Plan International's approach is to strengthen communities by strengthening the situation of the children and youth. The Plan donor connects to one specific child or youth, but the monthly funds go towards educational, health related and other programs in the area where the sponsored child lives. Yet Plan gently pushes (by sending reminders, by supplying stationary) the direct communication between donor and child. To receive a personal letter 2 or 3 times a year from your sponsored child makes the monthly contributions more real - although you know they go to the community and thus only indirectly to the child. But still, these letters are very special.I value this approach as many people benefit from it, and thus elevate entire villages or even regions. My husband and I just recently (March 2017) had the opportunity and privilege to visit our foster child Keysi in the Dominican Republic. The Plan office in the general area where she lives has about 25 to 30 staff members. Over the course of the day many of the social workers take off on their mopeds to check on or teach or hold meetings in their specific village. Each village has a small simple Plan community center. Here are a few examples of the projects and programs that Plan offers or gets involved in in this area: Early childhood stimulation - kind of a kindergarden/preschool to support the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development of young children. Special support for 3rd and 4th grade children with learning difficulties. Nutritional classes for children and parents. Money management for youth and parents, learn how to save and how to budget, and get micro-loans. Childrens Rights project teaching children about their rights and parents how to discipline without abuse. Empowerment of girls projects with an emphasis on equal right as well as sexuality and prevention of teen pregnancies. There are many more projects, but those were the ones that the Plan people talked about. Plan organized our visit very well. We had a driver, a translater and a field worker who gave us their whole day to show us around. We first met our foster child Keysi who is 14 years old at school. We pretty much crashed her English class, and it was a very emotional first meeting. Apart from the personal connection I was happy to see that the school was pretty new, in very good shape, and all girls and boys were wearing nice school uniforms, including Keysi. However, I am not sure to what extent Plan contributes to the school, the learning equipment and the uniform, and if the school provides meals or not. At a different school, a small primary school, we met Keysi's mother who is a teacher. This too was a very emotional encounter. The Plan people took all of us including Keysi and her mother to several villages in the area where we met neighbors and friends, and visited Plan community centers. We all went out to lunch to further talk and connect. Later we all drove to Keysi's home and met her father and her brothers. I was pleasantly impressed to see that they lived in a nice small home that they had built themselves over the course of several years. It appeared to have running water and electrical, and Keysi as the only girl had her own bedroom! Overall I had the impression that Plan is doing an excellent job in this area. I am very happy with this organization. I have been with them for over 20 years. The only thing I wished they would change is that they would allow for the children, once they "graduate" from the program at age 18, to stay in touch with their donors if they so wish. It was always hard for me to just cut off the relation and never hear a word again from the child that's been somewhat part of your life for many years......
My story ended in tears . I sponsored a child from Honduras. He was about 4 years old when our sponsorship began. I loved sending him gifts (at that time plan allowed gifts) letters ,which I tried to write in Spanish btw, and photos. This correspondence lasted until he was 16 years old. Then I noticed I hadn't heard from my sponsor for awhile so I called plan and they casually said that my sponsor no longer wants to be part of the sponsorship because they didn't like the work ethics of plan?? They never wrote me good bye or thank or anything!! I was broken hearted. Next plan was going to automatically send me another person to sponsor!! I I think they forget about the emotional and very human element in these relationships. I was so upset to have someone I was growing so close to, just stop corresponding. So becareful ... it's rare that a sponsor will withdraw before their 18 birthday but it happened to me . I felt that plan USA handled it very coldly with no consideration for me or my family's feelings .
We are truly sorry to hear about your sponsorship experience. Your feedback is extremely important to us, and we take your concerns very seriously. Unfortunately, there are instances where sponsored children and their families decide to leave our sponsorship program before the age of 18. It is very important to us that any sponsored child cancellation is handled in a sensitive and informative manner, as we understand this news is upsetting to receive, especially when you have been sponsoring your child for many years and have built a meaningful relationship. I would very much like the opportunity to discuss your experience in further detail. Please contact me at 1-800-556-7918. Kind regards, Michelle, Manager, Donor Engagement and Loyalty
Very simply if you don't believe in the work, enroll in a child sponsorship, immerse yourself in the donor journey and try it yourself. I am a believer.
My company, Study Group, has been partnered with Plan for a number of years now and have sponsored over 10 projects around the world to bring quality education to places that need it most. I can personally attest to the incredible work Plan does, as I was able to be present for the opening of a brand new school in a remote village in northern Sri Lanka. This was my companies 10th project sponsored through Plan and it truly is incredible how Plan empowers the local community in every aspect of their projects to ensure long-term sustainability. I can't say enough how amazing this organization is and the difference they truly make in the world.
I have had a child since 1986. I had pen pals in school and this is even better since I can help a child and the family writes to me and I them, sharing life with them. I have had children write to me from all over the world and it makes me feel good knowing the children are thinking of me and they know I am thinking and caring about them. I convinced my daughter to give it a try and she was happy she started. The proof that they receive my help is in these letters they send. I will continue to share our lives with letters and help them and their families. The people I deal with who pass along the help and letters have always been friendly and helpful when I call the 800 number. Great Organization!
Many lessons that I have learned from the Global Women in Management Workshop, facilitated by Plan International USA. Not only the content, but also the creative process, interesting and effective in its delivery, as well as strong leadership and compassion of its Staff. They are all professional experts in their field. Thanks to the GWIM Workshop and Staff, I become more confident, calm but strong personality and passionate to empower people, especially women.
Plan International USA Staff are very concerned about the development of alumni. There are 2 obsessions of mine that arise after attending the GWIM Workshop which are to build the network and gather the strength of GWIM alumni in Indonesia and share the leadership knowledge that we have from GWIM Workshop to more women in Indonesia. And again the Plan International USA Staff are always ready to be "behind and beside" us. This March three of us from Indonesia together with 5 other countries were invited to the Skill Building Workshop for GWIM Alumni in Designing & Facilitating GWIM Step-Down Trainings. This training was very useful for our preparation to organize Leadership Training in PEREMPUAN (WOMEN), stands for Pemberdayaan Ekonomi Perempuan Unggulan (Empowering Economic of Women Leader) to 20 women leaders from one field area of ExxonMobil in Java Indonesia last April 2017.
Picture note: Five of eight GWIM Alumni that active in PEREMPUAN, from left to right: Ayu (GWIM 60), Nur Aenah (GWIM 54), Irawati (GWIM 57), Andriyani (GWIM 57), and Thilma (GWIM 60). We are all from different organizations, united by GWIM Alumni Network in Indonesia.
My name is Catharina. I am alumnae of GWIM58 and chairman of Terasmitra Foundation. I learned alot from this workshop. I knew my capacity as a leader and implemented the knowledge to my organisation and my life. One of the best knowledge that I learned and implemented is one minutes message. This is powerfull technique to give an introduction about your passion or your mission, vision, organisation to somebody (government, donor, stakeholder) in only one minutes.
The trainers is not only as a teacher, they also like friends, sisters, and mentors. Not only give me direction but also walk with me to achive my goal.
2003 was the year when I first got an opportunity to associate with the capacity building team of Plan International USA and never looked back since then . The institution built my capacity in the area of women leadership , Women in Management and then provided several rounds of training to develop me as a coach. When I first participated in their training, I was a young , raw professional who had just started career in the field of development as a mid manager . Having come from a small town and conservative family / society in India and a bitter personal life experience , I had lost all my confidence, self esteem and was totally shattered .
Over the years of continuous training and support from Plan International USA my life was transformed completely. From an ordinary mid level Program manager I became a Country Director now of a well reputed International Development Organization. Over 15 years of my association with this amazing organization , I have been able to support thousands of disadvantaged and deprived women from the grassroots level of remotest areas in India and as a coach nearly 15 women managers from around the developing countries in their career progression.
Plan International USA very meticulously selects women from developing countries who have potential to become effective leaders , trains them , builds their capacities in every way possible and develops them as confident and competent leaders so they can further train and uplift other women who lag behind back in their countries. This organization does not take training as a one time activity but once it holds your hand they stand by you throughout. I am extremely proud to say that I am a Plan International USA Alumni and a coach . I attribute my success to my mentors in this wonderful institution ..whatever I am today is because of their hard work and efforts on me. As a return on their investment on me , I have taken a vow to uplift as many downtrodden women as I can.
As a graduate of Plan International USA’s Global Women in Management in 2015, I believe in the power and promise of every woman. Plan International USA has taken it upon themselves as a formidable team to practically build the capacities of women leaders like me who before my training could not have developed and used my potentials for the benefit of my community.
I have benefited from their training on professional and personal levels which now has ripple effect because of the step-down training I have done after GWIM training. I have trained over 100 women in leadership roles and we now have a functional cooperative of over sixty women who come together to share knowledge and skills on agricultural activities. One of them has been able to set up an oil mill with support from her husband, courtesy of the skill I gained from Plan International USA on men inclusion in advocacy. Plan International USA has been supportive to projects that build the capacity of women and open the doors to opportunity that had previously been shut.
Back in my country after the GWIM workshop, I initiated the registration of all the GWIM alumni in my country to have a common front bringing together different expertise in one house.
GWIM has guided me on improving my leadership and business skills and appreciating and investing in those skills in my employees and constituents. It has taught me how to promote gender equality and equity in a way that includes men and boy champions in our homes, businesses, and communities. In my words, I will say that Plan International’s Global Women In Management Program is a propeller, as well as a one stop shop, for women’s capacity building.
I am a leader of a Community Based Organisation in a developing country who had the amazing opportunity to be in the Global Women in Management (GWIM) training. This training gave me the tools to design programs that are suited to empower my beneficiaries. I thought I knew how to lead but after GWIM, I started started grooming leaders who replicated my leadership style and we are now changing our communities as leaders in our own rights. GWIM Training has played a tremendous part in giving me direction and structure to my leadership!
