It is every child’s right to dream about their future. When we were young, we would spend a lot of time daydreaming about what we will be when we grow up. But for those who are born and raised in a developing country, girls especially, to make their dreams come true may just be wishful thinking. Like the children in Hong Kong, girls in Cambodia dream about being a doctor, a nurse or a teacher when they grow up. However, their futures are doomed by poverty, dropping out of school and child marriage. About 12 million girls get married under the age of 18 every year, which means 1 girl get married in every 3 seconds. These girls were married to men they have never met at a young age and were being robbed of their chance to fight for their dreams.
To support girls to receive education and raise awareness on child marriage, Plan International Hong Kong launched the 7th Donate a Pencil Campaign.
To help these girls, supporting them to receive education and raise awareness on child marriage, Plan International Hong Kong launched the 7th Donate a Pencil Campaign on Oct 11 (International Day of the Girl Child). This year, the Donate a Pencil campaign will be carried out online and will last for one month.
11 October to 10 November 2019
The public is encouraged to donate pencils online (HK$20 per pack), or donate brand new pencils to Plan International office*. As to support more children in need and our child safeguarding work in Hong Kong, Emperor Jewellery will match donation for each online pencil donation of HK$100 or more (equals to 5 packs of pencils or more).
*If you would like to post the pencils to Plan International Hong Kong directly, please be reminded to ensure that you have covered enough postage.
Emperor Jewellery will match donation for each online pencil donation of HK$100 or more.
The collected pencils will be sent to children in Cambodia and Hong Kong, the funds raised will be used to support our education and anti-child marriage project in Cambodia and child safeguarding work in Hong Kong.
Dr. Kanie Siu, the Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Hong Kong visited the rural area of Ratanakiri province, Cambodia to know more about the difficulties faced by local girls. Prea was one of the girls visited, the 18-year-old girl lost her mother 10 years ago; her father remarried another woman and had not come back home for over 3 years. Prea and her three younger siblings live with their grandparents in great hardship. In order to have enough food for the family and let the youngest child stays in school, Prea and the other two siblings had no choice but to quit school. Prea’s dream of becoming a doctor may never come true. Thinking about the gloomy days waiting ahead of her and her family makes Prea hide and cry when she is home alone.
In order to have enough food for the family, Prea had no choice but to quit school 4 years ago. Her dream of becoming a doctor may never come true.
Din, the 20-year-old girl has encountered a similar problem. She has always dreamt to be a nurse. Yet, when she was 9 years old, her mother lost vision in one eye. Her father also has been suffering in pain due to kidney problem since then. Her brother was young at that time; there was no breadwinner in the house. The burden of taking care of her family fell on Din’s shoulders; she had to drop out of school at such a young age. Considering the shortage of food and income, Din decided to get married when she was only 17 years old. According to the tradition in Cambodia, the husband has to move into the wife’s house and therefore, Din chose to sacrifice herself to bring manpower to the family. Despite having her husband as an extra helping hand, the life of Din and her family did not get easier. Din got pregnant 11 months after marriage. Not only did she have to stop working in the field, but she also had to ingest more for the baby in her belly. At that time, they were out of food and could only eat rice mixed with chilli and soy sauce, Din also did not know how to gain more nutrients for the baby. As a result, her daughter Ly Houy weighed only 2.1 kg when she was born.
Din had to drop out of school when she was nine to take care of her parents and be the only breadwinner in the house.
Last year, over 23,000 pencils were collected and over HK$360,000 was raised. The pencils were sent to children in Cambodia and Hong Kong via Silver Stationery Shop, and the funds have been used to support Plan International’s school construction project and anti-child marriage project in Cambodia.
Over 23,000 pencils were collected last year. The pencils were sent to children in Cambodia and Hong Kong to encourage them to stay in school.
This year, part of the collected pencils will be sent to local children via Silver Stationery Shop.
Since the launch of this annual event, over 260,000 pencils were collected and sent to children in China, Ghana, Nepal, Northern Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. The funds raised were used in Plan International’s programmes to support girls’ education in developing countries.