2022 Annual Report | DIGEST

This is the 2022 Annual Report | DIGEST edition from Plan International Canada

2022 Annual report | DIGEST


Discover how Tanyaradzwa’s determined optimism helped her persevere (page 32).

Standing Strong in a world in turmoil, we persevered in 2022.

CLASS IN SESSION Helping ensure that children can access their right to get an education is one of Plan International’s key goals. In Cambodia, we’re increasing the number of students who complete primary school by offering scholarships. We’re also helping equip schools and provide additional training for teachers. See page 12 for more of our education-related projects worldwide.


DIG DEEPER Click on images when you see the arrow or links to read reports or watch videos. Click this image to access the full 96-page Annual Report


NEWS FEED How adolescents in Bolivia are rising up

Up Front Plan International’s global impact Plan International Canada’s impact A letter from CEO Lindsay Glassco A letter from board chair Patsy Anderson THIS IS US Plan International Canada

COVER STORY I PHOTO ESSAY Tanyaradzwa’s determination to overcome daunting challenges shows how the power of perseverance can shape one’s own life 32 5/ Humanitarian Response & Resilience 36


4 6 8 9

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT SHOW and Tell: Strengthening Health Outcomes for Women 22 3/ Protection From Violence 24 26 SPOTLIGHT Because I am a Girl update 26 IMPACT SPOTLIGHT NEWS FEED How Plan International is working with transgender activists in El Salvador to protect their rights


SPOTLIGHT How our education-in- emergencies program in Kenya and Nigeria is helping girls stay in school

1/ Education 12 SPOTLIGHT Girls in Benin and Cameroon get a second chance to study 14 NEWS FEED Why girls in Mali are missing out on school 14 STORIES OF CHANGE From setbacks to backpacks in Burkina Faso 15 REPORT CARD The Safer Schools in Burkina Faso project 15 2/ Health 16 STORIES OF CHANGE Ambulance services for moms in need in Mozambique 18


SPOTLIGHT The top 10 hunger hot spots in the world NEWS FEED Our policy and advocacy efforts go global


How Adaya avoided a forced child marriage in Bangladesh



SPOTLIGHT How minds are shifting about child marriage in Ethiopia

Financials & Supporters How donations reach communities Revenue and expenditures Our supporters and champions EVENTS SPOTLIGHT We gather virtually and in person to celebrate and express our thanks


38 39 40

4/ Youth Leadership & Economic Empowerment 28 PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT Riti, a Girls Belong Here participant, breaks out of her comfort zone 30 SPOTLIGHT Meet one young activist who is changing the world 30

PHOTO ESSAY Fathers and daughters in Zimbabwe talk about taboo subjects

41 42


Legacy donors

FEATURE Our new door-to-door mosquito-net-delivery strategy is saving lives in Zimbabwe SPOTLIGHT Mini WASH cycle in Cambodia

SPOTLIGHT How SWEET it is! Women in Egypt develop their entrepreneurial skills in the carpet industry NEWS FEED Queen Mothers in Ghana

IN HIS OWN WORDS This is what happens when two optimists meet


31 31

43 43

Institutional partners


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Plan International’s Global Impact in 2022

Plan International’s work reached 52 children , , including 27.7 MILLION GIRLS

5.9 MILLION GIRLS received better access to education

. 2 million


27.7 MILLION CHILDREN AND ADULTS received early-childhood-care-and- development (ECCD) classes or training




19.6 million children and adults received inclusive quality education

33.3 million children and adults received training in sexual and reproductive health rights

1 MILLION SPONSORS supported 1.3 million children in 16,979 COMMUNITIES around the world

Meet nine-year-old January from Tanzania. He’s one of the 1.3 million sponsored children. “One day, I’m going to be a pilot and travel the world,” he says. Most boys, however, end up in the mines that contaminate the drinking water that makes people ill. Today, says January,

Arkenzy, who lives in Indonesia, is one of the millions of teens who can now talk about subjects that were once considered taboo, like menstrual and sexual health, child marriage and gender-based violence. She’s a peer educator in our Let’s Talk program, an

Here are a few of those millions of children who attended one of our early-childhood-care-and- development (ECCD) classes. These little girls are celebrating their graduation from our ECCD centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Learn more about our education programs on page 12.


information-sharing forum created and supported by Plan International. “I take better care of my body now,” she says. Learn more about our health programs on page 16.

people drink safe water from a borehole system that Plan International built in his community. Learn about another water-related project, in Cambodia, on page 21.


