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This is what life's like as a young advocate fighting for girls' rights

Amy, Lina and Nea are three Plan International young advocates taking part in this year’s European Week of Action for Girls (EWAG). One of the main reasons for them to become part of EWAG, is that they want to make sure that girls and young women are not left behind, and that their voices and priorities are heard, in light of the EU-Africa Partnership, on topics such as health, education, economic empowerment, decision-making and freedom from violence. A few days have passed since the International Day of the Girl (IDG) and they wanted to share with us some reflections on why they decided to join EWAG, what they believe should be the steps for EU decision-makers to take to bring about progress for girls worldwide and how they are experiencing online advocacy towards the EU so far.

The challenge of COVID-19 in the Sahel and how to achieve lasting progress for girls and young women

The COVID-19 pandemic is unravelling decades of progress on girls' equality. To stop the setback, Plan International is working hard in different regions of the world to ensure girls, young women, children and marginalised groups are protected and supported as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. With the EU being among the main donors in humanitarian aid, we wanted to understand from our colleagues how the pandemic is unfolding in their regions and what they believe could be done for girls and young women in their region.

‘The impact of COVID19 on the already poor and marginalised people will require particular attention. As it has been done in the past months, it is fundamental to continue to provide better knowledge on the COVID-19 disease and its symptoms to build up a resilient community with youth-led prevention and responses.’ says Dr. Fatoumata Haidara, Director for the Sahel Region for Plan International. Moreover, she adds ‘in light of the consequences of the pandemic on girls’ lives, it is a priority to ensure safety for them and to provide alternative and secure sexual and reproductive health services for the most affected adolescent women in the COVID-19 context’.

Hear it from the Girls – continuing our mission for girls’ equality despite of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region

The COVID-19 pandemic is unravelling decades of progress on girls' equality. To stop the setback, Plan International is working hard in different regions of the world to ensure girls, young women, children and marginalised groups are protected and supported as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. With the EU being among the main donors in humanitarian aid, we wanted to understand from our colleagues how the pandemic is unfolding in their regions and what they believe could be done for girls and young women in their region. 

‘When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived to the region back in January 2020, Plan International Asia-Pacific has been on the ground to respond to the situation. Our priority has been to identify and analyse the impact of the pandemic on the local population and, in particular, on the lives of girls and women’ say Vanda Lengkong, Head of Disaster Risk Management, and Krista Zimmerman, Regional Head of Influencing and Policy. Moreover, they add ‘the crisis has challenged us to adapt quickly and to deliver our work despite the changing context and limitations. So far, we have been able to reach more than 18 million people in the whole Asia-Pacific region, 50% of those recipients being women and girls. An important aspect of our response is that it aims to be gender-transformative even in this challenging situation’.

As a result of the support received from, among others the EU, the Plan International Asia-Pacific offices has been able to play a significant role when it comes to the prevention and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. It allowed them to address the needs of girls, young women and their family preventing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), protecting children and providing psycho-social assistant to entire communities.

We wanted to know from our colleagues in the Asia-Pacific Office what matters most according to them in their region when it comes to overcoming COVID-19 and possible setbacks for girls’ equality. In the upcoming weeks, we will be talking to many more Plan International colleagues, to get a sense of their priorities and their ways of coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How COVID-19 deeply affects the world in which girls grow up in Latin America and the Caribbean

An interview with Gerrit Saen, Amalia Alarcón and Nicolas Rodriguez, Plan International, on the challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean and how to overcome them

The COVID-19 pandemic is unravelling decades of progress on girls' equality. To stop the setback, Plan International is working hard in different regions of the world to ensure girls, young women, children and marginalised groups are protected and supported as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. With the EU being among the main donors in humanitarian aid, we wanted to understand from our colleagues how the pandemic is unfolding in their regions and what they believe could be done for girls and young women in their region.  

‘Plan International’s regional office working in Latin America and the Caribbean is not only prioritising migrant and refugee populations affected by the crisis, but also less visible problems such as gender-based violence, child marriage and early pregnancies’ – say Gerrit Saen, Regional Head of Business Development, Amalia Alarcón, Regional Head of Gender Transformative Programming & Influencing and Nicolas Rodriguez, Regional Head of DRM with whom we spoke on the main priorities they see whilst the COVID-19 crisis evolves in the region.

Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices from the Sahel

‘I come from Timbuktu, but my family is now in Mopti, one of the areas most affected by the Sahel crisis. During all my life, I have seen girls and women in the Sahel, particularly in Mali, suffered gender inequalities that limited their protection and education. However, in these last eight years working in the Sahel region, I have observed with suffering how a complex and armed crisis forces families to separate, to flee, to abandon their livelihoods. I see how girls suffer the fear of the armed groups, child marriage and dropping out the school. Finally, in the last three months, I have also seen how all humanitarian efforts to protect these girls are even more at risk due to COVID-19 and its consequences.’ - Dr. Fatoumata Haidara, Sahel Director Plan International.

A new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy to ensure Girls Get Equal

The European External Action Service (EEAS) is working on the review of the EU 2020-2024 Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, to reinforce the implementation of the EU's human rights policy in all its activities. We came up with ways we believe the action plan could advance children’s rights and equality for young women and girls and protect and empower them in the face of the backlashes they are facing in today’s world. 

Our results last year
  • 52 ongoing projects
    funded by the European Commission
  • 33 countries
    implementing EC-funded projects
  • 19.8 million
    people, directly and indirectly, benefiting from EC-funded projects
Address
Galerie Ravenstein 27
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Plan International EC-funded projects
Ecuador
ECHO: Contribute to reduce vulnerability and build resilience to disasters in peri-urban and rural areas of Cotopaxi and Manabí
Jordan & Lebanon
EuropeAid: Combating forced labour AND modern slavery Multi-sector Alliance to Eliminate WFCL in the Agriculture Sector
Colombia
ECHO: Humanitarian Assistance for the communities most vulnerable and affected by armed violence and/or natural disasters in the Pacific Region and in the Departments of Meta and Guaviare in Colombia
Myanmar
ECHO: Building resilience: action for strengthened institutions, communities and systems in Myanmar
Egypt
ECHO: Supporting basic education for Syrian refugees and Egyptian host communities in Greater Cairo, Alexandria and Damietta
Cameroon
ECHO: Education in Emergencies for Crisis-affected Children in the Far North Region of Cameroon
Nigeria
ECHO: Responding to the urgent education and protection needs of children and adolescent boys and girls affected by the conflict in Northeast Nigeria
El Salvador
EuropeAid: Mujeres y jóvenes comprometidos, luchando por un mejor Plan Social
Jordan
EuropeAid: Mubaderoon (Enterprises )for social change: Strengthening social entreprise initiatives to combat poverty and exclusion in Jordan
Honduras
ECHO: Building Safe and Resilient Cities in Honduras to Protect and Respond to Disaster
Senegal
EuropeAid: Mobilisation et engagement de la société Sénégalaise pour la protection de l’enfant
Jordan
ECHO: Free from Fear: Promoting a Protective Environment in Village 5, Azraq Camp
Bangladesh
EuropeAid: Creating an enabling environment for young people to claim and access their SRHR in Bangladesh
Togo
EuropeAid: Promotion des droits des adolescents à la santé génésique au Togo
Dominican Republic
ECHO: Learning from Irma and Maria: mainstreaming protection and inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction Standards in the Caribean, Dominican Republic and Cuba
Dominican Republic
ECHO: Capacity building to improve food security and drought resilience in Haiti and the Dominican Republic
Zambia
EuropeAid: Making law work for girls and boys
Philippines
EuropeAid: Strengthening social protection, resilience and inclusive development for marginalized people through citizens and civil society engagement
Ethiopia
ECHO: Provision of integrated child protection, and education to South Sudanese refugees in the Gure Shambola refugee camp, in Benishangul-Gumuz region, and Nguenyyiel refugee camp in Gambella region, Ethiopia
Tanzania
ECHO: Burundian refugees access lifesaving protection and education services in refugee camps in Tanzania
Laos
EuropeAid: Strengthening civil society to protect and promote social, economic and cultural rights of ethnic communities in Bokeo province
Mozambique
EuropeAid: Projecto para a Geracção de Rendimento atravez da Gestão Comunitaria da Cadeia de Valor de Mel em Inhambane
Vietnam
EuropeAid: Community Based Bilingual Education for Ethnic Minority Children
China
EuropeAid: Improved responsiveness of social protection for migrant and left-behind children in Qinghai and An´hui, China
Indonesia
EuropeAid: Strong CSOs for inclusive livestock value chain development in NTT (SCILD)
Sudan
EuropeAid: Strengthening Protective Environment for Children in Kassala State
Egypt
EuropeAid: Children and Youth Socio-Economic Development Fund: Supporting grass-routs CSOs for area-based interventions in the poorest villages of Qena and Sohag
Sudan
EuropeAid: Supporting children affected by armed conflict in North and South Kordofan
Colombia
EuropeAid: Protección de los derechos de los niños, niñas y adolescentes afectados por el reclutamiento y otros hechos victimzantes de la violencia armada en Colombia
Senegal
EuropeAid: Vers un mouvement citoyen des quartiers précaires de la banlieue de Dakar
Philippines
ECHO: Moving Urban Poor Communities in the Philippines Toward Resilience
Laos
EuropeAid: Capacity building for action on nutrition
Ghana
EuropeAid: Green Skills for Ghana (GSG)
Lebanon
