2018

annual review

MESSAGES FROM THE Ceo AND Chair

Caroline Riseboro in the fieldCaroline Riseboro in the field

A Letter from our President and CEO, Caroline Riseboro

At Plan International Canada, we believe every child has the right to learn, lead, decide and thrive. This belief is at the core of our five-year organizational strategy, 20 Million Reasons – to help unleash the potential of 20 million children by 2022 – and is the guiding principle for our work.

As leaders in the charitable sector, we continue to find innovative ways to drive this important work forward so that children everywhere can realize their rights. In 2018, we completed the first year of our organizational strategy – and I’m proud to say it was our best year yet! Thanks to the generous support of our donors and partners, we made a positive impact on the lives of millions of children.

In June 2018, we amplified a global call for children’s education in crises at the G7 Summit in Quebec. This led to a historic $3.8 billion funding commitment from G7 world leaders, which will pave the way for millions of girls in crisis situations to access their right to a quality education.

We also saw the power of young women in action at the G7 Finance and Development Ministers meeting, where six of Plan International’s passionate Girl Ambassadors called on world leaders to place issues affecting girls at the heart of development aid.

With the recent launch of our ambitious Defy Normal campaign, we called on Canadians to take a stand anywhere children are oppressed, exploited, left behind and anywhere girls aren't equally valued. We know that when we simply accept inequality as ‘normal’ we risk losing the potential of an entire generation. This upcoming year, we will continue to build momentum and stand together with children and young people to disrupt the status quo and Defy Normal.

In reflecting on all we’ve achieved this year, I would like to extend a special thanks to our supporters and partners for joining us on this journey. Through your dedication you have emboldened our commitment to work alongside children and their communities to bring about positive and lasting change.

As you read this year’s annual review, I hope you are inspired to continue making strides in the fight for children’s rights and equality for girls. Together, we are creating a world where everyone can unleash their full potential.

Caroline Riseboro signature

Caroline Riseboro

Meet the executive team

»Read more

Patsy AndersonPatsy Anderson

Letter from the Chair of the Board, Patsy Anderson

This 2018 fiscal year marked the first year of 20 Million Reasons, Plan International Canada’s five-year strategy to unleash the power and potential of 20 million children by 2022. The strategy reflects Plan International Canada’s identity and is a key component of Plan International’s global goal to impact the lives of 100 million children, especially girls, so that they can learn, lead, decide and thrive. As Chair of the Board, it is also my second year witnessing this impactful work – both in Canada and overseas. I continue to be inspired by Plan International Canada’s clear vision and hope for the future.

As you read through the 2018 Annual Review, you will see Plan International Canada’s purpose to advance the rights of children and equality for girls come to life. With this at the core of everything it does, I’m proud to say that Plan International Canada is poised to make an even greater impact through its programming and advocacy work moving forward. Under Caroline’s tireless leadership and through its long-term vision, Plan International Canada continues to chart a new course for successful and innovative development work.

This was a year of partnership and mobilization as the organization called on everyone to rally together and take a stand against the systems of inequality that prevent children – especially girls – from accessing their rights. We are motivated and ready to respond to what society has come to accept as ‘normal’ for far too long. I am confident that, with the 20 Million Reasons strategy and bold direction, Plan International Canada will continue to lead our country and world into a more equal tomorrow for all.

Patsy Anderson Signature

Patsy Anderson

Meet the board members

»Read more

Unleashing potential for more than 80 years

Our purpose at Plan International Canada is to advance the rights of children and equality for girls around the world. Through our five-year strategic plan, 20 Million Reasons, we will do just that. Our commitment to helping 20 Million children learn, lead, decide and thrive will give us the vision and focus needed to make real and lasting change in the lives of girls and boys all over the world.

  • What we do

    • Empower children, young people, and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls and all vulnerable children.
    • Drive change in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge of the realities children face.
    • Support children’s rights from birth to adulthood.
    • Educate children and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and overcome adversity.
  • Our values

    Through our values we show our dedication to serving others in a way that fosters community, inspires growth and builds on hope for the future.

    We are
    • Open and accountable
    • Inclusive and empowering
    • Collaborative
    • Dedicated to creating lasting impact

Our work around the world

Plan International’s programs aim to support sustainable and lasting change in communities all over the world. We work towards the realization of children’s rights, including boys, girls, and children in all their diverse identities. We address gender discrimination in our program work to ensure that children get access to education, health care, and the skills and opportunities needed to become independent adults who can challenge the status quo and create a world where everyone can unleash their full potential.

