Benin is an elongated country and one of Africa’s most stable and democratic countries with a strong civil society. At the same time, Benin is one of the least economically developed countries in the world and half the population lives on less than $ 1.90 a day.
The weak economic growth has had major consequences for children’s rights. 45 percent of Benin’s children are chronically malnourished, so even the basic right to survive is difficult to fulfill. Teenage pregnancies, school violence and child marriage are some of the reasons why many young people, especially girls, do not complete their education.
Some results from the past year
Through our programs, we work at Plan International to strengthen children’s and young people’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation. In the past year, we have, among other things, contributed to 48 communities receiving vital education in nutrition and diet for children. We have also focused on combating violence in school education. Educational advisers have worked closely with schools to establish a safe learning environment so that children and young people will feel safe in school and thus complete their education.
Took control of his own destiny
With support from Plan International, I practice to become a hairdresser. Soon I want to be able to earn my own money and create a life for me and my children. In the future, I want to open my own salon.
Female, 17 years
When Kevinne was 14 years old, she was forced to marry an older man. A month into the marriage, she became pregnant, but her new husband became increasingly violent. Today, she is proof that girls can take control of their own lives. With support from Plan International, Kevinne has learned about children’s rights and the risks of teenage pregnancies. She uses the knowledge together with her experiences to support and educate other girls.
More time for homework
My favorite subject is French. I would like to become a journalist because then I will have more opportunities to travel around the world.
Rose, 13 years
Rose goes to school and has ambitions for the future. She lives with her grandmother who is a farmer. For many girls in Rose’s age, a lot of time is spent fetching water, but with the new well in society, Plan International has ensured that that time can instead be used for homework and leisure.
The students participate in the new schools
In the Sodohomé and Adogbé areas, students have been involved in creating their new schools. Plan International has supported communities with new school buildings and education for girls’ rights.
Three new school buildings, an office and a shop. It has been possible to build in two areas in Benin thanks to support from Plan International. The students themselves were involved in designing the schools through their school councils. For example, they decided on the color of the walls and contributed their thoughts and experiences, among other things, to get as good and safe toilets as possible.
Staff from Plan International Benin have also held trainings on female leadership and children’s right to protection and security. 60 girls and 30 boys have received training in young leadership through games and football. Four teachers per school also participated in the leadership training to be able to follow up and lead similar activities with the students in their schools. Both schools received footballs and other things needed to be able to arrange tournaments at the end of the school year.
Plan International Benin has also trained and started up new safety committees in both areas. These committees work to make more people aware of the problems of early pregnancies and violence against girls and women, which is a problem not least during the school holidays. The committees are intended to be a complement to the work done in the school.
Facts about Benin
Capital: Porto Novo, the President and the Government are in Cotonou
Population: 10 million
Life expectancy: 61 years
Infant mortality rate: 63 per 1000 births
Proportion of children starting school: 94.9%
Proportion of women in Parliament : 7.2%