ECHO: SHIELD - A protective environment for adolescent growth
Tanzania
EuropeAid: Countering child marriage and FGM in Mara and Geita Region, Tanzania
Nicaragua
EuropeAid: Empoderamiento y Protección de Niñas, Mujeres Adolescentes y Jóvenes ante la Violencia de Género
Indonesia
EuropeAid: Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Fish Processing Sector
Malawi
EuropeAid: Better Extension Training Transforming Economic Returns (BETTER)
Ethiopia & Somalia
EuropeAid: Safe and quality education for girls and boys in displacement situations in Ethiopia and Somalia
Sahel
EuropeAid: Développement Economique et Social des Femmes a traves les Energie Renouvelables au Sahel (Senegal, Mali et Niger) - DESFERS
Regional South ASSI
ECHO: ASEAN Safe School Initiative (ASSI)
Timor Leste
EuropeAid: Say NO to Gender-based Violence in Timor-Leste
Egypt
EuropeAid: Empowered Girls and Women Thrive in Safer Communities
Sudan
EuropeAid: Civil society as active drivers of change for inclusive quality education in Kassala State
Zimbabwe
EuropeAid: Strengthening Civil Society to Promote Gender Equality through Participatory Advocacy on Child Rights in Zimbabwe
Dominican Republic
EuropeAid: Niñas, No esposas: prevención del matrimonio infantil forzado
Laos
EuropeAid: Ethnic Girls Rights Advocacy
Indonesia
EuropeAid: Youth voices for Girls’ Rights and gender equality
Sierra Leone
EuropeAid: Technical Assistance in support of the Education system in Sierra Leone
Laos
EuropeAid: Support to the Education Sector Reform
Bangladesh
ECHO: Enhancing inclusive disaster resilience in Bangladesh
Ethiopia
EuropeAid: Joining forces: multi-stakeholder action to offer young refugees and host communities a sustainable future in Ethiopia
Guinea
EuropeAid: Renforcement des OSC pour la création d´emplois durables en Guinée
Vietnam
ECHO: Joint Partnership to support the advancement of the National Community-based Disaster Risk Management programme and the action plan on Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change
Uganda
ECHO: Promoting Education, Protection and Peace for South Sudan (PEPPS) refugee boys and girls in Adjumani District, Uganda
Vietnam
ECHO: Early recovery assistance to Typhoon and flood affected children and their families in Central Vietnam
Uganda
ECHO: Promoting Education, Protection and Peace for South Sudan refugee boys and girls in Adjumani District
Myanmar
ECHO: Safer Coastal and Urban Communities through Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction in Myanmar
Tanzania
ECHO: Child protection and hygiene promotion strenghtening for Burundian refugees in Tanzania
South Asia
ECHO: ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI)
Tanzania
ECHO: Minimize and mitigate the negative impact of displacement and ensure the protection of vulnerable Burundian refugees
Myanmar
ECHO: EU Children of Peace
Nepal
ECHO: Shelter and Non-Food-Items relief to earthquake affected populations of the West and Central Development regions of Nepal
Philippines
ECHO: Restoring Integrity and Resilience of the Internally Displaced Populations in the Philippines
Nepal
ECHO: Promoting and strengthening school safety in Nepal through operationalizing the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF)
Philippines
ECHO: Emergency Response to populations affected by Typhoon Haiyan
Philippines
ECHO: Scaling Up Resilience in Governance (SURGE)
Philippines
EuropeAid: Collective Action to Promote Non-violent and Protective Society for Children
Pakistan
EuropeAid: Provision of access to market-driven training and employment opportunities
Laos
EuropeAid: Strengthening civil society to protect and promote social, economic and cultural rights of ethnic communities in Bokeo province
Laos
EuropeAid: Building Civil Society from the village up: participation, rights and gender equity for ethnic group adolescents
Indonesia
EuropeAid: Strong CSOs for inclusive livestock value chain development in NTT (SCILD)
Indonesia
EuropeAid: Young Women's Economic Empowerment
India
EuropeAid: Combating the worst forms of discrimination against girls: female infanticide
India
EuropeAid: Promoting gender wage parity and non-discrimination in the work environment
China
EuropeAid: Improved responsiveness of social protection for migrant and left-behind children in Qinghai and An´hui, China
Philippines
EuropeAid: Strengthening social protection, resilience and inclusive development for marginalized people through citizens and civil society engagement
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Sri Lanka
EuropeAid: Empowering women through e-governance
Timor Leste
EuropeAid: Empowerment and inclusion of marginalised youth in the economic and political development of Timor-Leste
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Timor Leste
EuropeAid: Creating a Healthy Environment for Children in Rural Communities