Our work focuses around these key areas:

Education icon Education Health icon Health Water icon Water and sanitation Child icon Child protection Economy icon Economic empowerment Emergency icon Emergencies Child participation icon Child participation

Plan International’s programs aim to support sustainable and lasting change in communities all over the world. We work towards the realization of children’s rights, including boys, girls, and children in all their diverse identities. We address gender discrimination in our program work to ensure that children get access to education, health care, and the skills and opportunities needed to become independent adults who can challenge the status quo and create a world where everyone can unleash their full potential.

Our work focuses around these key areas:

Education icon Education Health icon Health Water icon Water and sanitation Child icon Child protection Economy icon Economic empowerment Emergency icon Emergencies Child participation icon Child participation
  • Thuo

    Thuo’s second chance at school

    Education icon

    Meet Thuo, a 14-year-old girl from Cambodia who was at risk of dropping out of school when she began missing classes to help support her family. Eventually she was asked to repeat the fifth grade.

    Read More
  • Girl writing in a book

    Defying norms in Vietnam

    Child protection icon

    Annually, 12 million girls around the world are married before the age of 18, which is equal to more than 32,000 girls per day.

    Read More
  • Naleru

    A ray of hope in Kenya

    Water and sanitation icon

    Last year, to help improve access to quality drinking water in Kenya’s Marsabit County, Plan International Canada ran a project in partnership with Solvatten to equip communities in the region with water purification kits.

    Read More
  • Paul Dunyo with his sons in a canoe

    Reeling in change in Volta, Ghana

    Economy icon

    Through sustainable fish farming projects and training, Plan International Canada is helping community members in Volta, Ghana develop the tools and skills they need to rebuild the fish trade.

    Read More
  • Two women sorting through grain sacks

    Thriving in the midst of crisis

    Water and sanitation icon

    When the conflict between two major religious groups escalated in Rakhine State in Myanmar in 2012, more than 139,000 people were forced to flee their homes in search of safety.

    Read More
  • Angelito working in his greenhouse

    Building confidence, breaking barriers

    Health icon

    Stigma and a lack of resources can prevent many people living with HIV from receiving the treatment they need. Angelito, a 24-year-old man from El Salvador, knows this truth all too well.

    Read More
  • Boy in art class

    Children embrace the art of life

    Child participation icon

    Plan International Canada is using art to help children in Hatibandha, Bangladesh discover and express their unique voices.

    Read More

Changing the birth story in rural Senegal

Health icon

Meet Diack, a 50-year-old father of seven from rural Senegal who is challenging harmful gender norms around masculinity and what it means to be a father and husband.

Through Fathers Clubs and other peer-to-peer support groups, Plan International Canada is engaging more than three million men to Change the Birth Story. This initiative engages both men and women to raise awareness about the barriers women face when accessing sexual and reproductive health rights.

This program is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.

Financial Overview

Our finances

Total revenue over the past five years (in $ millions)

Revenue by fiscal year
2018   236.4
2017   222.9
2016   210.5
2015   202.6
2014   170.8
50 100 150 200 250
$ million

Over the past five years, revenue has grown by 38.4%

5yr chart

Revenue – where our support comes from

revenue chart
 Government & other grants 46%
 Child sponsorship 32%
 Contributions, gifts & bequests 12%
 Gifts in kind 10%
 Investments & other income <1%
Total revenue: $236.4 million

Where our money goes

Expenditures

How our resources were used

expenditures chart

 Program expenditures 81%
 Fundraising 11%
 Operations 8%
Total expenditures: $235.9 million

Program expenditures

Areas of work this funding supported

expenditures chart

 Maternal & child health/development 37%
 Emergencies & food assistance 17%
 Sexual & reproductive health 15%
 Education 14%
 Economic security 5%
 Child protection 5%
 Water & sanitation 3%
 Sponsorship & programmatic communications 2%
 Child participation 2%

Programs expenditure ratio

Plan International Canada ensures that a maximum amount of money goes to programs that benefit children in the countries where we work, keeping administrative costs low and program spending high.

We acknowledge that fundraising and operations expenditure is critical to ensure that future programs can be funded, our supporter base can grow, and that both can be supported adequately with systems and infrastructure.

The costs of fundraising and operations are at an average of 19 cents of each dollar raised, with the remaining 81 cents of every dollar going to programs that benefit children, their families and communities.

How donations reach communities

Plan International is committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of the most vulnerable children while promoting equality for girls.

We work not only to improve the daily lives of girls but also to advance their position and value in society, while actively working with boys and young men to champion gender equality. We believe in advancing children’s rights in all contexts, including during conflict and emergencies, where girls in particular are faced with additional dangers.

Child sponsorship contributions are used for community development projects that unleash the multiplying power of children. Our programs deliver lasting change. We listen to the voices of children in the community, especially girls, whose views and needs are frequently overlooked, to ensure that our work is relevant and effective.

Designated contributions, such as major financial donations and those through our Gifts of Hope program, go to projects chosen by the donor. We do whatever is needed to create a sustainable environment in which children, families and communities can thrive.

 

A Canada-led movement for gender equality

A Historic Win for Girls

Group of women at G7

In 2018, Plan International Canada galvanized a call to action for global leaders gathered at the G7 Leadership Summit in Quebec, Canada. Together, with a group of 30 NGOs, known as the G7 Coalition, Plan International Canada amplified the efforts of thousands who signed a global petition for the education of girls in crisis.

The result of our work? A ground-breaking and historic announcement with girls at the centre.

On June 9, 2018, the G7 Presidency announced a Canadian-led commitment of $3.8 billion to the education of children in crisis and emergencies. This pledge means millions of children will gain the tools needed to build a better future for themselves and more girls will be kept safe and empowered to realize their rights and potential. This was an enormous win for girls everywhere and for the future of our world – one that will have a lasting impact on generations to come.


Group of woman at g7

Nothing for Girls Without Girls

Plan International Canada was thrilled to invite Girl Ambassadors from around the world to attend the 2018 G7 Development and Finance Ministers Meeting in Whistler, B.C.

This marked the first time in G7 history that girls were present at the meeting. Together they called on government representatives to place issues affecting girls at the centre of international development. “If you want a future for your country, you have to educate your girls,” said Reine from Lebanon, one of the young leaders present at the meeting.

As a result of this powerful advocacy moment, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced two game-changing declarations with a focus on girls: The Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power and Potential of Adolescent Girls and the Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality.

If you want a future for your country, you have to educate your girls.
Reine, 19, Plan International Girl Ambassador from Lebanon

»Read story

Michelle Obama

Equality Talks

On November 28, 2017, Plan International Canada partnered with the Economic Club of Canada to host former First Lady Michelle Obama for her first ever speaking engagement in Canada.

The Economics of Equality: Advancing Women and Girls to Change the World was a unique event that focused on including young people in the discussion on gender equality.

Everyone who purchased a ticket to the event sponsored a ticket for a youth in Canada aged 14-24 to attend. In total, 1,500 youth attended the event, including Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council and other members from our youth network.

»Read story


Inspiring girls prove they have the right to dream big

Madame Sophie Trudeau with a group of girls

On October 11, 2017, Plan International Canada celebrated the sixth annual International Day of the Girl (IDG) by calling on Canadians to close the ‘dream gap’ – a combination of barriers hindering girls from achieving their dreams and realizing their full potential.

As part of the celebrations, 18 diverse girls from all over Canada stepped into their dream jobs and positions of leadership. Together they called on political, business, non-profit, media and educational leaders to share their seats for a day and to support girls as they fight for their right to lead, decide and be heard.

Canadian executives from Kinross Gold, Unilever Canada and RE/MAX Canada and politicians including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accepted the challenge, demonstrating that girls should be free to dream big and pursue leadership roles in spaces where women are traditionally underrepresented.

three girls in girls belong here t-shirts
Breanne with Prime Minister Trudeau
This was an incredible opportunity for me personally, and I was excited to show Canada and the world that every girl – no matter her race, religion, culture or ability – has the power to achieve her dreams
Breanne, Prime Minister for a day

