When Binta, 28, started working for Plan International in Guinea-Bissau, no one knew she used to be a sponsored child.
In fact, it took months before her colleagues discovered that Binta was one of the first sponsored children in the country, and that our programming had played a key role in helping her overcome barriers that many girls face in Guinea-Bissau.
The power of a child sponsor’s encouragement
Binta grew up in the Bafata region, a region with high dropout rates and where girls faced many challenges to reaching their full potential, including early/forced marriage, teen pregnancy, and limited access to sexual and reproductive health services. Binta’s community also practiced the harmful tradition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and prioritized boys’ education over that of girls.
But life changed for Binta when she became a Plan International-sponsored child.
Binta remembers receiving encouraging letters from her sponsor. These letters would go on to shape her vision of the world and help build her self-confidence. Over years of correspondence, she learned many lessons, but most importantly, she learned about the importance and value of staying in school despite the barriers she was facing.
Binta’s sponsor emphasized girls’ education and, without this, Binta admits she would not have been inspired to achieve her goals and finish her education.
Through her child sponsor and with the help our gender equality programming, Binta blossomed into an ambitious and self-assured woman who didn’t see her gender as an obstacle to success.
Of our work in her community, she says it enabled others to “see the world in a different way for the good of society, and it changed mindset of older people.”
Coming full circle
Having been empowered to make her own dreams come true, Binta is a role model for all girls who grow up in tough environments, and she is extremely proud to be working for Plan International – the organization that helped transform her life.
Now, Binta is working on creating a brighter future for girls like her, and is tackling the issue of FGM by helping to implement projects and assist others in fighting back against this harmful practice. Her goal is to create positive, lasting change in the communities where girls are most affected.
“I want to make a valuable contribution and change people’s way of thinking in relation to girls for the development of our society,” she says.
You can change lives too
Binta’s life changed for the better thanks to the generous support of people like you.
If you want to give a child a chance to grow, develop, thrive and prosper, then become a child sponsor today. Your support will ensure that children’s rights to education, health, clean water, and protection are met, and that communities have the skills and tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty.