Every day, girls face unique barriers that prevent them from gaining an education, and building the skills they need to create a brighter future.
And for indigenous girls like 14-year-old Timotea from Guatemala, the struggle is even worse as additional prejudices can make breaking the cycle of poverty more difficult.
A girl who’s determined to be different
For Timotea, a sponsored child growing up in an indigenous community, the closest school is located 15km away, and without a regular transit system, getting there involves trekking on foot over muddy terrain.
“I walk an hour each way to get to school,” says Timotea. “It’s hard for me to arrive on time for the start of classes or meet up with friends after school to do group work.”
In addition, Timotea’s family struggles with poverty, and although they want Timotea to continue with her studies, it’s often challenging to gather the funding for fees, books, pens and other necessities.
“My family makes a great effort so that I can continue studying. To support them, I help my mother with household chores and with her business,” she says.
Despite their financial hardships, Timotea’s parents are a rare exception in the community as many families place little importance on girls’ education, believing it’s better for girls to be married so that they no longer need to be provided for.
In fact, Guatemala has some of the highest child marriage rates in Latin America, andover half of all indigenous girls in the country give birth before age 20.
But Timotea is determined not to become another statistic. She hopes to change the status quo for girls in her community, and child sponsors like YOU are making this possible.
Changing the story for girls
Through Child Sponsorship, Timotea is accessing her right to education with a scholarship that enable will her to continue her studies, and eventually reach her full potential!
And it’s not just Timotea receiving this opportunity – it’s hundreds of other local girls too!
“Thanks to the scholarship that Plan International has given me, I have been able to buy my school supplies, uniform and shoes,” says Timotea, with a smile.
“I have also learned more about my rights. I feel very happy and I am sure that I will be able to graduate as an accountant and when this happens, I will be able to get a job to help my sisters and brother continue their studies.”
“My family’s situation and the challenges I face every day to attend school will not stop me from continuing to fight for my dreams.”
Invest in girls. Change the world.
With an education, Timotea (and many girls just like her!) will marry later, have fewer – yet healthier – children, and lift their entire families out of poverty!
You can help girls gain access to the essentials they need to build a brighter future by becoming a child sponsor. Your support can spark positive change and sustainable development for children, families and entire communities!