As former Plan-sponsored child, Khady Diop from St. Louis, Senegal became involved with Plan in 1986.
When I was 6 years old, my parents opened the door to a future I could never have imagined when they signed me up to be a sponsored child with Plan. For 12 years, through my schooling, I was sponsored by a person in the Netherlands.
The sponsorship not only allowed me greater opportunity through access to education and more, but also helped my village. Many children benefited from the improvements to the school and programmes made by Plan. One of my own children is sponsored by Plan, and the others attend a school which receives support from Plan because of sponsorship.
Today, I hold a bachelor’s degree and have attended several technical trainings to collect my certificate in data management. In addition to caring for my family, I work as an assistant to the manager of a savings and credit association.
I am also the president of our community health group, which means I convene and coordinate the monthly meetings, reinforce our local health services and facilitate training. Community health groups are supported in their work to ensure that people are accessing health services and learning how to better care for their children and families by Plan.
Holding this position gives me a sense of pride. It is well-respected in my community and was previously held by a man. When I was young, I learned that women are important. We have an obligation to make a positive impact in our communities, which improves the future for our children. That my own children are seeing me in this leadership role emphasizes this value I want them to share with me.
Based on my own experience, I believe that the biggest gift a woman can give her children, especially her daughters, is an education. Girls need to focus on their studies and live their lives with dignity. By living with dignity, we will be treated with respect. We mothers and women lead by example, being active participants in daily life, able to make changes and impact the future. I was inspired by the people I met in Plan, my parents, my teachers, to become a leader.
With their support, I was able to achieve my goals. It is my intention to do the same for my own children and the many other children in my village.