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“We do fairy-tale therapy, drawing and singing. Singing is especially useful because children can detach themselves from where they are and what they have gone through.” – Maria, a psychologist in our Moldovan mobile unit

479,792 COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS AND 87,261 STAFF in partner organizations and institutions were trained in child protection




21 million children and adults were reached through gender-sensitive child-protection programs

6.7 million children and adults gained skills and had opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship

28.7 million children and adults , including 7.9 MILLION GIRLS , were helped through our work with communities experiencing crises

Karelys, 8, participates in Plan International’s Safe Routes (Rumbos Seguros) project in Tumbes, Peru. Its goal is to ensure the safety and integration of Venezuelan

In Moldova, Plan International is working with the National Centre for Preventing Child Abuse to provide child protection and psychosocial support. Maria, a psychologist in

For young people in Guinea, finding decent work isn’t easy. Like many countries in Africa, it has a young population, with 75% of its 13 million citizens under age 35. In a society in which age commands respect, Guinean youth struggle to access quality education and find employment. Plan International set up a youth-employment project to address this issue. Youssouf, 21, dropped out of school early but is now apprenticing in a boilermaker’s workshop. Learn more about our youth-leadership and economic-empowerment programs on page 28.

migrants living in Peru. The project focuses on protecting children, adolescents and families from violence, abuse and exploitation. We strengthen child-protection structures and respond to child-protection incidents. Learn more about our protection-from-violence programs on page 24.

our mobile unit, works with children like Milana, above. Maria fled Ukraine, so she understands what it’s like when conflict uproots your life. Learn more about our humanitarian-response and resilience programs on page 36.

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Plan International canada’s Impact in 2022

We received $274 MILLION from 17 INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS and 200,447 SUPPORTERS to fund our work 102,101 GIFTS OF HOPE were purchased by ethical gift givers for a total of $7.2 MILLION

1.3 MILLION CHILDREN , ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS received health care and education

382,996 CHILDREN AND ADULTS received food support




Plan International Canada’s work reached

140 , 965 children were supported by 98,417 SPONSORS in Canada


including 6.2 MILLION CHILDREN , received life-saving services from our programs with The Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria

What do you want your legacy to be? At 27, Beverly Marchand has already made a difference for future generations with a gift in

Mary Di, who became part of the Child Sponsorship program in Cambodia when she was four, shares in her video how other Plan International programs are helping educate young people in her community about sexual health and teaching them job skills, like sewing, so they can be financially independent before they marry. “When I grow up, I want to be like my father, who is a policeman, so I, too, can protect our community,” she says.

As part of the Eradicate TB & HIV project in Guinea, boys and girls participate in Champions of Change Clubs to learn how to fight against gender- based violence and about gender

her will to Plan International Canada. “A legacy gift allows you to make that extra contribution, and for me it’s a way to make sure that what I started when I was alive is still echoing in the universe afterwards,” says the PhD student from Sainte-Catherine, Quebec. Learn about other Plan International Canada legacy supporters like Beverly on page 42.

equality and girls’ rights in the context of eliminating these diseases. The project, which was developed in partnership with The Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria, also receives matched funds from Canadian supporters. Learn more about our health programs on page 16.




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15,393 CHILDREN AND ADULTS were helped through economic-empowerment initiatives 11,977 YOUTHS IN CANADA participated in broad-scale knowledge building through Power Within clubs and online programming

581,627 PEOPLE were reached by our COVID-19 response

$1.48 MILLION was provided to refugees from Ukraine in the first four months of the crisis





496 , 967 children , including 252,611 GIRLS , accessed education

129 , 661 children were protected from harm, including abuse and exploitation

in Canada participated in youth-engagement initiatives

were reached by Plan International Canada’s disaster-relief work

“If the world doesn’t pay attention, 811 million people struggling to find food in the world’s hungriest

A good teacher changes lives. But if you’re one of the 8,000 teachers living in Ghana’s most marginalized and hard-to-reach communities, it’s difficult to attend professional training workshops. The Train for Tomorrow project is an interactive distance- learning program led by expert trainers and funded with a grant from Dubai Cares. Learn more about our education programs on page 12.

Kassandra participates in our $11.5 million She Decides project in Peru. She joined our Political Advocacy and Governance program and launched Activate, a youth-led group that raises awareness about girls’ rights. Her goal is to become a doctor so she will be able to help survivors of gender-based violence. Learn more about our protection-from- violence programs on page 24.

“Menstrual health is a human right. Women shouldn’t feel like it’s a curse to be a woman due to their periods.” – Ila, a youth ambassador at the Storytellers Symposium

places will become a forgotten statistic,” declares Stephen Omollo, our new Plan International CEO. Learn more on page 36. $94 , 729 was raised during the first week of the hunger crisis campaign

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Determination and optimism We have more than 20 million reasons to celebrate, plus a new strategy to increase our impact, says CEO Lindsay Glassco.

of Fame. I’m grateful for the efforts of everyone at Plan International Canada in creating a strong culture, the true foundation for growth, innovation and sustainability. This year we also enhanced our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, completed a digital transformation and established PlanCatalyst, a for-profit subsidiary that creates partnerships and revenue-generation models that build impact. GOVERNANCE, GRACE AND GRIT I want to offer my deepest thanks to Patsy Anderson. After seven years on our board of directors, she is handing over the role of chair to the Honourable Rona Ambrose. Patsy is a true champion of our mission to make the world an equal place for all children. We are thrilled to welcome Rona, who brings with her a wealth of experience. Thanks, as well, to our board of directors and to our generous and loyal supporters for joining us on this journey to create a world in which children’s rights are respected and there is equality for girls.

