DONAL Maher, Nenagh man and financial controller with the international children’s charity Plan Ireland, met the President Michael D Higgins last week to celebrate the charity’s 75th anniversary, highlighting the importance of birth registration for children in the developing world.
Mr Maher, who has worked for the charity as financial controller since 2006, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have the opportunity to meet President Higgins and celebrate 75 years of Plan. Born on a battlefield during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, Plan has always had as its objective, the protection and empowerment of children. Today, Plan is one of the world’s largest children’s development organisations operating in over 70 countries globally and transforming the lives of children and communities throughout the developing world.
“Plan Ireland’s role in this growth and impact is significant – over 8,200 people across the island of Ireland sponsor children with Plan Ireland, Irish Aid and EU funding for our programme continues to grow year-on-year, and, as a result, we are reaching more and more communities across the developing world. Our journey thus far has now been celebrated and acknowledged by our President – an honour indeed.”
In celebrating its 75th anniversary year, Plan aims to draw attention to their global birth registration campaign, Count Every Child.
Through this campaign, since 2005, the organisation has enabled more than 40 million people across 32 countries, most of them children, access vital health and education services after being traced and issued with birth certificates.
Also in attendance at Áras an Uachtaráin were Plan Ireland staff, volunteers, board members, child sponsors and donors – among them Plan Ireland ambassador, child sponsor and former rugby international Malcolm O’Kelly (accompanied by his son Cian) and MTV presenter Laura Whitmore, who acts as ambassador for Plan Ireland’s Because I am a Girl campaign - an international initiative aimed at investing in the power of girls in the developing world.
For more information on Plan Ireland, visit www.plan.ie or call 1800-829829.