Luana, 18, was registered as a sponsored child at the age of 7. Over the years, she has participated in a number of different projects and is keen to put everything she has learned from Plan International to good use so she can reach her potential and fulfil her dreams.
Access to water
She recalls that she had to spend at least 1 day per week collecting water from a nearby village with her mother. For many years, there was no water supply system serving the rural quilombola community in Brazil where she was born.
"It was very difficult for us, because the nearest place to get water was 6 km away", she explains. As well as collecting water, Luana was also responsible for helping her mother to wash her sibling’s clothes. "But now the children here don’t have to do this anymore, thanks to Plan International," she adds.
I am very curious, I like to ask questions, and be well-informed
Luana now studies at a school that follows the ‘alternance principal’ which is very common in rural areas as it reduces truancy and school drop-outs. Students split their time between formal classroom education and vocational training. Luana spends 15 days each month at boarding school, and the rest of the time is spent at home where she is learning new farming techniques.
She is participating in the New Quilombos Project. Plan International is supporting 190 families from 3 quilombola communities in Maranhão to expand their crop production. Through practical workshops, the communities have learnt to create sustainable farming systems which will yield them a higher income and reduce poverty and social exclusion.
In Luana’s home, she has taken on responsibility for maintaining the family garden. She takes great pride in the blossoming tomatoes, berries and other fruit and vegetables.
With Plan International’s support, Luana was also able to participate in a conference on quilombola communities in the Americas. "It was a very interesting experience as I could meet and talk with people from various places, with similar life stories to mine".
Despite her young age, Luana has seen and experienced much, and this is why she dreams big. She wants to continue her education and become a journalist. "I am very curious, I like to ask questions, and be well-informed", she explains.