Toni Garrn Establishes New Foundation

May 10, 2016

HAMBURG - Toni Garrn will increase her support for girls’ education in developing countries. Ms. Garrn, a global ambassador for the Because I am a Girl campaign, will start a project in May to improve educational opportunities for girls in Zimbabwe. Child-centered development organization Plan International launched Because I am a Girl in 2012 to support millions of girls in getting the education, skills, and support they need to move from poverty to a future of opportunity.

This year, Toni Garrn established the Toni Garrn Foundation with Plan, which will mainly support projects to empower girls in the developing world.

“Girls throughout the world should be able to make decisions about their own lives. If they have the opportunity to attend school, they will become independent and strong. This is what I saw first-hand during my journeys with Plan. For this reason, girls are in the center of my relief projects, which I will also promote through my own foundation,” says Toni Garrn.

Girls often drop out from school early because of early or forced marriage or they get pregnant at a young age. The project “Educational Opportunities for Girls in Zimbabwe” aims to improve access to education for young women in the region of Chipinge and help them access their rights. After visiting the region last year, Ms. Garrn, together with Plan International, developed the project which she now aims to completely fund through her foundation. Toni says, “A big problem is that the way to school is extremely long. Many children must walk more than 9 miles. This is very dangerous especially for girls because they often become victims of violence and abuse on their way to school.”

To address the unique challenges that these girls face in getting to and staying in school, the project will fund the construction of a girls-only dormitory. In addition, gender-separated toilets and new classrooms will be established. Parents, teachers, and community members will be sensitized around the importance of education for girls.

Since 2014, Toni Garrn has been an ambassador for Plan’s global Because I am a Girl campaign, which champions girls’ rights around the world. The new Toni Garrn Foundation is managed by the Foundation Centre of Plan International and will mainly support Plan projects.

“By establishing the foundation, Toni Garrn has created a sustainable basis for her commitment. As a Because I am a Girl ambassador and as a founder, Toni Garrn supports Plan’s projects in the long term,” says Dr. Werner Bauch, Chairman of the Board of Plan International Germany. Plan’s Foundation Centre is currently taking care of 218 trust foundations.

For further information about Toni Garrn’s commitment, see:

About Plan International Germany

Plan International Germany has been awarded several prizes for its transparency in fundraising. In 2012, the child-focused organization twice reached first position: in the transparency award of PwC and in an analysis of the economy magazine Capital. Plan, one of the world's oldest independent child-focused organizations, is working in 51 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America and finances sustainable self-help projects by means of sponsorship, donations, public funds and corporatepartnerships. Through the "Because I am a Girl campaign, Plan is strengthening the rights of girls. As a result, the UNO recognized the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11th. Plan International Germany has been conferred the donation seal of the German Central Institute for Social Affairs (DZI). Due to its commitment, Plan was awarded the Walter-Scheel-Preis of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2011. The Plan Foundation Centre offers the opportunity to sustainably support children by establishing an own foundation, making a donation or supporting a project. In 2014, the foundation was awarded the quality seal for good trust foundation management by the Federal Association. For more information, see:

About Plan International USA

Plan International USA, part of the Plan International Federation, is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit