Lindsay Glassco’s first 100 days on the job
There are moments in life where 100 days can pass in the blink of an eye. This has certainly been the case for me since joining Plan International Canada as its new President & CEO in July. This has been a time rich with new information and encouragement.
While I joined the organization during challenging and uncertain times in which the effects of COVID-19 have been felt in every corner of the globe, I have found inspiration and optimism in the work we do. The pandemic has shown us that crises are often not contained within borders and has highlighted how interconnected we all are.
I have dedicated my career to understanding and working with the world’s most vulnerable people, so they can realize their rights and reach their full potential. I am sure that you share my view that upholding our responsibility as global citizens, working together and supporting one another, is the only way the world can overcome the impacts of any crisis, including this pandemic.
Over the last 100 days, I’ve devoted my attention to learning as much as I can about the work and tremendous impact Plan International Canada has around the world. New relationships have been forged and conversations are ongoing – with donors, partners, and my colleagues in Canada and globally. My first impressions and encounters have reinforced our organization’s strengths. We are part of an effective and evolving international community, built on local partnerships and relationships. With a loyal donor base, outstanding governance, excellent operating systems and processes, impactful programs and a committed team of purpose-driven individuals who carry out our work, Plan is on solid footing.
Responding to COVID-19 as a new CEO
Plan International Canada has undertaken an incredible effort to navigate and respond to the global impacts of COVID-19 while upholding fundamental human rights and gender equality as the bedrock of our work.
We have focused on agility, learning and adaptation to ensure everyone, particularly the communities we serve, are set-up for success now, and in the future, as the pandemic’s impact unfolds. Equipped with long-standing local, national and global partnerships, the power of youth guiding us, and impactful programs, I am confident we remain well positioned to continue maximizing our impact around the world, while remaining accountable to our supporters and the children and communities we serve.
With our continued efforts to respond to COVID-19, we have expanded the scope of our programs to include both immediate relief and to address the longer-term effects of the pandemic. Our programs continue to address the challenges faced by all children, especially girls, and we’re motivated by the progress we’ve seen over the last 25 years.
- The number of out-of-school girls has dropped by 79 million in the last two decades.
- Since 1995, the proportion of young women who were married as children has declined globally from 1 in 4 to approximately 1 in 5.
- Worldwide, the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls has halved since 1995.
However, progress painstakingly made is now at risk. While COVID-19 has set us all back in countless ways, for girls in crisis, it has done more than set them back – it is unravelling decades of progress. COVID-19 is hindering girls’ ability to realize their right to an education, protect themselves from violence and exploitation, access basic sanitation, access vital health care and make informed choices about their reproductive health and rights.
In response, Plan International Canada has launched a fundraising campaign called Stop the Setback. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we stand with girls in crisis. I encourage you to learn more about our campaign here, including ways to get involved.
The next 100 days and beyond
In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to building upon the great work that teams across Plan have done in earnest and getting to know our many dedicated supporters.
Plan International Canada is responding to present-day challenges and working hard to help shape a better future for children, especially girls, and their communities worldwide, with them in the lead.
Thank you to our supporters for your ongoing trust in the organization – and your trust in me as I embark on the next 100 days and beyond.
Plan International Canada supporters and partners are encouraged to follow and engage with Lindsay Glassco on Twitter at @GlasscoLindsay.