Stories from change-makers in Rwanda

Frederick Illuminée Florence
Plan Volunteer Rwanda Frederick
Frederick didn’t believe girls and boys were equal.
He thought men and women were supposed to do different things, and he didn’t believe that could ever change.

“I thought women were weaker and less knowledgeable and capable than men,” he says. “I believed girls were not worthy of care and love.”

But his outlook changed when he joined a Plan International youth club, where he learned that women, men, girls and boys have the same rights. He realized that women can do the same things as men, and girls can do the same things as boys.

Joining the Plan program also helped Frederick discover his own dreams for his future. He was introduced to drama at the youth club. Now, he wants to become a professional actor.

“Before I joined the club, I didn’t realize I was good at drama,” he says. “The drama classes have helped me develop as a person.

And beyond acting, Frederick wants a family of his own one day, too. He says, “As a father and husband, I will listen to my family, spend time with them and take good care of my wife and children.”
Learn more about our Gender & Youth Equality work
Girls Rights Program Rwanda Illuminee
Until Illuminée was 15, she had never had any kind of sex education.
She had a lot of questions, but she couldn’t bring herself to ask them.

“I couldn’t express my feelings and needs, and didn’t have the courage to ask people I knew about all the things I wondered about,” she says.

And Illuminée wasn’t alone. Many other girls in her community couldn’t access information about sexual and reproductive health either. Without understanding how their bodies work and the consequences of unprotected sex, many of the girls became pregnant.

But things began to change when Plan started a youth club in Illuminée’s community, creating a safe space where children were given a safe space to talk about their experiences, and to learn and grow with each other. Children and young people learned about their rights, and how to protect themselves.

And because of the club, Illuminée found her voice.

“I didn’t know about children’s rights before,” she says. “I thought it was natural that some parents took care of their children and some didn’t. I have now learned that all children are equally important, and that I am important. I have no fears any longer when it comes to asking questions or expressing myself.”
Learn more about our Maternal & Child Health work
Sponsor Child In Rwanda Florence
In the small community where Florence lives, menstrual health is a taboo subject.
“Some parents can afford to buy menstrual pads for their daughters but refuse to do so,” Florence says. “Girls often have to go to school with no pads during their periods and feel very ashamed. Some girls even quit school because of this.”

But after joining a children’s rights program with Plan, Florence and other girls like her learned about their health, and how to manage their periods.

“I didn’t know anything about my body and how it develops before I joined the youth club at my school,” she says. “I have learned a lot now, about periods and health issues, and how to look after myself.”

And Florence passes on everything she has learned from Plan on to other girls. Her dream is that, one day, every child will have access to information about their health, and their rights.
Learn more about our Maternal & Child Health work

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Rwanda since 2007.

Our work in Rwanda

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Office & operations

Plan Rwanda’s country office is located in Kigali, with program unit offices in Bugesera and Gatsibo in the Eastern Province and Nyaruguru in the Southern Province.

Technical areas

Education, protection, health, disaster response and preparedness

Number of sponsored children

As of June 2022, people like you sponsor 25,342 children in Rwanda.

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.

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

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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

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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