Creating My Future: Flexible Education and Economic Empowerment


Helping adolescents and young people outside the school system in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala.

Plan International USA’s Creating My Future project, with generous financial support from Comic Relief US, is helping Indigenous girls in Guatemala graduate from high school and learn the life skills they need to start their careers.

In rural Guatemala, educational opportunities for girls are extremely limited. Underserved communities in the country are grappling with extreme poverty, leaving children without the freedom to pursue an education. Instead, they’re forced to find work to care for their families. Girls in rural Guatemala are also exposed to greater educational discrimination than boys, gender-based violence, child and early marriage, and unwanted pregnancy — issues that can drive them to drop out of school at a young age.


What are we doing?

With generous support from Comic Relief US, Plan is working in rural Guatemala with girls ages 15 to 18 to create inclusive, formal educational opportunities as they work toward high school graduation and gain the education necessary to land dignified jobs. We also work with children and young people to develop life skills, with an emphasis on gender equality, leadership, civic participation, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender-based violence prevention.

Project activities include:

  • Strengthening access to technology for children and young people in school.
  • Designing flexible, online learning curriculums for students who’ve withdrawn from the official education system and want to continue studying.
  • Providing life skills trainings for students, including employability and entrepreneurship.
  • Providing family and community trainings on gender equality and the importance of supporting girls’ education.

With continued support from Comic Relief US, phase two of Creating My Future will make it possible for more girls who are at risk of violence to continue their education. Plan will also respond to the immediate needs of Indigenous young people’s education and employment in rural Guatemala.

Meet a program participant, Leidy

Leidy is a 16-year-old girl in Guatemala, the youngest of four children in her family. Her father abandoned her family years ago, and her mother tries to make ends meet by selling tortillas and tamales to their community. The house they live in is too small for a family of five — the walls are still under construction, with rusted wood and concrete exposed, and the tin roof makes their nights darker and hotter than they should be.

Leidy’s situation has extremely limited her ability to continue her education. But thanks to Plan and Comic Relief US’ support, she received a scholarship and can now attend school every day.

“By receiving the scholarship, I was able to buy a pair of shoes, a new uniform and pay my school fees,” Leidy says. “I am very grateful — for my family, this kind of support is priceless.”

Leidy is one of the top students in her class and a leading member of the student body.

“My dream is to become an elementary school teacher and continue my studies to get a degree and become a lawyer,” she says. “I like being part of the [Plan] trainings, the more diverse the better. In each workshop, we exchange principles and guidelines that help us protect ourselves and assert our rights as girls and, especially, as women.”

Leidy’s mother adds, “Plan International’s support for my daughter has been huge. It gives her other opportunities to study more and in [safer] places. I see a lot of happiness and hope in her now. She is getting ahead in life. Her future will be better, with new horizons.”



children and young people now have access to formal education.
students have learned about issues around gender inequality.
students have completed their first stage of the project and received certification.

More about our work in Guatemala

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Project: Connection to Success

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A close-up of a person sewing a beautiful piece.

Gender financing in Guatemala: Mapping funding to improve gender equality

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Young person looking at a presentation and speaking into a microphone.

This young activist is ending child marriage in Guatemala

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Plan International USA

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