Intrepid Travel has announced a three-year fundraising partnership with global children’s development agency Plan International, which aims to reduce gender inequality in developing nations through education projects.
The partnership, called Sama (which means equal in Indonesian) aims to raise AUD$60,000 by June 2012 to support Plan’s efforts to bring quality early childhood care and development projects to ethnic minority children and their families in some of the poorest districts of Laos, in South East Asia. On the completion of realising this fundraising goal, Intrepid will support other Plan projects.
Research carried out by Plan International shows that investing in the education of girls benefits not only them but also their families and wider communities, and is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty. Currently half of the world’s girls are illiterate but the charity’s research shows that for each year girls go to school beyond grade four, her future family size drops by 20%, child death drops by 10% and her future wages rise by 20%.
Until three years ago pre-schools did not exist in Laos, and children from minority backgrounds are not educated in their own dialect. Intrepid’s aim, in partnership with Plan International, is to establish parenting and community learning groups in up to 45 Laos villages, develop low-cost, locally-made play and learning materials and train preschool teachers for these communities.