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Team up with Jenn Heil and help prevent bullying in schools

Two young boys arm in arm.

The anti-bullying project creates safe schools, where young people feel safe to learn.

It happens in classrooms, over social media, in the community and at home. Bullying is a problem that affects millions of children around the world.

In Canada, 1 in 7 children between the ages of 11 and 16 has been bullied. Globally, 1.5 billion children experience violence annually, including bullying. That’s millions of children burdened by the effects of bullying, which range from any or all of the following:

  • Social, emotional and psychological effects
  • Depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide
  • Loneliness and social withdrawal
  • Academic struggles, low attendance rates and high dropout rates.

Easing the burden in Kenya

The effects of bullying are difficult for any child to bear, but especially in situations where there are no programs in place to support victims. That’s why Plan is introducing our newest Gift of Hope, the anti-bullying project.

Plan will launch the project in Kenya, working in 90 schools and surrounding communities to ensure children have safe spaces to learn. This gift will help ensure students; teachers and parents are educated and trained to address bullying and other forms of school violence when it happens. The project will benefit 65,000 girls and 55,000 boys and will use “speak-out boxes” where children can report bullying anonymously. A 24-hour toll-free telephone and web-based helpline will also be introduced.

Jenn Heil supporting a project with enormous impact

For Olympic champion and Plan Celebrated Ambassador Jenn Heil, bullying hits close to home. As a mom to young children, Jenn understands the importance of fostering a safe learning environment and community at an early age.

Jenn Heil with two young girls

Jenn Heil believes every child has the right to learn without fear.

“I want to protect my children and ensure their physical and emotional needs are taken care of and that they feel secure,” explains Jenn. “I hope that when they’re old enough to attend school, they will continue to be physically and emotionally safe, but we have learned that, sadly, this is often not the case.”

Helping children in Kenya reach their potential

According to a UN study, many girls and boys in sub-Saharan Africa experience violence on a regular basis in their homes, schools and communities. In particular, children experience gender-based violence and corporal punishment, and where Plan is implementing the project in Kenya, many children face further obstacles like child marriage, early pregnancy and child labour.

“I want to help give children in developing countries a chance to learn without fear,” says Jenn. “The project will empower girls and boys to be active participants in creating safe learning environments and prevent bullying in schools and communities.”

We couldn’t agree more. You can help create safe schools that encourage young people to reach their full potential. Stand up to bullying and join Jenn Heil today!