My experience at Plan International USA

by Because I am a Girl

Here's a great post by Taylor, a high school volunteer at the Plan International USA office in Washington DC. She describes the lasting impact that Because I am a Girl has had on her life.

By Taylor, Because I am a Girl Intern

Hello! My name is Taylor, and I am a senior in high school. These past two weeks I have been working as a volunteer in the Plan USA DC office. It’s been a fantastic experience for many different reasons.

Let me first explain to you what it is that I’ve been doing. For the past two weeks, I’ve been scouring the internet for statistics on struggling adolescent girls in developing countries, such as India, Vietnam, El Salvador, and Ethiopia. I discovered that there are girls my own age who have already been married for 3 or more years—and I’m only 17. I learned that 67 million children don’t go to school and that over half of these are girls. The numbers and the facts do not lie, and they’re very in your face about it. Once you come across one of these statistics, there’s really no going back—your perception of the world has been changed dramatically.

I’ve also been watching the Plan and Because I Am a Girl videos and writing short summaries of them. I hadn’t thought it was possible, but watching the videos was even more emotionally challenging than finding statistics. The videos are actually an outstanding complement to the statistics. Take the video of a maid in Senegal, for instance: she is one of millions girls worldwide who do not attend school. Instead, she cooks and cleans all day for her abusive masters. She brings to life the statistic about the lack of education for girls.

That’s why I’ve enjoyed this internship. The statistics hit me hard, which I appreciated because I guess that means that they got through to me, that they moved me. The videos then not only illuminated and illustrated the facts and the numbers but also offered slivers of hope. I found the maid from Senegal beautiful, perhaps because she had this incredible desire to learn and to grow and to be independent and strong. It is this desire that Plan piggybacks on, helping girls like the maid all across the globe.

I know that someday things are going to be better. I have faith—faith in girls worldwide, faith in my generation and the generations to come, faith in Plan, faith that people will care. Because of organizations like Plan, I have faith in a better future for our world.