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About us

A girl smiles at the camera

About us

Around the world, we’re working to make sure every child has the same chance in life

Plan International UK is a global children’s charity. We work with girls and boys growing up in some of the world’s poorest communities, making sure they have access to the education, health care, clean water and future opportunities they need to thrive.

We’re also working to create a just and equal world for girls – including here in the UK. Through our Because I am a Girl campaign we’re standing with brave girls everywhere as they take on the issues that matter to them, from child marriage to street harassment and sexual exploitation at work.

We’re fighting for a world where every child, especially every girl, knows their value. We want the communities they’re growing up in – and the world around them – to value them too. And if a disaster strikes we’re there to protect children, keep them learning and help them to recover.

Our approach

To give every child, every chance we're working with:

Individuals

supporting children and promoting girls' rights through our sponsorship projects and programmes

Communities

through economic empowerment and livelihoods projects and disaster relief

Changemakers

using our platform to amplify children's voices and advocate for lasting change

Where we work

WE WORK IN MORE THAN 50 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD ACROSS AFRICA, ASIA AND THE AMERICAS, AS WELL AS HERE IN THE UK

Photo of a girl smiling

Africa

In Sierra Leone more than 6,500 girls and children with disabilities are being supported to reach their potential through our Girls’ Education Challenge fund.
Thiago, from the Young Health Programme in Brazil

The Americas

In Brazil, our Young Health Programme has reached more than 28,000 young people, empowering them to lead healthier lives.
Two young girls in school uniforms wash their hands in basins with taps

Asia

In South East Asia we've reached 6.6 million people since 2014 through our successful water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme.
A girl from our Champions of Wales programme

UK

Our UK programmes are working with girls to tackle period poverty, change perceptions and attitudes towards girls and create a safe space for girls online.
Our History

Our History

Originally named Foster Parents Scheme for Children in Spain, Plan International was founded in 1937 by British journalist and broadcaster John Langdon-Davies. He was later joined by Eric Muggeridge, Esme Odgers, and Nick (Barton) Carter. 

Langdon-Davies had seen first-hand the plight of children orphaned during the Spanish Civil War and was determined to help. He wanted to provide not only food, shelter and education to the children but also a sense that someone, somewhere, was thinking about them as an individual. 

During the Second World War, renamed Foster Parents Plan for War Children, we expanded to work with displaced children throughout war-torn Europe. We continued to work in Europe through the 1950s.

Over the following decades, Plan International extended its work to Asia and Africa and ended its work in Europe. Countries that were once helped by Plan International have now become donors – including Spain, where it all began.

Photo of a boy writing a letter
Enock writes a letter to his sponsor. He lives in Togo, where Plan International is funding new classrooms at his school. "I want to become a doctor, because in my village many people fall sick," he says.

A pioneer of child sponsorship

In the beginning, the Foster Parents Scheme for Children in Spain asked British people to donate one shilling a day to provide a child with food and shelter. They also asked them to write letters and send photos to the child, to show them that someone cared about them.

This was the beginning of what we now call child sponsorship. Today, more than 78,000 sponsors are helping to support over 83,000 children in 48 countries around the world through Plan International UK.

Why we're needed

12 million girlsare married before the age of 18 each year

263 million childrenadolescents and youth are out of school worldwide

2 out of 3 girlsin the UK have been sexually harassed in public

Sabina, left, 17, and Sarita, right, 15, are campaigning to end trafficking in Nepal.

Our policy and campaigning work

Through our policy, advocacy and research we’re able to influence governments globally, to realise the rights of children and young people and to promote gender equality and girls’ rights.

We use the evidence and learning from our research and programmes to enable young people to take a stand on the issues that matter most to them – including through our Because I am a Girl campaign, tackling issues from child marriage and sexual exploitation at work to street harassment.

Dhakshi is a member of the Philanthropic Partnerships team at Plan International UK

Our people

At Plan International UK, we come to work each day to make sure every child has the same chance in life. We won’t stop until every child can thrive and every girl has a fair, just world to grow up in – a vital step in building a better world for all children.

It’s our people’s passion, commitment, expert knowledge and skills that enable us to create lasting change for children and we’re proud to have young people at the heart of what we do.

Sazeda studies at home in Bangladesh

Safeguarding children and adults

Plan International UK exists to help children and young people, and we therefore take their safeguarding very seriously.

We have well established systems and policies, including training for all our employees, to ensure that we do everything we can to safeguard the children and young people we work with, and that we provide a safe working environment for everyone.

Discover more

Education

Supporting children to access education so they can transform their futures.

GIVE EVERY CHILD, EVERY CHANCE

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