Meet one of the “bravest girls in the world”

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes
A teenage girl holds a sign with her name and age on it: Hap, 15.

Photo credit: Christian Berg

For many of us in Canada, going to school wouldn’t typically be an act of bravery. But for millions of girls around the world, getting an education is no easy task. Barriers, like early, child and forced marriage, gender-based violence, pregnancy, discrimination, and the long distances to get to school, keep girls in developing countries out of classrooms.

This year, Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year Fund honoured nine girls from across the globe who have the determination, drive and passion to challenge and overcome barriers like these to achieve an education – aptly referring to the honourees as “the bravest girls in the world”.

We’re proud to share that 15-year-old Hap from Hoang Su Phi, Vietnam – a remote community supported by Canadians through Plan Canada’s Community Sponsorship program, including lead donor Michael Waring through Kids in Class – is one of these brave girls!

“I love being able to learn”

A girl reading at a desk in school.

Living in a remote, mountainous community means getting to school is a challenge. “The hardest part of getting to school is being alone in the misty morning when the sky is still dark,” said Hap. “But I love being able to learn.”

Motivated by her dream of becoming a teacher and encouragement from her parents, Hap overcomes the obstacles to her education every day.

9 different girls, 1 shared dream

A group of the nine honourees of Glamour Magazine's Bravest Girls in the World.

Glamour magazine brought the girls to New York City for their annual Women of the Year Awards. For Hap, this was the first time she ventured so far from her home. “I felt very happy and a bit curious about the award. I felt a little nervous and I could not imagine what would happen in New York,” she confided.

In New York City, Hap met the other girls and despite coming from different parts of the world, they shared the same passion for education. “I learned that all of us must overcome many difficulties to go to school. Someone is living in war, while the others grow up without their parents. Despite all these difficulties, all of us wish to go to school,” shared Hap.

Education for a brighter future

After getting the chance to meet new people, try new foods and visit new places, Hap has returned home and is even more committed to her education than before. “I saw a new world,” said Hap. “I realized that not only me but also many other girls all over the world had to face many difficulties while going to school. This fact became one of my biggest motivations for me to study. Education is the key to my future success.”

Girls belong in school

Unlike Hap, there are many girls that don’t have the chance to continue their education. Girls in many parts of the world have the desire to continue their studies, but not the means. You can help by sending a girl to school with Plan Canada’s Gift of Hope.