19.04.2024 - von Plan International Switzerland

Alana’s Plan

In Brazil, the Cambalhotas project is teaching girls how to protect themselves from violence. Working with children like 12-year-old Alana, we help them learn about their bodies, different forms of abuse and how they can seek help.

“For girls to be what we want, we have to motivate ourselves and have the willpower to do what we want, because it will be difficult, even with the opportunities that arise. We have to keep our heads up, because good things won’t always happen. We need more opportunities and a lot more visibility, to achieve our dreams and goals,” says Alana. This is her plan to Beat The Clock:

1. Learn about girls’ rights and gender equality
2. Lead the change in her community
3. Become an entrepreneur and write a book


The world needs to know

"Being a girl is not an easy task. It takes a lot of motivation and opportunity to achieve gender equality,” says 12-year-old Alana who lives in Codó municipality in Maranhão, Brazil. 

A student and aspiring entrepreneur, Alana says she feels frustrated that she doesn’t see many women in business, mostly just men. Referring to a World Economic Forum estimate, Alana says, “It will take 131 years to achieve gender equality. People need to know about this so they can reflect on it. They have to think about what they can do so that girls can exercise our rights.”

After joining Plan International’s Cambalhotas (which roughly translates as ‘Backflips’) project, which focuses on girls’ rights and gender equality, Alana says she learnt a lot. "When I joined the project, I learnt a lot of things. I learnt how to defend myself if something happens to me. I didn’t know all my rights, so I was able to learn some of them through the project. I want all children to learn what I learnt, I always teach them everything I know." 

Speaking of her dreams, Alana has many aspirations and she believes that girls can have any career they want and should be valued in all positions. One of her life goals is to write a self-help book. "I would like to write a book describing how we can change our lives, helping young people improve at school. Today, I know that I can be a businesswoman and want to share information with other people so they can also become whatever they want to be." 


Estimates say it will take more than 130 years for the world to achieve gender equality

but girls and women like Alana are promoting gender equality now, which will help to #BeatTheClock. 

Teaching children how to protect themselves from violence is one of the foundations of the Cambalhotas project, which works with children aged 3 to 11 and their families to encourage open discussions about self-protection. A regional project, Cambalhotas operates in the Brazilian states of Maranhão and Piauí.

  • In 2022, 2,186 girls and boys took part in recreational and educational workshops that taught them their fundamental human rights as well as how to protect themselves from different forms of violence and abuse.
  • Of these children, 821 were age 6 years or younger
  • The Cambalhotas project also works with early childhood education teachers, community representatives, parents, caregivers and guardians to promote violence-free environments for children.
  • In 2022, more than 4,000 people were reached by the project.