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August 7, 2014

Client of the Month - Plan UK

Plan UK are chosen as the Charity People Client of the Month for August.

Today we're launching our new Client of the Month 'award'. It's just a simple thing but we want to thank our clients for their valued custom (in the shape of donuts and cake) and also to raise awareness of the inspirational work and campaigns that they deliver everyday. The incredible difference our clients make is what gets us out of bed every morning and we want to celebrate that.

For August we've chosen the International children's charity Plan UK. We've been working with Plan for almost twenty years and are very much inspired by the incredible work they've done in helping millions of children move from a life of poverty to a future of opportunity over the last 77 years.

More specifically we want to highlight their Because I am a Girl campaign. Because I am a Girl, which was founded in 2007, is Plan's flagship global campaign, and the biggest girls? rights campaign in the world. Through the campaign Plan has already helped 58 million girls. By 2016 they aim to support hundreds of millions more so that they will be free from violence and can get the education, skills and support they need to become powerful forces for change in their communities.

Across the globe girls' rights are threatened by poverty, gender inequality, violence - including FGM and child marriage - poor education, unfair policies, ingrained attitudes, conflict and disasters. Protecting the rights of adolescent girls, keeping them safe from harm, giving them access to a quality education and delaying marriage or childbirth means they can break the cycle of poverty to look forward to a brighter future.

Because I am a Girl - Case study: Christiana

Eradicating female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone

At the age of 16 Christiana was forced to marry a man older than her father and to take part in a secret FGM ceremony to 'initiate her' into womanhood.

'All the women in our family have been initiated. They were preparing me for marriage. The man who wanted to marry me told my family to initiate me into the secret society. I was not pleased about that because my granny, who raised me, was not around. When we went there I was so afraid. I almost fainted in the process. It was really painful, that was why I was so afraid.'

Christiana was abandoned by her parents during the war and then passed between relatives who failed to offer her support or stability at home. As an abandoned child, on the streets at 14/15, she dropped out of school and began selling food on the street in order to survive. She then attracted the attention of a much older man who offered her a way off the street by proposing marriage. She didn't want to marry him, but her relatives pressured her until she agreed. He was violent towards her and eventually beat her so badly a cousin came and rescued her.

Christiana is now a member of Plan's Girls Power Group in her village in Moyamba District in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone and was recently voted its president.

Plan believes FGM is a form of violence against women and girls and an abuse of human rights.

FGM directly relates to traditions of unequal power between women and men, and is socially acceptable in communities where it is used to enforce discrimination and ensure the compliance of women and girls.

Plan aims to change that by supporting community leaders and governments in creating societies where inequality is eradicated and the human rights of women and girls are respected and celebrated. By working directly with the people who matter and who can make a difference, Plan is raising awareness and supporting change from within: from those in the community, such as young people, community leaders, FGM practitioners and the media, to heads of governments.

Plan push to ensure they enforce international human rights agreements and support them to develop/enforce their own laws against FGM. They also work with NGOs, children's groups, women's human rights organisations, etc. to support them in building networks for social change, as well as the public to raise awareness of and funding to end FGM.

                                   

Want to get involved or find out more?

You can join Plan's Because I am a Girl campaign and support the Girls Fund at http://www.plan-uk.org/because-i-am-a-girl/  or on Twitter @planuk

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