NEED A SOURCE: Plan Canada addressing bullying in developing countries – Bullying Awareness Week (November 15-21)

Canadian Olympian Jenn Heil and Plan Canada’s Nidhi Bansal available for interviews

TORONTO, November 10, 2015 – As Canadians mark Bullying Awareness Week from November 15 to 21, Plan Canada is drawing attention to bullying as a serious issue that affects children all around the world. In fact, slightly more than 1 in 3 students between the ages of 13 and 15 experience bullying on a regular basis worldwide, according to recent statistics.

Available to speak on the issue are:

  • Jenn Heil, Canadian Olympian and Plan Canada Celebrated Ambassador can speak to the importance of standing up to bullies around the world.
  • Nidhi Bansal, Plan Canada’s Senior Gender Equality Advisor can speak to the issue of school-related violence and bullying, and to discuss Plan’s child protection and anti-bullying work in Kenya and other developing countries.

Because every child has the right to learn in a safe environment, Plan Canada works with children, parents, teachers and local communities in developing countries to provide safe spaces and prevent bullying and other forms of violence in and around schools.

“As a parent, I want what’s best for my children and to ensure their physical and emotional needs are taken care of. Bullying and abuse is a serious issue here in Canada, but it also happens in developing countries, leaving many girls and boys to experience violence on a regular basis in their homes, schools and communities,” said Jenn Heil. “I want to help give children in developing countries a chance to learn without fear, and Plan Canada’s programs provide the tools and skills necessary to stop violence and bullying.”

One example of this life-changing work is Plan Canada’s Gift of Hope, the Anti-bullying project. Operating in Kenyan schools and surrounding communities, the program educates and trains students, teachers and parents to identify and address violence against children, including bullying.

Bullying takes place in playgrounds, on social media and in classrooms and has grave and long-term consequences. Children who are bullied are more likely to experience academic and social difficulties, and negative health and psychological issues such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. However, one of the most effective ways to stop bullying is for others to “stand up” to it, and feel safe to do so when they see it happening.

Notes to editors:

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About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

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Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416.920.1654 x326 | C: 416.723.6340 | dallen@plancanada.ca

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