At Kaplan, we believe in the power of education to change the world for the better. We believe that everyone, no matter who you are or where you were born, should have access to good education. Every life transformed and improved through education contributes to shaping the future of our planet.
That’s why we have supported Plan International UK in their mission to deliver better education opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2013.
Plan International is a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. During our partnership, we have helped fund 2 projects, one in Senegal and one in Sierra Leone, and we are currently sponsoring the No Girl Left Behind programme in Zimbabwe.
Our first Plan International project, in Senegal
In Senegal, there are many challenges that girls face when trying to get an education. Despite education being compulsory and free up to the age of 13, 60% of 5–14-year-olds don’t attend school. For girls, cultural pressures, early marriage and housework can often play a big role in keeping them away from the classroom.
Giving girls an equal opportunity to participate in education is hugely important. It’s the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense, particularly in countries that are held back by poverty. Ensuring that girls get a good education means that a wider section of society can play a role in economic development.
Kaplan’s funding has helped Plan International to support 1,000 girls, aged 9–16, across 16 schools in Senegal in improving their education. This will have a big effect on 12,000 local community members, who will benefit from having a better educated younger generation with important skills and knowledge.
Our second Plan International project, in Sierra Leone
In Sierra Leone, girls often face a difficult road to a good education. Only a quarter of girls are still in education by the end of primary school, and those who do stay on can be discouraged by the male-dominated environment.
This is further compounded by a lack of female teachers, with only 16% and 8% of teachers being women in primary and secondary schools respectively. Female teachers can better connect with young girls, and serve as role models; pupils see in their teachers what is possible in their own lives.
With support from Kaplan, Plan International has given 483 young women in Sierra Leone the chance to become teachers. With preparation from the Forum of African Women Educationalists, they will receive training and gain classroom experience in an approach developed by the Open University.
Learn more about life as a girl growing up in Sierra Leone by reading Mamie’s story. Mamie has faced many difficult challenges, but is now teaching and empowering other young women in Sierra Leone.
Our third project with Plan International, in Zimbabwe
The latest project we are supporting is the No Girl Left Behind programme in Zimbabwe. Plan International is working with communities across 11 Zimbabwean districts to offer a way back into education for 16,500 out-of-school girls.
Through this project, Plan works directly with the girls and their communities to address the issues that lead to them dropping out.
At Kaplan, we’re proud be taking responsibility. We’re also incredibly proud of all the work Plan International have done in bringing education to girls, and our role in supporting it.
Find out more about our core values and how we try to shape the world.