Highlights from our IDG celebrations in 2017

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  • Sophie Trudeau with youthIn Ottawa, Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined 10 youth and Caroline Riseboro for a roundtable discussion on bridging the dream gap and the importance of speaking up for gender equality.
  • Lisa Lefleme with youth In Toronto, we hosted a youth panel moderated by CTV National News Anchor and Plan International Canada Celebrated Ambassador, Lisa LaFlamme. Plan International Canada board member, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, and Helle Bank Jorgensen, President of Global Compact Network Canada also shared their remarks on the importance of IDG and closing the ‘dream gap’.
  • Closing the tsx marketCaroline Riseboro and youth were joined by Rona Ambrose and Sarah Rafferty, Plan International Canada Celebrated Ambassador and star of the hit show Suits, to close the market at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

History of International Day of the Girl

Plan International Canada led the global movement to make International Day of the Girl a reality, garnering all-party support from the Canadian Parliament and the United Nations. Since 2012, we have celebrated it annually, igniting a global mass movement to advance equality for girls.

 

Championing youth to Defy Normal

Plan International Canada is proud to work alongside youth in Canada ages 14-24 to advance our mission to end gender inequality. Our youth initiatives – such as our Youth Advisory Council, Speakers Bureau and Champions of Change Club – are designed to harness the power and potential of young people, promote youth-led advocacy and create opportunities for mentorship and personal and professional development.

Learn more about our youth engagement initiatives.

Total number of youth reached directly through all of our youth engagement initiatives in Canada in 2018:

15,342
2,555 Youth participated in Champions of Change Clubs throughout the country
2,930 Young people attended special events and youth advocacy opportunities
5,015 Youth reached through Plan International Canada presentations and workshops
472 Youth took part in Speakers Bureau & Hubs

Meet four youth making a difference in their communities

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Roshni

Roshni

It was only through the investment in myself by myself and the entire team at Plan International Canada that I found my place and my unrelenting voice as an activist
Roshni, 21, from Toronto, Ontario
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Juliana

Juliana

We have to keep asking ourselves ‘Who is missing from the table? What is keeping those individuals from being here? What barriers exist that prevent their perspectives and lived experiences from being shared?
Juliana, 22, from Edmonton, Alberta
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Tony

Tony

By working firsthand on projects that impact young women of all demographics, I have been able to see how much progress has been made, and the amount that is still left to achieve.
Tony, 20, from Toronto, Ontario
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Rohan

Rohan

I have realized the important role that men play in helping to break down the barriers that women face in various aspects of their lives.
Rohan, 19, from Toronto, Ontario

Our community in Canada

Our community in Canada

Thank you to all of our partners and donors for your generous support this past year and for taking action against the norms and barriers that prevent children – especially girls – from unleashing their full potential.

In 2018, we saw supporters visiting sponsored children overseas, fundraising in neighbourhoods and schools nationwide, becoming outspoken advocates with and for girls, urgently responding to crises, and legacy planning for a more just and prosperous world for children everywhere.

Thank you to all of our partners and donors for your generous support this past year and for taking action against the norms and barriers that prevent children – especially girls – from unleashing their full potential.

In 2018, we saw supporters visiting sponsored children overseas, fundraising in neighbourhoods and schools nationwide, becoming outspoken advocates with and for girls, urgently responding to crises, and legacy planning for a more just and prosperous world for children everywhere.

A snapshot of your support in 2018

100000

Children around the world supported by sponsors in Canada.

100000

People sponsored children through Plan International Canada

20000

Gifts of Hope purchased by ethical gift-givers in Canada

25000

Sponsors wrote to their sponsored child

8000

Youth engaged in our initiatives around the country

0

Organizers ran community events and fundraisers

0

Companies and businesses supported our work

0

Children sponsored by one family

0

People committed to leaving a gift in their will to Plan International Canada

0

Celebrated Ambassadors actively drove awareness about our mission

More than 212,000 donors gave to Plan International Canada

Your dedication and compassion have continued to cultivate our movement for children’s rights and gender equality around the world.

Child Sponsorship story

At Plan International Canada, we are grateful to all of our partners for supporting and energizing our mission to advance the rights of children and equality for girls.

Here’s how one family is making a difference by partnering with us:

A note from Rick & Lourdes Dempster, Canadian Child Sponsors:

Many children do not have access to some of the things we take for granted here in Canada. Being a child sponsor with Plan International Canada for the past 30 years has allowed us to do our part to change this.

Today, we are the proud sponsors of 143 children around the world.

