A call to action
Over 150 young people, in partnership with Plan International UK, have created Our Vision: A Call to Action by Girls in Crisis. It outlines their eight demands for a better future:
- Gender equality
- Better support and services for unaccompanied minors
- Access to a safe and quality education
- To be safe from gender-based violence
- Good health and wellbeing
- Control of our bodies
- Fair and decent work
- To be involved in creating peaceful and sustainable futures
‘It wasn’t easy to grow up here’
“I was born in Congo but I grew up in Rwanda. It is a difficult situation where I live – there is no job, no occupation, no financial support.
“It wasn’t easy to grow up here. The issue specifically for girls is that they are facing gender-based violence and early pregnancy. They also lack money and the means to support themselves. Especially when it comes to girls, you have items you need like sanitary pads – the ones you are given aren’t sufficient.
“We can’t return to Congo, there is still insecurity. I would like the next generation to grow up in a safe world.”
‘Girls are not safe’
“I have stayed in the camp for eight years. I live with my aunt. Now I am not at school because I am caring for family. I stayed back and my siblings continued.
“Life is hard. I feel bad because I am almost 22 and I can’t do anything for myself. There’s nowhere you can do work and get something for yourself.
“I wish the governments would let the authorities know we want equal rights. Most girls are not going to school. There is need for training for girls, so girls can get skills and can at least support themselves.”
‘I was supposed to go to school’
“Life was good before the war. I was in school. I liked studying maths.
“When I came to the camp I was staying with my grandma. I was supposed to go to school. Now I am married. I have a child, a boy called Geevan.
“I want to go to school. At the time, marriage was the only way, but now I’ve realised that going back to school is the best way. Because when you study, you can help yourself. I would say to leaders I’m wishing for a secondary school to be opened in most of the camps.”