About PLAN International Hong Kong

Established in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s leading development organisations specifically focusing on children. Headquartered in the U.K., we are working in 57 developing countries, concentrating on making lasting improvements to quality of life in the areas of education, early childhood development, ending violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, skills and decent work and young people driving change, with funding from 21 fundraising offices. Plan International is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

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Donation Purpose
Fund raised will be used to support Plan International’s anti-child marriage projects in Bangladesh, providing girls with scholarships to continue their studies. It also educate parents and community about the negative consequences of child marriage, saving girls from becoming child brides.
Child Marriage in Bangladesh
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, households in Bangladesh suffered severely from the adverse economic situation. According to a survey, child marriage cases in Bangladesh have rapidly increased by 13% in 2021 and marked the highest record in 25 years. The girls are in desperate situations.
In Bangladesh, child marriage has robbed girls of their futures
Marriage is one of the most important life events. But for many Bangladeshi girls, such a life-changing decision was never made out of their own free will. Bangladesh has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world. According to data from the United Nations Population Fund, 50% of girls were married before the age of 18, and 15% of them were even aged under 15. Poverty and the traditional concept of undermining females’ value force girls to drop out of school and become child brides, ruining their lives forever.
Sexual harassment is a devastating issue in Bangladesh. Tanzila lost her freedom to go out alone just because she is a girl. She had to be accompanied by relatives whenever on the way to school or went out.
"Eve Teasing" targets young and unmarried girls
Men’s superiority over women is a deep-rooted culture in Bangladesh, causing young and unmarried girls to be treated as a disgrace to the family. Such a norm has also further aggravated the sexual harassment problem in society. “Eve Teasing”, a widespread form of sexual harassment with threats of rape or kidnapping towards unmarried girls alone is commonly found. Tanzila had been verbally abused and threatened by strange men on the way to school since she was 14 years old. She also received unknown phone calls for a marriage proposal with a warning of kidnapping. To protect Tanzila`s reputation and get away from danger, her family had no choice but to arrange a child marriage while she was still at school age. She was forced to drop out of school and become the caretaker of her new family, losing the opportunity to fulfil her dreams.
Keya wanted to complete her secondary school board exams, but an arranged child marriage by her father had taken her dream away.
Poverty forces girls to be child brides
In Bangladesh, apart from being harassed by men, girls being treated as a burden of the family is another problem caused by gender inequality. To alleviate financial difficulties, many poor families marry off their underage daughters through hasty decision-making. Keya was forced to marry a stranger at the age of 14. It turned out her husband was a drug addict with aggressive behaviour, and she became the victim of domestic abuse once they got married. Keya’s dreams for the future were gone because of child marriage. It also traumatised her physically and mentally.
Tanzila is now working as a teacher at the school supported by Plan International. To break the tragic circle of child marriage in her community, she is now assisting girls at risk by drawing on her own experience.
Girls in child marriage uphold their rights to education
Though Tanzila and Keya were not allowed to refuse child marriage, they never surrendered and hope to regain control of their lives through education. By joining Plan International’s anti-child marriage projects, they learned about girls’ rights and were no longer afraid to stand up to their families and husbands, to fight for the right to go back to school. As a result, they were able to continue their studies, pursue their dreams, and live out their lives again.