IMPACT AND SCALE “We are happier, there is more love in the household and I have much stronger relationships with my children and wife.” This personal reflection, shared by *Moussa, was a standout moment for me in Senegal last year, when I visited our programs with the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s minister of international development. Moussa participated in a Fathers Club, a Plan International program that is sensitizing men to their wives’ health needs and the importance of their participation in household chores. It was also wonderful to hear from Senegal’s minister of health that this program has been integrated into the health system nationally. It’s a sign of the sustainability of Plan International’s work. MILESTONE MOMENTS This year, we also successfully completed our five-year strategy 20 Million Reasons and approved our next five-year strategy, All Girls Standing Strong. Over the past five years, even through pandemic-related challenges, we persevered and achieved significant results: We reached 31 million children and raised $1.23 billion. FUTURE-PROOFING In March, we became the first NGO to be inducted into the Waterstone Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture Hall

STANDING STRONG In Senegal, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan (pictured above) and I met youth advocate Khadyja Sy. We spoke about how hard-won gains in gender equity are now in jeopardy because of the pandemic and other factors. After the trip, we wrote a joint op-ed about this issue. There’s great joy in seeing youth have such a powerful impact. You can read about the $72 million Strengthening Health Outcomes for Women project in Senegal on page 22. Senegal was one of the five countries included in this project, our largest one to date. THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT We’ve created our most comprehensive Annual Report ever. It showcases our impact-related storytelling and areas of expertise. You can read the full version (96 pages) or this digest version at plancanada.ca/AnnualReport .

Lindsay Glassco President & Chief Executive Officer Plan International Canada


*This is a pseudonym.


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Transitions and Transformations After seven years with Plan International Canada, board chair Patsy Anderson reflects on her experiences and hopes for the future.

meet Thembinkosi and her father, Kholisani. They attended seminars where they talked about topics that some consider to be taboo, like menstruation. YOUTH VOICES We consult youth when we design programs, and now, for the first time, we have a youth voice on our board. Paula Sahyoun joined this year as a full director. I thank her and all the board members for generously sharing their experience and passion. A special thanks to David Adams, who, like me, is departing this year. He has been an exemplary leader. TRANSITIONS Finally, a successful and energetic board requires term limits and succession planning. What a home run to have the Honourable Rona Ambrose succeed me. Being chair has enriched my life, and I will continue to support Plan International Canada because I love its work. It is meaningful and innovative and leads to sustainable change for millions of children and their families worldwide.

LOYALTY AND GRATITUDE These words come to mind when I think about what we learned as an organization last year – or, indeed, what we learned throughout the pandemic. Our supporters stayed with us during difficult times. It’s moving and inspiring because they chose to use their discretionary dollars to support us. SUSTAINABILITY AND IMPACT Our work is meaningful for children worldwide because when we have completed a program and it’s time to leave a community, we know the children and families will continue to thrive and have been forever changed. I get goosebumps when I recall a conversation I had with a 14-year-old girl during a board trip to visit our programs in El Salvador. She told me that one day she “will be the first female president of El Salvador.” This is the lifelong confidence that participation in one of our programs has inspired in this young woman, and it’s exceptional. INCLUSIVE We are successful because we believe that the whole boat rises when men and boys are part of the change. You can see the power of that approach on page 19 where we

“Paula reminded us that when you teach one child, her circle of friends learns, her family learns, her village learns and her country learns.” – Patsy shares the advice she received from Paula Caldwell St-Onge, who was the Canadian ambassador in Haiti when she and the board visited in 2016.

Patsy Anderson Board Chair Plan International Canada

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This Is Us






United Kingdom










Italy Romania


South Korea

United States









Dominican Republic



Hong Kong


Guinea- Bissau





Guatemala El Salvador

Chad Sudan


Ghana Burkina Faso








South Sudan




Sierra Leone




Papua New Guinea







Central African Republic



Solomon Islands





Zimbabwe Zambia






This is who we are Plan International Canada strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We stand with children, especially girls, wherever they are oppressed, exploited, left behind or not equally valued. We’re determined optimists, and we will continue to persevere until we are all equal.

This is Who we work with We are members of a global organization that partners with families, communities, local organizations, supporters and governments. We collaborate with women-led groups and youth councils in shaping the programs. We work to ensure that children, especially girls, are safe, healthy, educated and empowered.

This is where we work Plan International is active in more than 80 countries (see map above). Founded in 1937, it’s now one of the largest charities in the world.


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This is what we do We strive to create a world where children, especially girls, learn, lead, decide and thrive. We tackle the root causes of gender inequality. We work with local governments and partners to advocate for children and develop programs that support them in their right to get an education and be healthy and protected from violence. We develop children’s leadership skills and their ability to earn a living when they grow up. We’re also there for them when crises strike. And we stay with them to help build a healthy, safe and sustainable life. To achieve these goals, our programs focus on our five priority areas of expertise.

voices to ensure that girls are included in decision making that affects their lives. More on page 24 .

1. EDUCATION We help local education authorities and communities to ensure that children and young adults have access to a quality education. We provide preschool classes as well as vocational and entrepreneurial training and help students catch up if they have been out of school due to conflict or crisis. We’re experts at providing education in emergencies. More on page 12. 2. HEALTH We work with local authorities to strengthen their health care systems. We train community health workers so that they can provide timely, effective and appropriate care to adolescent girls and women. We support reproductive health care services and also help prevent and treat HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, COVID-19 and other illnesses. We help individuals assert their right to access health services and critical care. More on page 16. 3. PROTECTION FROM VIOLENCE We support programs that keep children, especially girls, safe by helping prevent practices such as child, early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other gender-based violence. We amplify girls’


Our programs help youth in Canada (age 14 to 24) deepen their knowledge and develop their advocacy skills around global issues.Internationally, programs like our financial-literacy training and savings and loan groups help build economic empowerment. As with all of our programs, we work with communities and youth-led movements to challenge harmful ideas that prevent gender equality. More on page 28. In emergencies, we provide food and cash vouchers and create safe spaces for children. We deliver education programs, nutritional training and clean water and sanitation. We offer sexual and reproductive health rights services to address increased risks of child marriage, adolescent pregnancy and sexual violence. We also equip communities to protect themselves from economic shocks and increase their resilience to climate change and other challenges. More on page 36. 5. HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE AND RESILIENCE

This is what’s next Plan International has a new five-year strategy – All Girls Standing Strong – to reach 200 million children by 2027. Plan International Canada is committed to reaching 30 million of these children .

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1 OUR EXPERTISE: education G etting an education is the most powerful way for girls to overcome inequality. It’s also one of the most powerful ways to reduce child marriage and, indirectly, early child-bearing. “Even before COVID-19, millions of children worldwide were unable to attend school,” explains Dr. Tanjina Mirza, chief programs officer at Plan International Canada. “Additional factors such as poverty, gender inequality and emergencies like the hunger crisis, earthquakes, floods and conflict 12 2022 Annual Report | DIGEST

10% of our FY22 program expenditures

further prevent girls and boys from accessing this basic right.” A lack of education limits children’s opportunities, and not having a safe place to spend their days leaves them at a heightened risk of disease, abuse and exploitation, child marriage, adolescent pregnancy and more. To break barriers to getting an education, we: Support early-childhood learning and development programs.

Facilitate accelerated-learning programs, where children who have missed periods of schooling are given a chance to catch up and eventually re-enter formal schools. Establish education savings groups and offer teacher training that addresses the needs of girls. Provide skills training so youth can earn a living to support themselves.

ROOMMATES When girls have to walk dangerous and often long distances to get to school, there’s a greater risk they will leave their studies. In Tanzania’s Kibaha district, girls like the ones in this photo live in a dorm built by Plan International. Dorms are part of the Keeping Adolescent Girls in School project. READ THE IMPACT REPORT


SPOTLIGHT Take 2 Girls get a second chance to study.


Patricia with her daughter

Girls in Mali are missing out on school. COVID-19, armed conflict and displacement have created an education crisis. Schools are closed, students are falling behind and youth, especially girls, can’t easily return to their studies after living through such upheaval. That’s why the IMAGINE program in Mali offers alternative learning options so out-of-school children have a greater chance of integrating back into class. Teachers are trained to provide inclusive, psychosocial and conflict-sensitive support. The team also teaches girls that getting an education is their right and a path to a better future. Here are some of the achievements we helped make possible with the support of Global Affairs Canada with matched funds from supporters: 1 , 190 youths participated in home-based learning programs in communities where schools were closed.

The Plan for Girls project in Benin and Cameroon offers hope to girls who have left their studies due to an early pregnancy, gender biases or poverty or because they live too far away from school. The Girls’ Advisory Committee is the backbone of the project, which is funded by Global Affairs Canada with matched funds from Canadian supporters. Seventy-five girls from 60 villages participate in creating Plan for Girls activities. Involving them in the decision making in this manner had not been done before. The committee members, nominated by their peers, develop action plans that include working with authorities on issues related to health, education, violence, employment and gender equality. The goal is to have decision makers listen to and involve adolescent girls so that together they can break the cycle of poverty. Joining the advisory committee in 2022 changed Patricia’s life. After an unplanned pregnancy, she dropped out of school. While she was home with her baby, she was asked to join the committee.

10 , 800 parents in Cameroon attended

She began to participate in activities that raised her awareness about her rights, which include the right to get an education. “I felt confident that I could succeed,” she says, “and that’s what convinced me to go back to school.” Today, Patricia plans to finish her studies and enroll in secretarial training. community sessions and workshops to discuss ways to prioritize girls’ education in 2022.

girls at risk of dropping out of school attended remediation classes to help them continue their studies. out-of-school girls attended accelerated-learning programs to help them re-enter school. teachers at 903 schools were trained to provide inclusive, psychosocial and conflict-sensitive support to students.

10 , 874


2 , 274




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STORIES OF CHANGE From Setbacks to backpacks Latifa is back in class – and she’s taking charge.


For children forced to leave school because of conflict, displacement or poverty, rejoining the classroom is only the first step. The physical and emotional trauma they may have experienced affects their ability to learn. That’s why the Safer Schools in Burkina Faso project (FASST) prioritizes safe, inclusive learning environments. The 4.5-year, $16.1 million project is funded by Global Affairs Canada with matched funds from supporters. It began in December 2019 and ends in May 2024.

After armed groups attacked Latifa’s home and her family lost their livestock, which they depended on for income, she stepped up to help her parents. Latifa, who’s one of five children, understood the financial stress her parents were now experiencing and accepted her father’s decision to take her out of school. But she never stopped longing for the day when she would be back in class. With financial assistance from the Safer Schools in Burkina Faso (FASST) project, she was able to return to her studies. Her mother is thrilled about her daughter’s achievements. “Some girls drop out because their parents think a girl’s place is to stay at home, learn to clean and get married,” says Samira. “I want to encourage parents to allow girls to stay in school and refuse to let them be married when they are young. I hope that the FASST project will be able to support many other young girls like my daughter.”

the situation

• In 2020, more than 857,000 children were out of school. • The secondary - school enrolment rate is only 29%. • The literacy rate for adults age 15 to 24 is only 58%.

What we’ve achieved so far

• 36,465 girls are enrolled in schools and accelerated- learning programs. The goal is to reach 63,000+ children by May 2024. • 26,000+ girls have benefited from the Nutritious School Feeding Program. • 877 girls from displaced families have received cash transfers so they can continue their education. • 405 godmothers mentor 2,102 adolescent girls. They are trusted leaders who are trained to provide psychosocial support and guidance on everything from menstruation to healthy relationships to the importance of education.

TRACKING IMPACT We provide supporters with regular Impact Reports that update them on the progress of a project. We share program activities, interventions and stories of change, like this one from Latifa. Click the cover image to read this report on the Safer Schools in Burkina Faso (FASST) project.

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2 OUR EXPERTISE: health G lobally, countless deaths could be prevented if affordable health services and interventions were more readily available for everyone, especially women and girls. “The poorer that people are, the less likely they are to receive health care,” says Dr. Tanjina Mirza, chief programs officer at Plan International Canada. “The face of poverty is female, with girls and women disproportionally affected. Our 16 2022 Annual Report | DIGEST

47% of our FY22 program expenditures

projects support quality maternal, newborn and child health services, sexual and reproductive health rights, safe water and hygiene as well as the prevention and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.”

Improve the availability and management of medicines and equipment. Train health care providers to deliver gender- and adolescent-responsive and inclusive health services. Bring health services and information closer to remote communities and vulnerable populations.

To help strengthen health systems, we:

Support the rehabilitation of health facilities.

HEALTHY BEGINNINGS A group of new moms who participated in the Healthy Women and Girls project in Mozambique. See next page for before and after project results.




STORIES OF CHANGE The Road Ahead Rural ambulance services drive home the need for speedy care for moms in labour.

