Adolescence is a very key time of important transitions. However, these will often go wrong for many young girls in developing countries in Africa. There are 500 million adolescent girls in the developing world and these young women are likely to drop out of school before they reach secondary level. They are also likely to receive a poor quality education or to be forced into an early marriage while they are still children. They are also likely to be exposed to violence, HIV infection and abuse. These young women suffer from complications that are related to early motherhood as well as high material mortality, danger of death in childbirth and other health complications.
|Photo credit: Plan UK|
The ‘Building Skills for Life’ program that has been developed by Plan UK will help girls in four major important areas. The first area is education – the program will help girls to enrol and stay in school so that they can learn to read and write and to acquire other skills that will help them in their future. The skills for life also include information about sexual and reproductive health. Many health problems occur in developing countries because young women are not educated about how to take care of their own reproductive health and they have nowhere to go when they need advice or treatment. The goal of Plan UK is to education young women about their reproductive health and rights so that they can have access to good quality health care and advice.
The ‘Building Skills for Life’ initiative also tackles attitudes toward all forms of violence against girls, with the aim of protecting these young women from any danger of violence that they might be in. The work of Plan UK also tackles the issue of household poverty and lack of economic security. This is a problem that has become a stumbling block that is preventing girls from being able to access healthcare and schools. This program supports families in their access to resources so that they can increase their income, such as government cash transfer schemes.
Putting the Plan Into Action
With these goals in mind, Plan UK is devoted to making sure those boys and girls are given the skills that they need to be able to make good decisions in their lives and improve their communities. The project has already begun in Togo and it is improving life for girls in rural areas by providing equipment to their schools as well as support for families and teacher training.
To find out more about how you can support this initiative by sponsoring a child or signing petitions, visit the Plan UK website today.