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January: 6 questions to better help girls and boys

January 4, 2010

Take our survey today to help us better achieve our mission! (Photo by Alf Berg)

Plan USA eNews: January 2010

On behalf of children, their families, communities, and from Plan staff and volunteers — thank you for your support.

2009 may be over according to the calendar, but your support will continue helping deserving girls and boys in developing countries grow up healthy, be educated, and realize their full potential well beyond the New Year.

Below are just a few examples of how your support has enabled Plan to continue working with over 3.5 million families, their communities and civil society.

To help us better achieve our mission of helping girls and boys in need around the world, please take a few minutes to complete a very short survey.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2009

  • 76,522 primary, secondary and early childhood teachers and volunteers were trained
  • 66,319 community health workers and traditional birth attendants received instruction
  • 38,445 young people and adults received vocational or business training
  • 6,673 safe drinking water points were set up in communities

Burkina Faso — expanding access to school
In Burkina Faso, 73% of girls never finish primary school. The BRIGHT program (Burkinabé Response to Improve Girls’ Chances to Succeed), funded by a grant from the USAID-Millennium Challenge Corporation, has led to high levels of school enrollment and graduation rates for girls. The project, which began in 2005, has so far included the building of schools in 132 communities across 10 provinces. Each school has child-friendly classrooms, separate male and female toilet blocks, and housing units for teachers.

We have been the lead partner on the project, working closely with Catholic Relief Services, the Forum of African Women Educationalists and Tin Tua, a local group. Today the schools serve 17,164 students, 9,282 of whom are girls.

Why invest so much in education?

Philippines — birthing clinic offers quality care
On the island of Masbate, Plan worked with the local government and communities to add a birthing clinic to a health center, following the initiative of a village leader's wife. New health services include post-natal care, nutrition monitoring, family planning and parenting. Local legislation also changed to encourage pregnant women to register at the center and go for check-ups. In 2009, the number of births attended by a midwife increased from 11 to 79%.

A mother at the clinic said, "I was comfortable giving birth in the clinic because the midwife is competent. I felt secure because I knew the village has the resources to respond in emergencies. After delivery, a health worker took care of my child's birth registration right away."

Can you name the five main causes of death among children under five?

Nicaragua — support to women farmers
In Nicaragua, the poorest families are also the most undernourished. Plan has partnered with the Institute of Lifelong Learning to provide a new type of vocational training. The project gives women farmers agricultural training to increase the diversity of their food crops together with support to expand their businesses. This combination provides better family nutrition as well as security against crop failure. Importantly, it also boosts family income. Young people are involved in monitoring crop management and household nutrition. As a result of these efforts, the incidence of malnutrition in the areas where Plan works is now lower than the national average.

How do families use savings and loan programs to improve their lives?

To learn more about where Plan's money comes from, where it goes, what we do with it, and how it makes a difference to people’s lives, visit www.planusa.org.

And please, don't forget to take our short survey to help us better assist children around the world! Thank you!