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A year like no other

A year like no other

As we publish our Trustees' Annual Report 2020, we wanted to share some of our highlights from the past year.

The world is a very different place from just six months ago, but we continue to strive to give every child, every chance. Thanks to our incredible supporters, we’ve been able to reach nearly 10 million people in the last 12 months and change their lives forever.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, we launched a global emergency appeal, mobilising vital funds to support and protect the most vulnerable children and their communities. We also adapted over 100 of our programmes to respond to the crisis. Your support was astonishing, enabling us to continue to transform lives.

You can read some of our highlights below and download the full report here >

Girl from Cusco, Peru
Luz Clarita, 8, wears a face mask at her home in Cusco, Peru.

Our coronavirus response

In March, we launched our Coronavirus: Children’s Emergency Appeal. We used the money raised to ensure communities received vital public health information, water, sanitation and hygiene provisions, as well as essential food supplies.

As experts in education and child protection, we scaled up our work in these areas too. We’ve found new and immediate ways for children to keep learning even when they can’t go to school, as we know that having an education is vital to give every child, every chance.

Girl from Vietnam
Xinh, 10, is a Plan International sponsored child from Vietnam.

Changing lives through sponsorship

Our sponsorship programme operates in 48 countries around the world. We know the incredible difference it makes – both to an individual and to a community.

In Vietnam alone, support from sponsors over the last 10 years has helped improve the lives of more than 3,300 sponsored children and around 57,600 people living in 11 communities throughout the Quang Ngai region.

Together, we’ve built 66 classrooms with drinking water systems, toilets and outdoor playgrounds; built two community health stations, which have been equipped with medical supplies, clean drinking water and toilets; and ensured 82% of people have access to safe drinking water close to home and 89% of households have working toilets.

Girls from the UK
In London, Olamide, 17, Rochelle, 16, Matilda, 17 and Esther, 17 (left to right) all took part in our The State of Girls’ Rights in the UK report.

Demanding change with and for UK girls

Our State of Girls’ Rights in the UK 2020 report found that gender inequality still affects the majority of girls in the UK. We revealed that girls are ‘fed up and frustrated’ with the lack of progress on gender equality, and are continuing to face very real threats to their safety in public, sexism in school and a lack of control over their bodies.

We called on the government to bring a new focus to delivering girls’ rights in order to help achieve gender equality across the UK. Our message was heard by sector, political and policy audiences at a packed Westminster report launch and gained significant media coverage across the UK.

Young person from YHP programme
Alvi, 15, is one of the peer educators with the Young Health Programme in Indonesia.

Supporting young people to stay healthy

Our Young Health Programme, a disease prevention programme co-founded with biopharmaceutical business AstraZeneca, has a unique focus on young people and the prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and mental and neurological health conditions.

In 2019, the programme continued to work with young people across India, Kenya, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand, training them as Peer Educators so together, they can pass on vital messaging to improve the health of those in their wider communities.

Girls from crisis contexts
Our Vision: A Call to Action by Girls in Crisis reflects the experiences and demands of girls who have lived through crises.

Girls in crisis

We supported over 150 young people in Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda to share their experiences and demands with world leaders, to drive change for girls who have lived through crises. The girls created an eight-point plan for change, Our Vision: A Call to Action by Girls in Crisis, which was launched at a reception in parliament.

Since then, the context has changed dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic. Next, we will be calling on the international community to endorse this Call to Action at the G7 Summit in the UK in 2021 and asking world leaders to ensure that the rights and needs of girls are central to their agenda.

Graphic from the Dream Big campaign
The Dream Big campaign was an exciting partnership for Christmas 2019.


In December 2019 we were proud to partner with The Body Shop for our Dream Big campaign, which is empowering girls and young women to realise their rights and achieve their dreams.

The campaign raised an incredible £250,000, enabling 1,500 girls in Brazil and Indonesia to access the education, skills and training they need to fulfil their potential and ‘dream big’.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, The Body Shop donated a further £50,000 in support of our work with girls in the UK and Ireland, including our Girls Shout Out project.

Trustees' Annual Report 2020

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