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.
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.
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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Meet Sandra and Oscar
In Nicaragua, street violence and a culture of machismo puts young people at risk – especially girls.
But in the mountainous region of Madriz, Sandra and Oscar are just two of the inspirational young people determined to change things.
They've trained to become Champions of Change, helping them understand how to tackle issues like violence against women, gender inequality, and teenage pregnancy.
Now, they’re back in their communities, passing on what they’ve learnt to their parents and peers.
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.
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."