As parents of three daughters, we are especially thrilled to be a part of Plan International Canada’s mission to help children, especially girls, realize a brighter future for themselves.

Knowing that we live in such a prosperous country, inspires us to lend a helping hand to others. Through the work that Plan International Canada is doing, we are truly able to make an impact.

Sincerely,
Rick and Lourdes Dempster

Rick and Lourdes Dempster currently sponsor children from regions Plan International Canada works in including West, East, Southern Africa, as well as the Americas and Asia.

Kid lettersLetters from Rick & Lourdes Dempster’s sponsored children.

One Woman’s Legacy of Giving

Sara Sterling with daughter and motherSara Sterling (right) with daughter Madeleine (centre) and mother, Janet Sterling (left).

Sometimes a question is all it takes to ignite a movement. That’s exactly what happened in 2002, when Sara Sterling’s daughter, Madeleine, first learned about the barriers facing girls in Tanzania. “If I can go to school, why can’t they?” she asked. Knowing this question would require more than a simple response, Sara and her daughter decided they had to do something to help, launching a tradition of giving back for Sara and her family. 10 years later, Sara continues to make an impact through giving and has raised more than $300,000 for Plan International Canada’s work.

Through her annual golf tournament, Golf Carte Blanche, Sara raises funds to help create equality and opportunities for girls. Through the generous support of donors like Sara, Plan International Canada has been able to improve the lives of girls and boys everywhere.

It is important to me that my children, friends and colleagues understand the importance of charity when we live in such a fortunate country and environment.

Inspirational Women Take a Stand for Children’s Rights

In 2018, Plan International Canada launched the Equality Collective, a network of inspirational women who are committed to children’s rights and gender equality. The Equality Collective is dedicated to influencing positive change through transformative, high-impact philanthropic investments. This group has embarked on an advocacy journey driven by the shared belief that taking a stand for children’s rights can transform whole communities and fuel the fight for gender equality around the world.

A force to be reckoned with, the Equality Collective will continue to play an integral role in galvanizing support for Plan International Canada’s global work.

Members of Plan International Canada’s Equality Collective.Members of Plan International Canada’s Equality Collective.

Our generous institutional funders

Global fund
Global affairs Canada
United Nations World Food Program
Educate a Child
Dubai cares
Unicef
Global fund
Global affairs Canada
United Nations World Food Program
Educate a Child
Dubai cares
Unicef

» Global Affairs Canada partnership projects

Thuo’s second chance at school

Education icon

Meet Thuo, a 14-year-old girl from Cambodia who was at risk of dropping out of school when she began missing classes to help support her family. Eventually she was asked to repeat the fifth grade.

The generous support of donors opened the door for Thuo to participate in a two-month re-entry program and with the help of specially trained teachers she was promoted to the sixth grade. Thuo went on to complete the year and successfully transitioned to secondary education!

Thuo is one of more than 13,000 children whose lives have been positively impacted by Canadians’ support to improve access to quality education in rural Cambodia.

Defying norms in Vietnam

Child icon Child writing in a school book

Annually, 12 million girls around the world are married before the age of 18, which is equal to more than 32,000 girls per day. By promoting the importance of child rights and education, Plan International Canada is working with communities in Vietnam to protect girls from child marriage, which often robs them of their dreams and hopes for the future.

Girls like 15-year-old Sen are striving to continue their studies and are harnessing their potential to change what’s considered a normal practice.

For me, the journey in education is still very long with many challenges. But I strongly believe that I can overcome them because I have support from my parents, my teachers, and my community – all who have ignited the light of learning and the love of life within me.
Sen, a 15-year-old girl from Vietnam.

Through Plan International Canada’s work, with the support of donors in Canada, we saw tremendous change in the communities we work with in Vietnam last year, including:

  • 98% of girls were enrolled in secondary school.
  • 420 teachers were trained on child protection, child trafficking, positive discipline and gender sensitivity.
  • 18 schools were equipped with girl-friendly latrines and handwashing stations.
  • Parenting clubs and girls’ clubs were created to encourage support for girls’ rights through gender equality training, and 67 villages acknowledged a girls’ right to education.
  • 90% of girls reported self-confidence and a desire to remain in school.

