Plan International Australia is supported by some truly incredible humans. Despite their diversity in age and background there is one very important aspect that brings them together – a desire for all girls to have equal rights and to create a world where all children, no matter their gender or where they are born, have the opportunity to thrive.
One of our youngest and most dedicated supporters is Billie. A determined 10 year old, she is already a leader in her community and for the last two years she has been fundraising for Plan International Australia to immense success. Her current fundraising total sits at just over $2,700!
Billie first became aware of the barriers to equality that girls face three years ago while watching a kids’ show on the ABC. She learned about International Day of the Girl and decided she wanted her classmates to understand the needs and challenges faced by girls all over the world. Billie and her best friend Juliet delivered a presentation on this to their classmates, and were then asked to present to each class at their school.
Billie wanted to do more to engage her school and community in supporting girls’ rights. So the next year she got behind International Day of the Girl again, and set up a stall selling raffle tickets for prizes and organised a soccer game called ‘Beat the Goalie’. In her first year of fundraising her parents helped by purchasing raffle prizes, but this year Billie went one step further and contacted bookshops, sports shops and other retailers who generously provided her with a range of prizes. Over the last two years, Billie has set up stalls at her school, at her friend’s ballet concert, outside a Woolworths store and in a shopping arcade.
This year Billie even got her friends to help out too. She loves having the opportunity to talk to her family, her classmates and the wider community about girls’ rights and the importance of working towards a world where girls are treated equally to boys. When asked what hopes she has for girls in the future, Billie said:
“I hope that in the future girls won’t be living in fear of violence and that they won’t be living in poverty anymore, and that they have access to enough food and water.”
Apart from a very supportive mum, Billie’s biggest inspiration is Malala Yousafzai. Billie recently travelled to Sydney to see Malala speak about girls’ rights, and how girls often aren’t offered the same educational opportunities as boys. Billie is inspired by Malala’s strength and resilience in the face of adversity and hopes to emulate this as she continues to support equality for girls in any way she can.
Long-term Billie hopes to study to be a vet and dedicate her time to her other passion: animals. In the meantime though she hopes to continue raising funds for girls in need. Whatever she chooses to do, we know Billie will excel. We feel very fortunate to have an ambassador like her!