Why it’s time to Defy Normal

Human potential is limitless. We’ve charted the stars, split the atom and rewritten the meaning of possible thousands of times over. And yet, despite all our outstanding achievements and breakthroughs, we’ve left millions of children behind – especially girls.

Did you know?

  • 263 million children and youth around the world are currently out of school.
  • Nearly every 2 seconds a girl under 18 is married.
  • An estimated 15,000 children under the age of 5 die each day from mostly preventable causes.
  • Globally, 1.4 billion people are still living in extreme poverty.

And we’ve come to accept this as ‘normal’, that children denied their rights and girls denied equality is “just the way it is”. But we can – and we must – challenge this.

Because when we no longer accept the status quo, we can unleash human potential and make way for even more incredible things to happen.

That’s why Plan International Canada is calling on Canadians to Defy Normal: to believe in the power and potential of every child and take a stand anywhere children are oppressed, exploited or left behind, and anywhere girls aren’t equally valued.

Together, we can create a world where all can unleash their full potential.

Humans are capable of some amazing feats.
We’ve charted the stars; split the atom;
And hold the entire world in our hands.
We’ve rewritten the meaning of “possible”
A thousand times over
But for all our advances,
We’ve also left millions of
Children behind.
Especially girls.
And we’ve accepted that this, this is normal.
That normal is turning a blind eye.
Normal is denying children their potential.
Normal is a world where only boys go to school.
And girls are forced into marriage.
Normal is accepting that children don’t have rights.
And that girls are denied equality.
That they should be denied their voices.
Yet who better to speak out against normal than children?
When others say “can’t,” children say “will.”
And when we all challenge normal
Incredible things happen.
Girls everywhere can go to school;
Children can change their futures;
And make a difference in their communities;
Plan International helps all of us
challenge normal again and again –
So that together, we can advance children’s rights
Promote equality for girls.
And unleash everyone’s potential.
So, how do you get involved?
Simple. Join us and Defy Normal.
Donate at plancanada.ca/defynormal

Unleashing potential for over 80 years

Plan International Canada is a member of a global organization dedicated to advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years and are now active in more than 70 countries.

We work to:

  • Empower children, young people, and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls and all vulnerable children.
  • Drive change in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge of the realities children face.
  • Support children’s rights from birth to adulthood
  • Educate children and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and overcome adversity.

In 2017 alone, our work directly benefited millions of children and families in over 53,000 communities around the world, including:

  • 12.5 million people through health programs
  • 7.9 million people through education programs
  • 6.4 million people through clean water and sanitation programs

Additionally, our work to advance gender equality helped millions of girls exercise their rights. For example, in Malawi, Honduras and the Dominican Republic we supported girls in successfully challenging lawmakers to end child marriage – once and for all!

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Together, we can defy normal

This is an extraordinary time to be alive. We have a chance to Defy Normal and help unleash the potential of millions around the world!

Together, we can create a world where all children – especially girls – are given the same opportunity to learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Thank you for being part of the movement!