Women and adolescent girls who accessed sexual and reproductive health services in the previous year:



Women (age 20 to 49)



Acina, 28, is one of the thousands of mothers who benefited from the emergency medical transfer services (a.k.a. motorcycle ambulances) that the Healthy Women and Girls project in Mozambique supported in 2022. She lives in a rural area in the Moma District of Mozambique, and the nearest rudimentary health centre is 30 kilometres away. When Acina arrived at the centre,

she was experiencing severe labour complications. She was terrified because many women in her community had died there; without equipment like ultrasound machines, newborn-resuscitation tables and sterilization tools, the health facility wasn’t prepared to provide critical care that women required. Fortunately, the clinic had an ambulance, so Acina was taken to a hospital 250 kilometres away

Adolescent girls



How we made it happen

• Held discussion groups with youth, women and men to dismantle myths about contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections • Improved patient confidentiality in health facilities • Worked with traditional leaders to change community attitudes toward contraceptives Petitioned government and community organizations to make sexual and reproductive health services available and easily accessible • Helped health facilities in the regions served • by the project record 17,440 new users of family-planning methods between April 2020 and March 2021

“I was taken care of, and now my

son and I are doing well.” – Acina

and received the care she and her baby boy required. “Without the ambulance, getting the care she needed wouldn’t have been an option,” explains Odia Marcel, director of the Moma District hospital, where Acina was sent.

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PHOTO ESSAY FATHER-DAUGHTER DUOS Photography by Joshua Kumunda/Media Zone

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Leonard Mpofu, and his daughter, Sandengomusa, can talk about topics that some consider taboo, like menstruation and HIV/ AIDS. So can Thembinkosi Sibanda and her dad, Kholisani. The Adolescent Girls & Young Women project – done in partnership with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – in Zimbabwe helps shatter sexual and reproductive health stigmas and strengthen girls’ relationships with their fathers.


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1.7 million mosquito nets (LLINs) were distributed in 2022. Most countries measure one LLIN as protection for 1.8 people, which means we provided protection to more than 3.2 million community members , including pregnant women and children under five.

nets (LLINs) in centres, such as high schools, but COVID-19 restrictions made gathering in public places impossible. So they tried a new approach: going door to door. “With the help of our supporters, we used $532,349 to complete most of the ‘last mile’ deliveries of the mosquito nets,” explains Rameck Makokove, a project manager at Plan International. “We partnered with community members who contributed everything from donkey-drawn carts to bicycles to get the nets to their final destinations.” “The mass distribution has been very effective, and malaria cases have dropped,” says Eufrasia Mukandapi, an environmental health technician with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. “In past years, in Zimbabwe, we recorded 100 cases of malaria in this district every rainy season; this year, we’ve recorded only two.”

Going Door to Door A new mosquito-net-distribution strategy is saving lives in Zimbabwe. F or years, communities in Zimbabwe waged an unwinnable war against mosquitoes.

“Since 2010, Plan International Canada has been working with our Zimbabwe country office to reverse these statistics as part of our partnership with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” says Mitra Manouchehrian, senior program manager at Plan International Canada. When the pandemic arrived, it threatened to jeopardize how this ongoing $12.6 million project handled the distribution of nets. Most people collected the long-lasting insecticidal mosquito

They used mosquito coils (when they could get them) and burned the leaves from Zumbani trees to drive away the malaria-infected insects. Despite their efforts, people continued to get sick with the deadly disease. According to the WHO, about 95% of the world’s malaria cases are in Africa. Children under five are most at risk because they have not developed any immunity.



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We love acronyms, especially if they have a double meaning. Take ARRIBA (Achieving Reproductive Rights in Bolivian Adolescents): The word is also Spanish for “above.” Our goal with this program is to work with community groups to help adolescents rise “above” by helping them understand their sexual and reproductive health rights. What does that mean? It means they can make free and informed decisions related to their sexuality, have safe sexual experiences and access reproductive health services. It also means that they can choose whether, when and whom to marry. We’re at the four-year mark of this five-year program, and we’ve reached 20,000 Bolivians, including 9,000 adolescent girls, 7,000 boys and 1,700 health care providers. 12 , 500 adolescents learned about their sexual and reproductive health rights and how to prevent gender-based violence. Liz is one of those adolescents. “One of my biggest dreams is for my town to be a place where no one experiences sexism,” says the 16-year-old Champions of Change Club participant. “All the [gender-equality and self-esteem] training sessions and workshops I attended have changed my way of seeing things. I understand my rights now.”

How do latrines help keep children in school? WATCH THE VIDEO

SPOTLIGHT Mini WASH cycle Small but mighty projects have a big impact.

Our WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programs are part of multi-million-dollar projects, but we created a $300,000 three- year project in Cambodia with supporter Michael J. Waring. The goal of the Kids in Class Fund was to improve the WASH conditions in 136 villages, 75 schools and 16 communes in the Siem Reap province in northwestern Cambodia. “We wanted to achieve open-defecation-free [ODF] status, which means 100% of households have access to an individual or shared latrine,” explains George Yap, a WASH advisor at Plan International Canada. The result? “In 2022, we achieved that in all but

15 villages. And in those 15 villages, the coverage now ranges from 62% to 98%. These results show the powerful impact these smaller projects can have. Everyone benefits, especially children, who are at risk of developing diarrhea from drinking water contaminated with fecal matter. If they’re sick, they miss school. 32 , 375 students, teachers and community members, after three years, have improved access to clean water and education about proper hygiene.


