external image fosterparentsplan.gif

History

Plan, formerly known as Plan International and Foster Parents Plan in Canada, was founded in 1937 in Spain. John-Langdon Davies wanted to help children who were orphaned during the Spanish Civil War. Within a few years, his organization spread to many more European countries. After World War II it continued to help children in developing countries and Plan’s growth continues today.

Goals

As stated on their website: “Plan’s vision is of a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity.”

Plan strives to provide children with education, health care, safe water, basic sanitation, as well as economic security for their families. Through child sponsorship, Plan supports children, their families, and their communities so they are able to be more self sufficient. They give people skills so they can take care of themselves and teach them about health and will assist with medical costs and education costs where needed. They train local people to be the liaison between Plan and the community and in this way they foster a sense of community pride cohesiveness.


Where in the World

Plan assists in countries where the need for support is greatest. The 44 countries they assist are:

Americas

Bolivia
Brazil
Colombia
Dominican Rep.
Ecuador
El Salvador
Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Nicaragua
Paraguay
Peru

Africa

Benin
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Egypt
Ethiopia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Liberia
Malawi
Mali
Mozambique
Niger
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Sudan
Tanzania
Togo
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Asia

Bangladesh
Cambodia
China
India
Indonesia
Laos
Nepal
Pakistan
Philippines
Sri Lanka
Thailand
Timor Leste
Vietnam


Success Stories

Plan runs several special projects. At the moment there is obviously a great need in Haiti because of the devastation in the aftermath of the earthquake. They were already working in Haiti and have been for many years but are now encouraging more people to sponsor a child from this country or to make a financial donation. Another program they run is to raise awareness about child nutrition and maternal health in Guinea-Bissau. Malnutrition affects one out of four pregnant women and young children. Plan teaches them about diet and provides food through health centres. Plan has joined with The World Food Programme who will donate twice the amount that is donated to this program through Plan.

landrise.jpg


I know firsthand the difference Plan makes in the life of a child. Since 2002 my family has sponsored a beautiful Haitian girl named Landrise. There have been many changes in her community during this time. Plan has helped to finance the building of schools in the area. Local materials and labor are always used. Plan families receive assistance with school fees and because of this Landrise has been able to stay in school. She learned to read and reading became one of her favourite pastimes. The overall health of the community improved tremendously when many latrines were built. Previously, the community had been using an open field or public area. Children’s clubs have also been established. Children are taught about reproductive health, basic business skills, leadership skills, and child rights.


Project of Focus

Plan has recently launched a new project called “Because I am a Girl”. This project is specifically focused on improving the lives of girls through equal opportunities such as education and health care. It is vitally important because female children are valued the least in society. Girls aren’t offered as much education, food, healthcare, or respect. It has been shown that women reinvest 90% of their earnings into their family, while men reinvest 30-40%. If female children are given opportunities for a better future for themselves, they will benefit the whole community.


Project Product


Plan_Girl.jpegBecause I am A Girl

Invest In Me










Fun Facts

In Bangladesh, Plan installed a seesaw at a school that actually doubles as a water pump allowing children to have fun and provide clean water for their community.

Plan has already managed to get a number of schools back up and running in Haiti. In areas where schools are not yet safe they are setting up temporary classrooms.

Do an online crossword puzzle and test your knowledge of child rights. online crossword puzzle

One of the main reasons I chose this organization is the fact that they have no religious bias and are committed to helping all children and families in need. Also, my family has been a Plan foster family for eight years and we have seen the difference they make. Plan also has one of the lowest operating costs of any charity. 78.9% of funds raised goes directly towards programs.



Sources

http://plancanada.ca/
http://en.ihaveavoice.eu/index.php
www.becauseiamagirl.ca