Plan Your Story – What might your life be like without a birth certificate?

This week I got disproportionately excited by a box file.

For ages I’ve had various piles of Important and Useful Documents, waiting to be sorted out, looking at me accusingly every time I walked past them, with that ‘we’re still here…’ look in their eyes.*

And then I found this box file, for only three pounds, but which turned out, when I got to the till, to be only ONE POUND! I love it when that happens. So for just a pound I got to spend a very satisfying hour arranging all my credit card bills and bank statements into nice neat sections. I also discovered I had three copies of Bee’s birth certificate. I’m not sure how that happened, but I figured it showed I was prepared at least.

Imagine though how your life might be different if you’d never had a birth certificate at all.

If Bee had been born somewhere else in the world, then by the age of sixteen she could well have been forced into marriage already, and have been denied an education.

It’s really just luck when you think about it isn’t it?

Plan UK’s ‘Because I am Girl’ campaign wants to change this, and they’ve created a nifty little facebook app to help fight for the rights of the 75 million girls worldwide who aren’t in school. The “Plan Your Story” application takes your key facebook information and creates a personalised video story book, looking at what your life would be like if you hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate.

“The aim is to put people in the shoes of the millions of girls around the world whose births are not registered,” says Justin Wylie, Head of Business Development at the international children’s organisation Plan UK.

“Without a birth certificate, the user sees how key events in their life would change – for example an inability to prove their age could result in being married off whilst they’re still a child, or being denied the right to go to school.”

Why not have a go and see how lucky you really are?

*I do appreciate that they don’t actually have eyes. I’m not mad or anything.



  1. 7 December, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    Don’t underestimate “luck”. Ok some people may be talented, skilled and all the rest of it; BUT ultimately luck plays a part in success and all other parts of life. How else could the Spice Girls have become successful? :p

    • 8 December, 2011 / 10:05 am

      You’re so right Steve. It’s pure chance which country/city/family we’re born into, and we shouldn’t forget that, or forget to feel grateful.

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