Stories from change-makers in Guinea

N’Mahawa and Teninké Mariame Ibrahima
Girls In Mechanics Program In Guinea
There are two mechanics regarded by their customers as some of the best car technicians in Guinea.
Both were trained at a vocational center supported by Plan International. Both are passionate about their chosen career. And both happen to be women. Together, they’re showing girls that they can follow their dreams — while changing the minds of men in their community.
Read their story
Leader In Guinea Stopping FGM
Mariame was cut when she was 15.
Years later, she still lives with the consequences.

With the second highest rate of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the world, around 96% of women and adolescent girls in Guinea are cut. Although banned in 2000, this harmful and sometimes fatal practice continues due to extreme societal pressure.

Girls face numerous health complications, ranging from severe pain and difficulty urinating to excessive bleeding, infections and even death. There are also long-term consequences for their sexual, reproductive and mental health.

"FGM has left me almost disabled," Mariame says. "I am a victim of this practice. I still experience pain and continue to endure it to this day.”

To help end FGM in Guinea, Plan International and local partners are raising awareness of the dangers of this harmful practice, involving the whole community in training sessions on gender equality and sexual and reproductive health rights. Once aware of the negative health effects, we encourage communities to abandon the practice. We also provide support to women and girls who suffered complications as a result of being cut.

Through the project, Mariame has become a leading figure in our awareness raising sessions. "Initially in this village, it was not allowed to promote the abandonment of FGM, but given what I have experienced, when I learned of the arrival of Plan International to fight against this practice, I was the first to welcome them and to encourage parents to attend the awareness raising sessions. Because the consequences are enormous, the only child I had was by caesarean section, as I couldn’t give birth on my own.”

In Mariame’s community, the number of girls who have not been cut is now higher than the number of girls who have undergone FGM. “Today in our village, I can assure you that the practice of female genital mutilation is a bad memory, because even my own parents who encouraged the practice regret it today. We all agree that we can educate our daughters without cutting them … We have to let our young sisters grow up safely."
Read more about how we protect girls
Guinea Man Speaking For Girls Rights
Ibrahima started to question traditional gender norms after seeing that his cousin, a girl, was not allowed to go to school.
“We used to say, ’school is for boys, girls have to do household chores,’ and this shocked me," Ibrahima says.

When he was 14, Ibrahima joined the Consultative Council of Children and Youth in his community. Supported by Plan, the council facilitates discussions on gender-based violence and educational talks on the social responsibility of young people.

"Boys have a role to play in ending violence against women," Ibrahima says. " I refuse to accept that this discrimination still persists and that is why I have been engaged in this noble fight since I was young.”

Ibrahima knows there is a long way to go, but he has seen some progress in his community, and it motivates him to keep fighting. "My two brothers and sisters have received the same education as me, and we are convinced that the fight for girls’ rights is fair. In order to succeed in this fight, we must all act together and all be concerned."
Meet more young people advocating for change

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Guinea since 1989.

:03 (OPENING SLATE) MEET YAYA , A PLAN INTERNATIONAL SPONSORED CHILD FROM GUINEA WHERE YOUR SPONSORED CHILD LIVES. WE GAVE HIM A CAMERA TO SHOW US A DAY IN HIS LIFE. <br /> :10 My name is Yaya and I’m 10 years old. <br /> :12 This is my family. My mother, my younger sisters and my older brother. <br /> :18 This is our house. <br /> :21 This is my bedroom. <br /> :23 When I wake up in the morning, I wash my face and brush my teeth. <br /> :27 And then I help my sisters fetch water. <br /> :31 I’m living with my grandfather. My mom brought me here, so I can be closer to school. <br /> :41 This is my school. <br /> :44 These are my best friends. <br /> :46 I like school, because I get to learn about many things. <br /> :50 My favourite subject at school is Math. <br /> :52 There are many sponsored children in my community. <br /> :56 Plan International has built a school for us and this has been a positive change. <br /> 1:02 But, I have three close friends that are not in school. <br /> 1:06 They don’t have birth certificates, so they are not allowed to go to school. <br /> 1:09 It’s very sad that children my age can’t go to school. <br /> 1:12 (TEXT) TAMBA MICHEL KAMANO SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR <br /> 1:12 In Guinea, 43% of children don’t have birth certificates. <br /> 1:21 To improve the situation, Plan International works closely with civil registrars, <br /> 1:30 and enforces birth registration when children are born. <br /> 1:38 Here is where I write letters to my sponsor. My brother is helping me today. <br /> 1:43 I like writing letters to my sponsor and getting to know them better. <br /> 1:49 With my sponsor, I share what my life is like here. <br /> 1:54 I want to grow up to be a teacher, because it’s a great profession. <br /> 2:00 One. Two. Three. <br /> 2:06 Bye bye.

Our work in Guinea

Youth Activist In Guinea
Office & operations

Plan Guinea’s project offices are located in Conakry, Littoral, Guéckédou, Kissidougou, Macenta and Nzérékoré.

Technical areas

Plan Guinea focuses on the following program areas: education, health, gender equality, youth economic empowerment and humanitarian response.

Number of sponsored children

As of June 30, 2022, people like you sponsor 24,298 children in Guinea through Plan International.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

Birthday icon

Send them birthday gifts and cards.

Little Treasures icon

Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

Sunny Days icon

Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

Travel icon

Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor