Plan International USA (Plan) announced a $12 million gift that will support the launch of innovative programs to transform the lives of 10 million girls around the globe. This is the largest private gift to Plan to date. The gift, received in the form of a bequest from an anonymous donor, will help fund a series of programs centered around Plan’s new programmatic model, GirlEngage.
“Throughout Plan’s 80 year history, generous donors have always responded to children in need,” says Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA. “We are proud to honor the memory of this philanthropist who wished to remain anonymous by relentlessly working to improve the lives of children, and investing in true partnerships with girls so they can take the lead in building their communities and their future.”
In the United States and across the globe, girls are seeking safety, equality in education, and economic opportunity. When girls are educated, they tend to be healthier, earn higher incomes, marry at a later age, and have fewer children. However, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), more than 130 million girls around the world are not in school.
GirlEngage builds upon Plan’s unique program approach that places girls, their priorities, and their needs at the leading edge of designing solutions to their most pressing issues. The model combines Plan’s expertise in program development with the input of girls who are directly impacted by the organization’s programs.
The new GirlEngage programs will challenge social and gender norms, and build better, more resilient futures for young women. The programs will send more girls back to school to learn and thrive, and will keep them safe in their own cities and from perils of trafficking.
“Too often, being young and female means being marginalized, exploited and excluded from opportunity,” continues Dr. San Martin. “Our strategy to transform the lives of 10 million girls is ambitious. However, our eight decades of experience in 70 countries arms us with the right tools to achieve this goal. Our supporters’ trust and generosity give us even more leverage to tackle barriers and engage children and girls in shaping their future.”
From 2012 to 2018, Plan’s historic Because I Am A Girl Campaign helped millions of girls access their rights to education, health, freedom from early marriage, discrimination and economic empowerment through varying programs, such as Champions of Change, Safer Cities for Girls, Action Against Child Trafficking, and more. This generous gift will be used to deepen, scale, and replicate Plan’s work to engage girls and their communities and to develop new programs that will help them be protected, safe, educated, and economically empowered, in order to be full participants in their communities, economies and in the world.