Unleashing a girl’s potential through Child Sponsorship

Desiree Buitenbos | 5 months ago | « back
Fatu smiling in garden

Fatu, 47

How important is a girl’s right to education?

Just ask Fatu, 47 – she’s a former sponsored child from Sierra Leone who has blossomed into a strong, successful and empowered woman, thanks to the power of education and the incredible support of child sponsors like you!

In fact, Fatu’s life story could’ve been very different had Plan International not been working in Freetown in 1981, or had her then-neighbour not been a Plan International staff member who suggested that Fatu should become a sponsored child.

Shortly after this, 12-year-old Fatu was able to start attending school and begin building what would soon become a bright future for herself and her family.

The ripple effect of educating a girl

In Sierra Leone, the barriers to girls’ education are many. Stories of early and forced marriage are far too common. In fact, according to recent reports, 13% of women in Sierra Leone are married by age 15, while 39% are married by 18.

Hailing from a poor family, Fatu seemed destined to follow a similar path as many girls before her, but the support of her child sponsor bolstered her confidence, and Plan International’s programs made it possible for her to continue her education.

“I am still thankful every day for what they did for me, and so are my two sisters and two brothers and the other children from our neighbourhood in Freetown” says Fatu.

“My mother did not go to school, neither did generations before her. I was the first girl in the family who could continue to learn.”

With education came opportunity, and Fatu successfully landed a job with the Sierra Leonean Foreign Office, which enabled her to work abroad, support her family, and invest in her own daughter’s education.

“My daughter has just finished her Master’s. I am so proud of her” says Fatu, with a smile.

“Educating girls repays the investment many times over.”

fatu and daughters

Surrounded by family, Fatu holds up a picture of the couple who sponsored her until she was 18 years old.

Paying it forward

Fatu’s education has opened many doors, and she’s determined to share her success and help others just like Plan International helped her many years ago.

“You have to pass on luck and success” says Fatu, a belief that inspired her to create the Angels to Angels foundation, which supports over 200 schoolchildren in Sierra Leone.

Within the next 3 years, Fatu plans to build a school that will emphasize girls’ education, “then the circle of luck will be complete” she says, with tears in her eyes.

For Fatu’s daughter, Michaela, her mother has always been an incredible inspiration, and the reason she is on the path to becoming a role model herself.

“What my mother did was amazing” says Michaela, “Success is the impact you have on the lives of others, and she has definitely achieved that success.”


Invest in a girl and she’ll change the world!

Fatu’s life changed for the better thanks to the incredible support of people like YOU!

When you invest in a girl, you give them the skills and confidence they need to pull themselves and their families out of poverty – just like Fatu did. Sponsor a girl today and see the difference you can make in the lives of girls like Fatu.

Sponsor a girl today!

Desiree Buitenbos | 5 months ago | « back

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