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Through our Girl Power Programme, we are protecting girls and young women from violence and connecting them with opportunities to access training so they can get good jobs and thrive.

Power of girls

The programme, funded by the Dutch government, was developed by the Child Rights Alliance, a partnership of 6 organisations led by Plan International Netherlands. It works across 10 developing countries to remove the barriers that girls face in accessing equal opportunities.

Sex worker to salon owner

Girls learning hairdressing skills at a vocational training centre
Girls learning hairdressing skills at a vocational training centre.

Plan International Ethiopia is working with partners to provide child sex workers in Addis Ababa with shelter, rehabilitation and vocational training. The training gives them the skills they need to become self-sufficient and stay off the streets.

Join the movement Birtukan, now 20, worked on the streets of Addis Ababa from the age of 12. Following training at the rehabilitation centre she now owns her own hair salon.

"Training has changed my life"

Roksana, 18, working at an eye hospital
Roksana, 18, working at an eye hospital.

Roksana, 18, from Bangladesh had a marriage arranged for her when she was in tenth grade at school. She persuaded her parents to put the marriage off as she had applied for an eye doctor training course being organised under the Girl Power Programme.

training can play a vital role in making many poor girls self-dependent

Following the course, she got a job at her local hospital. Today, she supports her family and has a place at the Open University to continue her education.

“I am grateful for the training. It has changed my life. I think this type of training programme can play a vital role in making many poor girls self-dependent.”

"I feel like a woman"

A girl selling soap in Liberia
A girl selling soap in Liberia.

In Bomi County, Liberia, 75% of women with children are single mothers. With no other incomes, they turn to sex work to support their children.

We are transforming these women’s lives so they can earn a good living and afford to send their children to school. The Girl Power Programme offers vocational training to girls and women aged 14-30. Before taking part in the training, Temba* was a sex worker. Now she has learnt to make soap and runs her own stall. “I feel like a woman. Things that I never did on my own, I now do for myself,” she says.

Girl support networks

Christiana with the Girl Power group at a school in Moyamba
Christiana* with the Girl Power group at a school in Moyamba.

The Girl Power Programme also encourages girls to form their own support networks. These groups provide a safe environment where girls can share experiences which help protect them from violence and discrimination.

I feel confident that women can achieve all the things that men do

Christiana*, now 17, underwent female genital mutilation and was married at the age of 14. As a result she was forced to drop out of school and has suffered from violence.

The Girl Power programme helped her get back into school, where she was voted president of the Girl Power group. She is using her position to help others reach their potential. “I want to warn every girl, take your education seriously,” she says.

Girls change attitudes

In rural Nicaragua, violence is rife. We’re working at multiple levels to change attitudes so girls can live free from discrimination and have access to equal opportunities.

As part of the Girl Power Programme, young people are becoming agents of change in their communities. These young leaders make sure girls and boys know about their rights and are more able to protect themselves from violence. Yuma, 15, a change maker from Nicaragua says, “I feel confident that women can achieve all the things that men do. I am determined to keep learning and hopefully go to university one day.”

Join the Because I am a Girl movement

*Names changed