International Day of Happiness 2018: in photos
There’s no greater feeling than putting a smile on someone’s face.
So to mark International Day of Happiness 2018, we’re sharing six of our happiest photos – from Honduras and Nicaragua to Laos and Mozambique – to show how your support is giving girls, their families and their communities something to really celebrate.
Challenging gender stereotypes is a vital way of making sure girls can achieve their potential – and in Benin, our female football teams are doing just that.
“Sport is a way to be respected. At football, we do as well as boys. And now,they listen to us!” Explains 17-year-old Daouda.
“Now we are appreciated, because we dare to tackle sensitive topics like girls' education, teenage pregnancies and early marriage. I never imagined sport would change my life.”
In Laos, seven-year-old Loub has a simple but essential reason to smile: her new toilet.
We worked with the local health department to help her village invest in their environment – and Loub is already seeing the benefits.
“I feel proud of owning a toilet at my home," she says. "I don’t need to go to the bush and it keeps our village much cleaner.”
Meet 12-year-old Katherine. She’s a sponsored child in Honduras – where Plan International provide a special service for children in need of medical support.
For Katherine, that’s enabled her to access surgery to relieve the pain of having clubfoot: a treatable condition that causes her feet to point down and inwards, and the soles of her feet to face each other.
“Now I enjoy playing with my cousins. We play hide and seek, we run and play,” she says. “Thank you Plan International.”
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16-year-old Oscar, who lives in Nicaragua, explains:
“Before we used to think that girls couldn’t do the same things that boys do and that they had different roles to play,” he says.
“But now we have learned that we can both do the same thing.”
After Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, youth unemployment was a big problem – so we worked with the Technical Skills and Development Authority and Accenture to help young people gain skills and get into work.
“The skills I learned have opened up opportunities for me,” says Emily, who’s 23.
“I now have a job that feeds my family and sends my younger sister to school,”
In Mozambique, half of girls get married before they turn 18, and many become mothers while they are still children themselves.
But our work to help girls stay in school can help end harmful practices like child marriage – and put girls like Sofia back in control of their futures.
"I was so pleased when I received a scholarship. My parents support my education and listen to me," she says. "My dream is to become a doctor.”
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