Read Saadatou's Story

Can you imagine?

You're 13 years old. Your favourite person in the world is your best friend Sadie who lives next door. You and Sadie walk to and from school together every day and play hopscotch most afternoons at her house, until one day she disappears.

You find out later that she was sent to another village to get married. It all happened so suddenly. She is only 13.

There are no other girls your age to play with. You live alone with your parents because both your sisters are married and already have children of their own.

You start to worry. Am I going to be next? Will I have to get married too? I don’t want to get married yet. I want to be a teacher!

Real world problems faced by girls

  • Child marriage

  • Fistula and health problems caused by teenage pregnancy and childbirth

  • Rock-bottom literacy rates

  • Dirty drinking water and malnutrition

  • Constant fear of attack when walking alone for long distances to and from school

Education is the key

These are the problems that girls in Niger face every day. Because there are not enough jobs and poverty is rife, daughters are often married young so that there is one less mouth to feed. These are girls as young as 11years old.

They leave school – either to work or care for their babies, and their basic education is cut short. And it’s this lack of education that perpetuates the poverty cycle. Uneducated. Life of poverty. Bad health. Girls deserve a better life.

Meet Saadatou

Saadatou lives in Dosso, Niger. She loves school and wants to be a teacher. Four years ago Saadatou’s parents went to a Plan International seminar on the benefits of educating girls. Both Saadatou’s sisters were married young and this was likely to be her fate too… until this seminar.

Saadatou is now 17.