Educational Projects

Our Bright Futures campaign helps to raise funds for essential education and school projects run by Plan International UKPlan International UK is a children’s charity that has been supporting vulnerable children for over 75 years. Plan works in many areas including; emergency and famine relief, health and sanitation, economic empowerment and education. All money given through the VENT Bright Futures campaign is ring-fenced exclusively to Plan International UK’s education projects

Here are some examples of the education projects, past and present, run by Plan. The sorts of projects our Bright Futures campaign supports…

Photo © Plan International

Helping children in Pakistan

In Pakistan, an estimated 25 million children aged 5-16 years aren’t in school. The situation is worse for girls, who only complete around three years of schooling on average. The main reason for girls dropping out is parents’ unwillingness to educate their daughters. Widespread and targeted action is needed to show parents the value of educating their daughters in Pakistan, where 45% of people are living in poverty. More widely, schools need better facilities, teachers and management to ensure all children can make the most of their time in class.

Plan International UK recognises this and is working across two districts of central and northern Pakistan to help ensure that more children – particularly girls – can get an education. Plan aim to reach 49 schools across Muzaffargarh and Islamabad districts with improvements and training to increase enrolment and retention rates. They will also work with the local communities to raise awareness of the importance of sending girls to school.

Photo © Plan International

Teaching Girls

In the Kamuli district of Uganda, the female literacy rate is just 55%. Less than a third of girls who go to high school graduate from their studies, as opposed to nearly half of boys.

Girls face great challenges to stay in school and when a families resources are limited, girls often lose out. Girls may be kept at home to take up work or if they do go to school, they’re vulnerable to harassment or violence on their journey. Once they reach puberty, girls have to find the resources to manage their periods and worse still, could be considered ready for marriage, and not be allowed to continue their education.

Plan International believes that all girls have the right to a quality education. To enable the girls of Kamuli Plan International have established a project across 20 secondary schools in the district. This project will directly reach 4000 girls aged 13-18, enabling them to enrol in and complete a quality secondary education.

Photo © Plan International

Vietnam Case Study

Children return to new pre-school after COVID 19 “holiday”.

Returning to her pre-school after the historic COVID-19 ‘holiday’ as she calls it, has been very exciting for Mai who is not only happy to be back in the classroom with her friends but is also getting used to a brand-new building, constructed with the support of Plan International.

Mai lives with her family in Vietnam’s Meo Vac district, Ha Giang province. Normally, getting to her school means a long and arduous journey along a rocky, dusty path. It was tough, but Mai always wanted to go so she could spend time with her teachers and friends, learn new things and have fun.

But today her mother sets off on a different route and after a short while stops in front of a new building. As she looks through the gates, her mother says: “Lucky you, from now on you are studying at a new school!”

Mai takes a moment to look at the sight in front of her. It has the same sign, and she sees her teacher welcoming her friends, but she does not recognise her school, it’s so new, so big and beautiful. The pre-school has been under construction for a while and now it’s officially ready to welcome back the children.

Mai’s old pre-school shared a campus with the community primary school, the facilities were dilapidated, and it could only hold 65 students. The new building can take in 200 students, and has three classrooms fully equipped with lighting, fans and teaching and learning supplies.

There is also a spacious kitchen, separate latrines for boys and girls and play areas, including a 64m2 playground with gates and fences to ensure the safety for all students as they enjoy themselves.

As Mai runs off to join her friends, her teacher explains that the children are not the first people to make use of the new building. “When COVID-19 was at its peak, many laborers returned from China and needed to be quarantined. As there were no quarantine facilities in the area, Plan International let the local government and the COVID-19 prevention management board use the newly constructed school. Over 80 people, young and old, stayed at the school throughout the four lockdowns.”

Once the lockdown was lifted, the school was thoroughly sanitized in preparation for the young students safe return. “I’m so happy. It’s like my birthday, one surprise after another. Who knows, maybe my parents will study in the same class with me soon. THAT would be a pleasant surprise,” Mai giggles.

Photo © Plan International

Training Teachers

By the start of secondary school, 73% of girls are missing from their place in the classroom. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that girls respond better to – and are best motivated by – female teachers. In rural communities, women make up just 16% of primary school teachers and 8% of secondary school teachers. Girls coping with issues including early marriage, pregnancy or feelings of vulnerability have few places to turn.

To address this issue, Plan International are supporting 275 young women to complete a three-year distance education teacher training course. This is the first time a distance learning model is being used in Sierra Leone, and will include young women from five of the poorest rural districts of the country; Kailahun, Kenema, Kono, Moyamba and Port Loko.