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 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.
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 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.
I am 77 years old and have been a "foster parent/donor" since my early 20's. I believe in Plan, what they do and what they stand for. I have pictures of my children on my desk where I see them often. It warms my heart to help change their lives for the better. I am a firm believer that, rather than be overwhelmed by all the "stuff" that goes on in the world, it is helping one-on-one that works. It is a win-win. If all of us did that, think of the result! It is amazing what we can do if we just bring it down to that.
It was my father who taught me to think, to share, and to be generous. It was my daughter and daughter-in-law who introduced me to Plan International, both were attending college at the time. So it not surprising that I have given to educational institutions and more frequently scholarships to college students and to children of the third world.
Plan International was the perfect philanthropic organization for me as it provided children with the greatest need an opportunity to learn, the communities in which they lived an opportunity to improve their lives through knowledge, and an experience of a lifetime for the teachers and administrators in a far away land. Giving to Plan outright and/or to a sponsored child gives the donor the satisfaction of helping so many with the gift of letters and numbers and the gift of hope and encouragement, good will and friendship.
Make a difference in a young person’s life, get acquainted with another world through newsletters and personal letters, and share your life with another to know the satisfaction of truly giving and taking.
I've been a donor for the last 10+ years, even before we had our own children. Having grown up in a lower middle class family in India myself I was interested in making a difference to at least 1 child in India. I found Plan International. They allowed me to make the most effective use of my humble contribution, which otherwise I wouldn't know how to make it effective.
I really liked the emphasis paid to schooling. I would receive letters from these kids, written in their native language, and it was very heartening to see how these kids progressed.
Once we had our own kids I made sure that I shared the letters and photos of the kids in India who I was sponsoring. It really helped our own kids understand how it works in rest of the world.
This is my 3rd child, and I am so very happy and proud that 2 children benefited from the humble contributions I made. I couldn't have done it without Plan International. Thanks a lot for continuing this work.
As a new teacher in 1970 I showed a film called "Child of Darkness, Child of Light" detailing Foster Parents Plan's programs in Latin America. My world history students decided to sponsor a child for a year, and I continued the sponsorship of a girl from the Philippines. Since that time, I have sponsored several children from Africa and Asia. The latest young man from Burkina Faso was one of the most interesting and communicative. I will continue my sponsorship and encouragement of the program as long as possible and am considering a bequest in my will.