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SHOW and Tell Our innovative approach changed the birth story for 1.5 million+ women and children in five countries.

E very day, more than 800 women and girls die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Our mission with the Strengthening Health Outcomes for Women (SHOW) project, which was supported by the Government of Canada and matched donor funds, was to change the birth story in Bangladesh, Ghana, Haiti, Nigeria and Senegal. “I’ve never seen such comprehensive gender- transformative work,” says Tahina Rabezanahary, director of program management and compliance at Plan International Canada. “In this project, we helped tackle the root causes of gender inequality by removing the barriers

that prevent women and adolescent girls from accessing health care services and exercising their sexual and reproductive health rights. We also worked with men and boys to encourage them to be promoters of women’s and girls’ health and rights.” Saadya Hamdani, director of gender equality at Plan International Canada, adds that gender equality was integrated into SHOW activities from start to finish. “As a result, we’ve seen changes in women’s community leadership and the ways in which men support women, both at home and when they’re seeking the health services they need. This is very exciting.”

A woman receives prenatal care at a clinic in Senegal. WATCH THE VIDEO

1 Empower women and girls to demand health services, with full support from their partners, husbands and fathers. 2 Foster partner and health-centre accountability by sharing data that measures changes in the community. HERE ARE THE THREE AREAS WE FOCUSED ON IN THIS SIX-AND-A-HALF-YEAR PROJECT IN FIVE COUNTRIES: Ensure that the supply of trained health workers, volunteers and equipment in health centres meets the demands. 3

22 | 2022 Annual Report


STORIES OF CHANGE TIMELY Interventions Speedy access to ambulances and loans means more healthy outcomes for women and their families.


GOAL To improve the health of women, adolescent girls and children by tackling gender inequality, a root cause of maternal and child deaths. The project was established in vulnerable communities in Bangladesh, Ghana, Haiti, Nigeria and Senegal.



Village savings and loan associations (also known as VSLAs or savings groups) demonstrate what it means to be “stronger together,” says Chris Armstrong, director of health at Plan International Canada. “Savings groups are a community-based approach to microfinance. They bring together 15 to 25 people who each contribute small amounts of money to create a shared pool of funds.” If a family is experiencing poverty, health care costs can deplete their income, leaving them unable to afford treatment in life-or-death situations. But when families combine their resources, they can lift each other out of the cycle of poverty that threatens their lives and livelihoods. For Nanbos, who lives in Ghana, being a member meant he could help his sister when she needed it most. “I took out a loan from my group’s fund to pay for services for my sister after she had a miscarriage. The doctors were able to save her life.”

“The ambulance didn’t take long to arrive.

It saved my life and my son’s life.” – Nadia, 28

DURATION 6.5 years

PROJECT BUDGET $72.6 million

Plan International Canada provided ambulances to the Haitian National Ambulance Center to save mothers’ and newborn babies’ lives. Haiti has the highest maternal-mortality rate in the Americas, with 630 women’s deaths for 100,000 live births. Nadia, 28, experienced a complicated delivery while giving birth to her first child last November. The local health centre where she had been admitted couldn’t help her, so the ambulance took her to the hospital 70 kilometres away, where she received a Caesarean section.

SUPPORTERS Global Affairs Canada and individual Canadian donors

Women who received prenatal care four times during pregnancy



DIRECT BENEFICIARIES 2 . 4 million people, including more than 1.5 million women and girls

55% 73%


2022 Annual Report | DIGEST 23

3 OUR EXPERTISE: protection M illions of children and adolescents worldwide are at risk due to neglect and exploitation. “Our programs are designed to help prevent violence and keep children, especially girls, safe,” explains Dr. Tanjina Mirza, chief programs officer at Plan International Canada. “We work with communities to shift societal and cultural attitudes about practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation as well as other gender-based violence.” Together, 24 2022 Annual Report | DIGEST

from violence

9% of our FY22 program expenditures

we have achieved some notable gains. One local marriage registrar told us that his new motto is “No more child marriage. Go ahead with a dream in mind.” To help protect children and women from violence, we: Help shift cultural attitudes associated with harmful gender and social norms.

Lobby to improve laws, policies, systems and services.

Educate girls, parents and communities about the importance of keeping children safe from harm, violence and abuse. Support government and community protection services to keep children and youth safe.

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD Aymaran women in Bolivia join in a soccer game to challenge gender inequality. It’s part of ongoing efforts through the Achieving Reproductive Rights in Bolivian Adolescents (ARRIBA) project to encourage community members to discuss how to promote equality and prevent violence. “I didn’t know how to defend myself from sexism and violence,” says one player. “But these workshops showed me how.”




Naming Rights Gender-identity law empowers transgender people.


