Plan International refutes a social media message and a fake WhatsApp group link circulating on the social media platform encouraging out of school girls to register to be supported with their education.
In a statement, Plan International said whilst it is true that the organisation has a project called Supporting Adolescent Girls Education (SAGE) that is supporting out of school adolescent girls in selected communities across 11 districts in Zimbabwe it has not engaged any third party outside its organisational structures to mobilise girls on its behalf.
Plan International is disassociating itself with the social media messages and fake WhatsApp group link in circulation.
“We are concerned that the originators of these messages may have malicious intent and should be ignored. The fake messages and links should not be shared onwards. The relevant authorities are being engaged to investigate the intentions of the fake WhatsApp group administrator.
It said identifying a real Plan International message from a fake one is extremely important, and the following is how this can be done:
Plan International assistance and services are free. Plan International does not request any payment from individuals to be part of its projects.
Plan International will not ask you to provide personal information about children or ask for photographs, without a prior and direct engagement with us.
Plan does not communicate organisational information through third parties and on informal platforms.
Anyone doing the above is not from Plan International but a fraudulent individual usurping our identity.
Plan international prioritises and is committed to safeguarding children and young people from any harm that may be as a result of its programmes or projects.
In its operations, the organisation is guided by a comprehensive Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy and Plan International Code of Conduct which stipulates acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. In accordance with this, the organisation is undertaking necessary steps to ensure that the abuse and exploitation of girls to which may be as a result of the fake message circulating is prevented and responded to.