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Meet the Changemakers

Sanmya, 13, Brazil

Meet tomorrow's leaders, innovators, Changemakers

Together, they're changing the world

From Bangladesh to Ghana, Egypt to Nicaragua, we’re working with incredible young people who are determined to make a positive impact on the world around them – now and for the future.

Growing up in some of the world’s poorest communities, the odds have been stacked against them. But that hasn’t stopped these changemakers making a lasting difference in their communities, as they work to create a better, fairer world.

Together, they're tackling street harassment, standing up for girls’ rights, setting up their own businesses and sharing their knowledge with other young entrepreneurs, becoming role models for generations to come.

Soaad, Egypt, smiling
“Before, if my father had told me not to go to school, I would have given in. Not now.” Soaad, 14, is a member of the Safer Cities club in Cairo, Egypt

Meet Soaad

Where Soaad lives in Cairo, Egypt, street harassment is rife. Parents, anxious about the dangers their daughters face and the shame associated with harassment, often keep them at home – meaning they miss out on an education.

Soaad and her friends in her community – one of the poorest in Egypt – are standing up for their rights. That’s because of the Safer Cities club. Every week, Soaad and her friends are encouraged to be confident and learn karate, the self-defence that will help to reassure their parents that they’re safe to go to school. Our project also helps boys to develop their self-esteem and respect girls, helping to bring an end to street harassment in the future.

Hamdiya, Ghana, at school
“I want to become a nurse, and give back to my community.” Hamdiya, 14, is part of the REACH initiative in Ghana

Meet Hamdiya

Growing up in a small farming community in Ghana’s northern region, Hamdiya dreams of becoming a nurse. Sadly, her family doesn’t earn enough to support themselves, so Hamdiya had to drop out of school.

Then Hamdiya’s parents enrolled her in Plan International’s REACH initiative, which provides a nine-month accelerated learning programme to disadvantaged children. Now Hamdiya can speak, read and write English, and has every chance of fulfilling her dreams of being a nurse and caring for her community. 

Hamdiya is determined to achieve her dream and improve the health of everyone in her community.

Meet Antora

In Bangladesh, Antora attends a chidren’s club, helping her and her friends to stay safe and to protect themselves from abuse.

Child marriage is a big problem for girls in Antora’s community, but thanks to the club, Antora is confident that this won’t happen to her. She’s telling everyone in her community that child marriage is wrong – so she’s already become a defender of the next generation of girls like her.

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Ritah, 22, Uganda.
"Thanks to the SmartUp Factory, I'm now running a small business, raising chickens, and with the money I'm saving, I hope I can continue my studies." Ritah, 22, Uganda

Meet Ritah

At the SmartUp Factory in Uganda, young people are coming together to build a brighter future.

The scheme has already reached 500 young people. As well as receiving the practical skills, business know-how and coaching they need to make their dreams a reality, many of them – including Ritah – are now training other young entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps.

“I give training to girls and boys, because girls are worth just as much as boys,” she says.

A photo of Sanmya in Brazil

Meet Sanmya

In Brazil, Sanmya is a member of our Women's Football initiative, where she’s learning about gender equality through sport. "The project tells us about violence and women's rights while teaching us how to play football," she explains.

Having learnt more about her rights, Sanmya is keen to share her knowledge with others.

"Today I am a promoter for the projects I participate in,” she says. “I pass the messages I learn on so that this information can reach more people in my community, to change their lives."

Join the fight for girls' rights

Stand with brave girls everywhere. Join our Because I am a Girl campaign.