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An award winning partnership: Plan International and CBRE

An award winning partnership: Plan International and CBRE

We've been working with commercial property firm CBRE on our joint Girls Education Challenge in Sierra Leone for two years, and last night the hard work and impact of the project was recognised as we were awarded at the Business Charity Awards as 'Project of the Year'. 

The Girls Education Challenge has brought schooling to over 21,000 marginalised girls in Sierra Leone. Backed by the UK government's Department for International Development, this project has changed the lives of thousands of girls in a country where nearly three-quarters of girls, over the age of eleven, miss out on school.

The GEC works by providing bursaries for girls in the greatest need - including those with disabilities - across 720 schools in Sierra Leone. We also work with schools, teachers, parents and local authorities to help improve the standard of schooling overall - benefitting 135,000 children altogether.

Plan International and CBRE Sierra Leone partnership

As the Ebola outbreak started to take hold of Sierra Leone, the project could have floundered, but thankfully, together with CBRE we decided to adapt our approach, providing radio lessons so that girls wouldn't miss out on education. The project also used funds to distribute education packs around villages so that girls could learn at home. Hygiene kits and Ebola-awareness sessions were also carried out in the community.

Amid celebrations, Tanya Barron, Plan International UK's chief executive said: "Thanks to an incredible effort by CBRE, their international teams have committed more than 800,000 euros to Plan International's work on the ground in Sierra Leone - giving new hope to a generation of children and helping them to rebuild their lives. "On their behalf, this prestigious award is richly deserved - and we all remain so grateful to CBRE for their commitment to Sierra Leone in what has been a hugely challenging couple of years."

Girls education challenge CBRE and Plan International

Martin Samworth, CEO of CBRE EMEA, added: "We are proud to be supporting children in Sierra Leone, particularly those girls who, without this programme, would have absolutely no access to education."

CBRE and Plan International employees recently travelled to visit the programme to check on its progress. Ashley Sweetland, CBRE's Director of Corporate Responsibility for EMEA, was part of the group that saw the GEC in action: "It's inspiring to see the difference our employees have made by coming together across EMEA in changing these children's lives for the better. This award is first and foremost for all of the children benefiting from an education, who otherwise, would not have had that opportunity."

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