How Your Support is Helping Girls During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By supporting Plan International UK, your business can help us continue our work to help every child reach their potential, including reaching children during times of crisis. Since launching our children’s emergency appeal, the incredible support we’ve received has enabled our teams to reach children with food, hygiene kits, learning materials and essential information, to help them cope with the crisis and stop the spread of the virus.
Zobaira, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Zobaira is 11 and lives in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp. Her family sleep in two bedrooms and share mosquito nets at bed time. In the rainy season, water enters the house and soaks the floor.
Through our emergency response, we were able to deliver vital hygiene awareness sessions in the camp, as well as ensuring water, hygiene and sanitation facilities are operational. We also delivered essential hygiene kits to some of the most vulnerable households.
“I heard about coronavirus and I learnt how to protect myself through awareness sessions in the camp,” Zobaira explains. “I wash my hands with soap before eating, and touching my face.”
12 year old Yollanda was out of school during lockdown in Harare, Zimbabwe. “The lockdown has affected me because I am no longer going to school, where I was learning how to read and write.”
Before the coronavirus crisis, Yollanda had been accepted on one of our accelerated learning programmes. She’d never been able to go to school before, because her parents were unable to pay the fees. But when coronavirus started to spread across the country, the learning centres were closed.
To prevent children falling too far behind we had to move quickly, adapting the programme and training our community educators to support the girls with their studies through phone calls, text messages and WhatsApp, as well as sharing information about the virus and prevention.
11 year old Tatiana, from Los Ríos province in Ecuador, had been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “This terrible situation has affected us a lot. I feel very sad that I can’t go out to play with my friends and brother, and that I can’t visit or see my family."
“I want to tell boys and girls to have faith. Soon our life will return to normal, and we can all be together again and happy.”
In autumn 2020, we delivered food and hygiene kits to 33,125 people, including members of Tatiana’s community. Through our emergency response we also worked on strengthening mechanisms to prevent violence against girls.
Using social networks and the media, including over 40 community radio stations, we reached over 250,000 people with key protection messages.
With your help, we’re committed to continuing our response in the world’s most vulnerable communities as the crisis continues. Thank you for your support.
Period Emoji Announcement
Back in 2017, we ran a survey in the UK that revealed just how much shame and stigma surrounds girls’ and women’s experiences of menstruation. Overwhelmingly, 54,600 people showed their support and voted on a period emoji design which we submitted to the Unicode Consortium.
Finally on 6th February 2019, we were thrilled announced the first ever period emoji has been approved. The emoji hit keyboards in March 2019.
This is a fantastic step in creating a change in the conversation around menstruation, and showing that periods are normal. Together we will end the silence and stigma around periods, that create a real barrier to education for menstruators.