Because I am a Girl (BIAAG) supporters contribute to projects running in countries that all have their own cultures and customs. But they all have something in common: Girls living in these countries face massive barriers to leading a life of their choosing. They are

Plan International is working with transgender activists and other advocacy groups in El Salvador to challenge the Name Law, which doesn’t permit people to change their name or gender on their identity documents. In February 2022, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice in El Salvador ruled that the law was unconstitutional and discriminatory. The new Gender Identity Law hasn’t been enacted yet, but Plan International and other groups continue to support activists in lobbying for this change. “This law is key because without it, an individual may not be able to access education, health care or employment,” explains Dr. Erika Silva, health advisor at Plan International Canada. “We support the empowerment of this population so they can continue fighting for their rights. They may be born a man, but if they are dressed as a

woman when they go to a health facility, they are rejected.” This law addresses the prejudice, discrimination and violence that many transgender people face. With the support of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the McLean Smits Family Foundation, we also created private safe spaces, like mobile vans for health care workers to offer HIV testing and distribute HIV-prevention kits. 25 , 600+ HIV-prevention kits were distributed to high-risk populations.


often undervalued, undermined and underestimated. Today, in many parts of the world, gender inequality is increasing because of COVID-19, armed conflict, climate change and poverty. In 2022, BIAAG funds supported more than 70 projects in 30 countries. Each of these projects shares these three goals:




Strive to end gender inequality.

Continually promote girls’ rights.

Lift girls out of poverty through education.

IN 2022

out-of-school girls were protected from child marriage in Bangladesh. girls in Burkina Faso were able to continue their studies until graduation thanks to safer schools.

8 , 000 33 , 500

Impact Report Stories of Change July 2022

150 , 000

young entrepreneurs and peacemakers were trained in Colombia.


HIV Prevention in El Salvador

26 | 2022 Annual Report | DIGEST


Plan International Canada is also working on projects to end child marriage in Ethiopia. As with the efforts in Bangladesh, the My Choice for My Life project teams work SPOTLIGHT FREE TO CHOOSE

Impact Spotlight

Karate Kid Adaya wants to be in the ring. She doesn’t want to wear one. Adaya* can probably do sitauke , ushiro-geri and hiza uke , but knowing these karate moves isn’t the only reason this 16-year-old girl from Bangladesh stands out. She has also become an advocate for stopping child marriage. After Adaya’s father lost his job two years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to drop out of school because her family couldn’t afford the fees. During this time, she learned about the Combatting Early Marriage in Bangladesh (CEMB) project, and shortly after that, she discovered that her own forced child marriage was looming. “My family had decided to give me in marriage and hid it from me,” she recalls. “I told my mother that I was still a child, according to my age. I also informed the CEMB staff, and they came to my house and talked to her.” With additional persuasion from the local child marriage prevention committee, Adaya’s mother changed her mind.

with individuals, families and officials to shift attitudes. Together, we’re making a difference. A 2022 participant survey showed that some shifts were seen in year four of the project. For complete results, READ THE IMPACT REPORT Adolescents, especially girls, who said their parents have determined or will determine the person they will marry:

Girls perfecting their karate moves

Later, Adaya was able to help a friend who was facing a similar situation. “We warned [her guardians] that we would inform the local law- enforcement authorities, and so they cancelled the marriage and my friend was saved,” she says. Adaya, who is back at school, says the CEMB project is key to the story of her comeback. “I always wanted to learn self-defence techniques,” she says. “After learning karate through this project, I am more confident than ever.”





Parents who said they would do something to prevent a child marriage from happening in their community:

29% 82%




*This is a pseudonym.

2022 Annual Report | DIGEST 27

4 OUR EXPERTISE: youth leadership & economic empowerment YOUTH LEADERSHIP “ One of the significant developments in our programming for youth in Canada was that it connected young people around the world,” says Anjum Sultana, director of youth leadership and policy advocacy. It began with the Storytellers Symposium on menstrual-health equity in May, which was the first Plan International Canada global event. “We received registrations from around the world, and Plan International Nigeria youth- engagement staff also made presentations,” she says. “This is something that Plan International Canada offers young people that’s unique, which is exciting.” Youth also focused their efforts on global issues that cut across borders, such as climate change. 28 2022 Annual Report | DIGEST

10% of our FY22 program expenditures

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT Financial stability means you can have a game plan for your life. “Without reliable and secure opportunities for work and access to banking and other basic financial services, it becomes exponentially harder for individuals to pull themselves and their families out of poverty,” explains Dr. Tanjina Mirza, chief programs officer at Plan International Canada. “Women and girls face even greater obstacles to achieving this kind of stability, and it has a ripple effect across generations. Individuals without sufficient income or the financial tools to expand their livelihoods and endure financial shocks are also less able to keep their children, especially girls, healthy and in school.”

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