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Share the light

Share the light

Plan International UK has been selected to be one of the charities supported by Marie Claire's #SHARETHELIGHT campaign, in partnership with L'Occitane. L'Occitane has created a verbena scented candle, La Flamme, which is on sale now.

All profits from the sale of the candle will be split between three charities, including Plan International UK. We'll be using the money to fund two girls' education projects in Sierra Leone and Uganda - training female teachers and providing girls with the financial support so that they can stay in school. Buy your candle now.

Christiana was helped by plan international to stay in school

“If I could talk to the president, I would tell him that he should concentrate more on girls’ education.”

Christiana was 16 when she had to drop out of local school in Sierra Leone. Like many other girls, Christiana’s family couldn’t afford her school fees. She had been raised all her life by her aunt, until, when she was 12, her aunt died. From then on Christiana was passed from family member to family member, and they eventually stopped paying for her books and uniforms.

“At one point my teacher lay me on a desk and beat me because I didn’t have the correct equipment”, Christiana recalls.

Christiana is happy to be back in school

When exam season came round, Christiana’s family wouldn’t pay for her to sit the tests, meaning that she automatically failed the year.

In the end, her family felt like Christiana was too much of a burden on them, so she went back to live with her mother, whose new husband wouldn’t pay for her school at all. At 16 they forced her into a marriage with a man, who paid her mother just $69. Christiana was forced to sell food on the market instead of carrying on her learning.

This is not uncommon for many girls around the world. A lack of family finances or the pressures of early marriage means that girls are more likely to leave school early than boys. Plan International works to improve girls’ access to education and to ensure that girls are less likely to leave school early.

Christiana with her classmates back at school

At Christiana’s school, Plan had implemented a Girl Power Project, that Christiana attended. When Christiana decided to leave her husband after five abusive months, she sought out her teacher who led the group. She is now back in school and still lives with her teacher. Christiana is grateful to her education for saving her from an abusive marriage.

“I want to warn every girl to take your education seriously, finish your education and then make other life decisions.”

ensure girls have equal access to education

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