April 11, 2017
As one of the alumnae of Plan International USA's Global Women in Management in 2014, I have seen and experienced the great work that this organization had done through their work and investment in women. Plan International USA had taken the leap of faith in nurturing women leaders - from the professional to the personal level; a great deal of commitment and engagement that has profound effect to woman leaders like me. All staffs in Plan USA had shown their focus and passion in moving the world forward by initiating and maintaining the network of woman leaders from more than 20 countries -- which provide a strong support system for me. Post GWIM I was nominated as the host and one of the committee of 2015 Indonesia Women of Change, trained up to 100 more women in several line of works, and were able to take up at least 3 leadership position in international projects -- a proven track of putting the leadership skills and knowledge I had been invested to into practice
I was served by PLAN USA through their program Global Women In Management (GWIM). The program has built my capacity as a leader and manager of my organisation in my country. My organization has now grown and I am very greatful for all the help and support this PLAN USA continues to give to me as an alumnae of the GWIM program.
I was served by PLAN International USA, Inc through Global Women In Management workshop that they run. The training has been the best capacity building training I have ever received and coming from a developing nation, it has been such a godsend. My organisation has a strategic management plan, and our programs running well all due to the much needed training I got from PLAN USA.
My Dad used to support children via Plan International his whole life. I remember him reading us the letters and showing us the pictures the kids drew over the years and once I started making my own money I followed in his foot steps. I do encourage my friends do support a child since we can make such a difference in these children life with such little effort. I've been with Plan International for over 15 years and now my children and husband enjoy receiving frequent letters from our current child from India.
I am delighted that I found Plan USA. You are doing a wonderful job for children and their families. I worked with children as teacher, counselor and Special Education Specialist for 35 years. I am delighted that I found you. You keep us informed about the children we sponsor and about your work. Communication with "my children" is very important to me. I cannot imagine how you do it, but keep up the great work. The children will be able to have a better life because of Plan Int USA. I wish I could do more, but one thing I can do is pray for all of you.
I would like to thank Plan for all of the great programs they offer. I have been a sponsor since 1988! Through the years I have recommended Plan to friends as well who want to help a child. I have been impressed always with what they have done to help the children and the communities . The children receive health care and education in a world where they and their communities need support. Also , Plan makes it easy to communicate with your child as well . Plan runs their organization with integrity and honesty asking for a monthly donation that is very affordable.
My organization has partnered with Plan International for over a decade to support education projects around the world. Through the various development projects we’ve supported over the years, our employees have been able to connect our organization’s mission of supporting student success to Plan’s mission of improving the quality of life for children in developing countries.
Plan staff, both those based in the US offices and around the globe within country offices, are wonderful advocates for children and communities. They’re knowledgeable on the issues facing the various countries we’ve worked in throughout the years. They’ve welcomed our employees with open arms during site visits and share their love of each project.
We’ve also been fortunate to be able to receive updates over the years on the various projects we’ve supported. It’s great to see the continued progress year over year; our employees look forward to these updates.
Our partnership with Plan International is an important part of the culture of our organization and our focus on student success around the globe.
I am a former Plan employee and a current donor. I can not speak highly enough of Plan, having seen the ins and outs of this organization. The work that Plan does is so incredibly important and to be a part of it feels extremely gratifying.
My organization has partnered with PLAN for a decade, and I have been volunteering with PLAN for 6 years. I also had the opportunity to visit an educational project site in Nepal. I so valued seeing how the project is always staffed in country and region, providing opportunities and economic growth to the area they are serving. I was impressed to see and learn more about not only the educational project, but also the healthcare, water, and girl empowerment projects in the area.
I have worked with Plan for a number of years now and taken part in some amazing events. I was also fortunate enough to visit a project out in India and document my experience first hand.
I have spent time with several members of the Plan USA team, who have all been amazingly kind and helped educate me on all things charity!
I work for Study Group, a global education company offering ELT and Higher Education opportunities for international students. Study Group has been partnered with Plan International for many years, sponsoring a large project each year as part of our Building Futures initiative to bring quality education to communities around the globe who lack it. I personally had the opportunity to visit our 2015 project in Sri Lanka, which was the construction of a new primary school in the northern region of Anuradhapura. I certainly can attest to the great work Plan does in each of the communities they work in, and their model is one I wish all international development organizations followed. Plan works at the grassroots level to not only build lasting relationships with each community they work in, but also makes sure to involve every part of the community in the design, construction, and implementation of any project they are facilitating. This ensures long-term sustainability as the community feels a sense of ownership and also has emotional ties to the work being done to better their community for generations to come. Visiting the 2015 school project we sponsored was an experience I'll never forget and makes me proud to know my company is partnering with an organization truly making a lasting difference in so many communities.