A ray of hope in Kenya

Water and sanitation icon Child writing in a school book

Last year, to help improve access to quality drinking water in Kenya’s Marsabit County, Plan International Canada ran a project in partnership with Solvatten to equip communities in the region with water purification kits. By leveraging the power of the sun, the kit eliminates harmful bacteria found in polluted water, helping more people access their right to safe drinking water.

Naleru, a community member from Marsabit County, recalls how the project has helped her family: “There is improved health among my children and my grandchildren who often stay with me when their parents have gone to work,” she says.

A total of 419 kits have been distributed to individual families, health facilities and schools, directly benefitting more than 25,000 people.

Reeling in change in Volta, Ghana

Economy icon Paul Dunyo with his sons in a canoe

Through sustainable fish farming projects and training, Plan International Canada is helping community members in Volta, Ghana develop the tools and skills they need to rebuild the fish trade. In partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and through the support of donors in Canada, last year, we:

  • Trained 65 youth in entrepreneurship, product development, pricing and recordkeeping.
  • Provided community groups with start-up materials like compartment cages that were constructed, installed and stocked with more than 5,000 baby fish.
  • Trained more than 50 community members on proper fish farming practices for better cage management and sustainability.
  • Offered technical support like coaching, guidance and monitoring for up to six months following the project launch to help ensure long-term success.

By expanding fish farming projects, community members were able to catch more than 15,000 mature Tilapia fish in just six months!

I am very happy the aquaculture project has started! This is going to afford us the opportunity to better cater for our children and family’s needs.
Seyram, a young woman from Volta.

Thriving in the midst of crisis

Emergency icon Two women sorting through grain sacks

When the conflict between two major religious groups escalated in Rakhine State in Myanmar in 2012, more than 139,000 people were forced to flee their homes in search of safety.

Today, temporary camps are home to even more internally displaced people (IDPs) who have been impacted by violence. Yet, a lack of critical resources such as food and proper nutrition still pose a major threat to their safety and well-being.

In 2018, Plan International Canada in partnership with the World Food Programme, launched a food distribution project in six camps in Rakhine State. In total, 6,500 tonnes of food have been distributed to more than 45,000 IDPs living in the region.

The project not only focused on providing nutrition to children, women, and people with special needs – the population groups most negatively impacted by conflict – but also on raising awareness about gender equality and promoting the rights of everyone living in the camps. As a result, more women have become active participants in the project’s initiatives, defying traditional norms and beliefs that hold them back from making meaningful contributions to their community.

Building confidence, breaking barriers

Health icon Angelito working in his garden

Stigma and a lack of resources can prevent many people living with HIV from receiving the treatment they need. Angelito, a 24-year-old man from El Salvador, knows this truth all too well.

After falling seriously ill, Angelito was approached by a member from a community organization who spoke to him about HIV testing and sexuality. After being tested at a mobile health unit, Angelito discovered that he was HIV-positive and also had tuberculosis. He began treatment, but a lack of financial resources and being stigmatized for his sexual orientation by clinic staff made Angelito apprehensive about going back.

In 2018, through a partnership with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Plan International Canada implemented an entrepreneurship program aimed at helping people like Angelito. This initiative was designed to help participants gain employment and access to quality health services centred around human rights and providing respectful care. Today, 48 business ideas have been developed through the program, giving participants the hope, confidence and financial resources they need to overcome barriers and lead a healthy life.

This program was a great opportunity for me to have my own business… Now I am my own boss and I feel confident as a person.
Angelito.

Children embrace the art of life

Child participation icon Two women sorting through grain sacks

Plan International Canada is using art to help children in Hatibandha, Bangladesh discover and express their unique voices.

Through the support of Canadian community sponsors, 150 primary school-aged children who live in some of the most remote corners of Bangladesh have received new school supplies and access to innovative art classes.

This has resulted in new and creative activities such as “wall magazines” where students and teachers curate and create editorial storyboards.

Essay and art competitions facilitated through Plan International Canada have also been made possible, showcasing the children’s creative talents and nurturing their confidence.

By exercising their right to expression, children in Hatibandha are not only painting pictures of a community they’d like to see in the future – they are developing the tools they need to make their dreams a reality today.

I have seen the change of my school environment. Earlier, students were less eager to go to school. Now it has improved and I feel excited to go.
Jamiar, 12, a youth participant from Hatibandha, Bangladesh.