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Speak Up and Be Bold

by Patrick Maguire

As men, regardless of where we are in the world, we are bold if we speak up. And, we cannot be bashful.

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Be Bold: Invest in Adolescent Girls to End Inter-Generational Poverty

by Judithe Registre

As we near the year 2015 and review our progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, we can see that, despite sweeping progress in certain areas such as primary education and public health, one significant gap remains: Broad inequalities persist between the rich and poor, and most notably between the richest males and the poorest females. The disparity is staggering.

 

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INGOs: Part of the Problem or the Solution?

by Tessie San Martin, Ann Hudock

Poverty reduction is an urgent issue, and it is scandalous that so many lives are lost daily to solvable problems. Making progress on poverty reduction is only possible when local knowledge is linked to information, resources and the political space to operate. In this context, International NGOs can be and have been an indispensable part of local solutions, helping to catalyze efforts, broker knowledge or accompany people to bear witness to their struggles, and creating the political space for action.

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Life After the Lockdown in Sierra Leone

Days after Sierra Leone enforced a three-day curfew to fight the Ebola outbreak, Kamanda – one of Plan’s Global Youth Advisory Members – reflects on the impact the virus has had on people living in his community in the north of the country.

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Combating Ebola and Fighting For Education

by Beyan Flomo Pewee

My name is Amb.Beyan Flomo Pewee. I was born in the slums of Konyamah, Guinea in 1996 during the Liberian Civil War. My story is complex, as has been my life. I always believe that if one reflects on the past, one can feel hardship and pain, or one can discover lessons and hidden strengths. My life has been hard, but it has allowed me to overcome situations and be the voice for my friends, and many brothers and sisters across Liberia and West Africa.

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Girls CHARGE, Tackling the Issues that Keep Girls Out of School

by Sarah Hendricks

On Wednesday, Plan International announced its part in a groundbreaking effort spearheaded by The Clinton Global Foundation’s “No Ceilings” Initiative and the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution.

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Fear and Desperation in Sierra Leone

by Kamanda K.

Kamanda is a youth advocate for Plan International, and lives in Port Loko on the north of Sierra Leone. In this blog, he describes what happened before and after the 3-day national lockdown which began on the 19th of September.

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We Must Listen To Girls Who Speak Up Against Discrimination and Sexual Violence

by Nigel Chapman

New research from Plan International shows the shocking truth about adolescent girls in developing countries. In one of the largest studies ever undertaken of its kind, we talked to 7,000 adolescent girls and boys in 11 countries about girls’ opportunities. The findings are overwhelming. These girls are some of the most disadvantaged people on earth.

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Moving U.S.-Africa Relationships Forward

by Ann Hudock

In 1990, I boarded a plane for Sierra Leone as a wide-eyed college graduate ready to change the world. I had never been to Africa, did not know much about Sierra Leone, and not being a detail person, had never even looked for or located the country on a map.

I didn’t change the world or even Sierra Leone that year, but the experience certainly changed me. And in that sense, I discovered what is best about good development practice: locally-led solutions to complex development problems.

 

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The Youth Bandwagon

by Tessie San Martin

Last week, we celebrated International Youth Day. But, even without an official United Nations-sanctioned day to provoke commentary, it seems as if everyone has something to say about this demographic. It is interesting that the UN’s definition seems to be more about what this demographic can be than what it is: Youth, it states, “is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community.” Youth, it seems, is about potential. Let’s come back to that in a bit.

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Children, Migration, Violence, and Inequality

The extraordinary levels of violence in some Central American countries have created a massive wave of children traveling alone to the United States.

The families usually send them to save them from their everyday lives filled with violence, from the “maras”, or gangs, so they are not recruited, murdered, or raped. Others are sent to reunite with families in search of a better life, one with access to basic needs such as drinkable water, food, and education.

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Africa Has Big Plans

by Justin Fugle

Africa has big plans. It is a continent with more peaceful, stable, democratic countries than ever before. It is a continent with some of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is a continent with increasing opportunities for women and youth. And, it is still a continent with more than its share of conflict, poverty, and corruption. But it is certainly both of those things these days. Africa knows what Africa needs, and its leaders and citizens are more capable than ever.

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