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Young mother returns to education to realise her dream

Richelle dropped out of school after becoming pregnant at 16. Now 24, flexible learning provided by Plan International and the Philippines government has helped keep her dream of becoming a teacher alive.

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“I wanted to become a teacher but it was a pipe dream. Impossible,” says 24-year-old Richelle from the Philippines.

She was forced to drop out of school after becoming pregnant at the age of 16. Her commitments at home and the time she needs to spend looking after her son Johnrey, who has cerebral palsy, mean she was unable to get back into education.

Across the Philippines there are many children and young people like Richelle who are unable to go to school because of teenage pregnancy, child marriage or child labour.

Flexible learning

In response, Plan International is working alongside the Philippines Department of Education to provide flexible, informal learning for those who cannot go to school in 2 of the county’s poorest provinces, Masbate and Northern Samar. To date we’ve helped over 2,200 children and young people to continue their education when they otherwise would not have been able to.

Richelle heard about the programme through Johnrey’s teacher. She now studies in her spare time and is visited by her teacher at home.

“I thought my dream was cut short,” she says. “Returning to school has returned what I thought I had lost.”

Learn more about our work on girls’ education