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President of Guinea-Bissau praises Plan as a leader

The President of Guinea-Bissau, center, and the Minister of Women, Children, Family and the Fight against poverty, left, at the ceremony.PHOTO: Plan staff
The President of Guinea-Bissau, center, and the Minister of Women, Children, Family and the Fight against poverty, left, at the ceremony.

PHOTO: Plan staff
July 26, 2010

“Plan is an example to be followed by all working organizations in the country,” declared Mr. Malam Bacai Sanha, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

At the closing ceremony of a 2-week celebration of the International Day of the Child and the African Day of the Child, the President gave a presentation in which he praised Plan as an example to be followed for the international community and other NGOs in the country.

Creating a secure future

He encouraged Plan to continue their work improving Bissau-Guinean children’s lives and helping them create a secure future. The event also marked Plan’s 15th anniversary in the country.

The recent national census also highlights Plan’s major role in children’s development there: Bafata and Gabu, the 2 areas where Plan works, were ranked 1st and 2nd respectively out of all 9 regions in the country for access to basic services, such as schools and health facilities. Yet in 1995 when Plan started work in Guinea-Bissau, they were the worst.

Transforming communities

Cherno, a member of a Plan partner community at the event, said to the audience: “My community has changed now, more children go to school, and our medical needs are taken care of, the community is cleaner, there is less conflict, our children attend and participate in the community meetings and help us solve some problems…”

At the closing ceremony, children and adults enjoyed the celebrations and the great atmosphere. At the entrance, there was an art exhibition of paintings and photographs done by the children about their rights. The children’s choir also gave an outstanding performance.

Valuable contribution

At the end of the event, the Children’s Foundation (Fundação o Ninho da Criança) lead by First Lady Mariama Mane Sanha awarded Plan Guinea-Bissau and UNICEF a Diploma of Merit for their valuable contribution for the promotion of child rights and development in Guinea-Bissau.

The 2 weeks of activities included radio programs presented by the children, sporting events and cultural activities such as theater portraying their rights, and were sponsored by Plan Guinea Bissau, UNICEF, the European Commission and the Government of Guinea-Bissau.

Learn more about Plan's work in Guinea-Bissau.