Plan International Hosts Global Celebrations to Mark 75 Years of Helping Children

Mar 15, 2012, 14:31 ET from Plan International

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plan International, one of the oldest and largest global development organizations, is commemorating 75 years of commitment to children with a series of unique global birthday celebrations on March 20th.

Plan will mark this milestone by endeavouring to throw the world's largest birthday party. Plan offices and supporters all over the world will come together physically and virtually to celebrate the birthday and the organization's long-term commitment to children.

Worldwide events include a concert in Haiti, a girl's football match in Bangladesh, the planting of 75,000 trees in Zimbabwe, a sports day in South Sudan, a Lion King theater party in Hamburg, and VIP visits by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

"Over the last 75 years, Plan has worked tirelessly in its steadfast commitment to end the cycle of poverty for children and their communities," said Tessie San Martin, Plan International USA President and CEO.  "Our history is full of inspiring individuals from all walks of life who were drawn to a noble mission. Their vision became our vision, and together we are providing real, lasting change for children and their communities across the globe."

At the heart of this celebration is the Count Every Child campaign, a program dedicated to providing children all over the world with birth certificates.

Nigel Chapman, CEO of Plan International, said: "We take it for granted that every child celebrates their birthday. Yet millions of children around the world cannot mark it because their births are not registered.  Some 51 million children every year are denied the basic right of a birth certificate, leaving them at risk of being denied schooling, healthcare, and housing, and making them more likely to be exposed to exploitation and abuse."

While children all over the world need a birth certificate, one of the most marginalized groups without documentation is girls. Girls in the developing world are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, be forced into an early marriage, be subject to violence or intimidation, be trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade, or become infected with HIV. Having a birth certificate would help protect girls from these threats.

Plan's Because I am Girl initiative will launch in New York on October 11th on the International Day of the Girl Child. Fighting for birth registration is a key component of this global awareness initiative for gender equality.

Plan International USA
Plan International USA is part of a global organization that works side by side with communities in 50 developing countries to end the cycle of poverty for more than 56 million children.  Our solutions are designed up-front to be owned by the community for generations to come and range from clean water and healthcare programs to education projects and child protection initiatives. Plan's vision is to enable a future in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people's rights and dignity.

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SOURCE Plan International