in school, by helping teenagers discuss their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- In Zambia, our school feeding programme is helping to prevent malnutrition and make sure children can concentrate in class.
- In Indonesia, we’ve been implementing hygiene measures, including installing handwashing stations, to make sure students can return to school safely.
Girls’ Education Challenge
Around the world, many girls never get the chance to go to school or to finish their education – and even for girls in school, their education can be precarious.
Through our Girls’ Education Challenge, we’re working with girls in Ethiopia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, so they can build their own futures. And as the pandemic continues, we’ve adapted our projects, from developing radio and TV broadcasts to supporting girls with home learning, after-school study groups and girls’ clubs, to make sure they can keep learning.
SUPPORTING CHILDREN TO FULFIL THEIR POTENTIAL
“My mother cannot support me in school because she does not have enough money," explains Nuiy (centre), 7, from Laos. "Plan International has given me a school scholarship so I can have a new uniform, pens and notebooks.” In Sierra Leone, we’ve distributed 25,000 solar radios, enabling thousands of children, including Jeneba, to access remote education programmes during the pandemic. During the height of violence in Niger, hundreds of schools were abandoned, leaving tens of thousands of children out of education. Our emergencies response programme is working to rebuild and construct new classrooms, so children can get back to school. Emilen attends the Reading Corner, which is supported by Plan International in Nicaragua. “On Tuesdays we are allowed to take some of the books home. I read them with my little sister and mum,” she says. In China, Plan International’s children’s library project promotes reading and increases the use of libraries by children from rural communities.
'I didn’t know if I would ever get to go back to school'
In Burkino Faso, Larissa was 13 when she had to leave her home because of conflict. Together with her family, she spent months living at a site for internally displaced people.
“I didn’t know if I would ever get to go back to school. Then a Plan International facilitator told me that a school had been built for displaced children. That made me smile again,” she says.
Larissa is one of thousands of children in Burkina Faso who are part of our sponsorship programme. With the support she and her family have received, she’s been able to return to her village and go back to school.
Now more than ever, we must protect every girl’s right to a safe future.
Six months after the cyclone hit, your support is helping girls get back into education.
A blog from our CEO Tanya Barron.
Education is a lifeline for girls in crises – but millions are being left out and left behind.