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Five times our work has helped communities recover from disaster

Five times our work has helped communities recover from disaster

Saturday 19 August is World Humanitarian Day. With the recent news of landslides in Sierra Leone and the monsoon flooding in Nepal, we thought it might be worth revisiting why our work is so important.

Around the world, Plan International offices work with local governments, agencies, and communities to ensure rapid and effective responses to all manner of crises.

Below are five more recent examples of our work helping communities to recover from difficult circumstances. In all of these cases, the need is urgent, the dangers profound, and our responses are effective and sustainable.

With your support, we will continue our work with communities when they need us the most.

Former child soldiers in South Sudan

Supporting former child soldiers

In South Sudan, an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited by armed groups. For those that are released, it takes time and support to heal the trauma of their experiences.

We’ve been working with hundreds of former child soldiers in the region, funding teachers, providing learning materials and running child rights clubs, helping them begin to rebuild their lives.

"These days, I am happy. I come to school every day and I feel so glad and relieved to be among people I love and to be able to go to bed in a quiet and comfortable home."

Kavula*, aged fifteen (*name changed to protect his identity).

Refugee camp resident in Uganda using a water station

Clean water in Ugandan refugee camps

Since last year, Uganda’s refugee population has doubled to over one million, putting huge pressure on the country’s resources.

In Uganda’s refugee camps, one of the main challenges is the lack of clean water and good hygiene. Without these basic services, diarrhoea and diseases like cholera can spread quickly, especially when the camps are densely populated.

With support from the Swedish and Japanese governments, we’ve responded by drilling 15 boreholes, providing clean drinking water for at least 15,000 people living in camps in the Adjumani and Yumbe districts.

A girl at a temporary shelter after her home was flooded in Peru

The Plan of Joy

After floods affected more than 130,000 children in Piura, Peru, we began distributing humanitarian aid to more than 3,000 families. We also established eight child-friendly spaces, providing children with a place to meet with friends, play, learn and recover.

Known locally as the 'Plan of Joy', more than 600 children attend the spaces regularly, including Lesly, 16. She had to leave her home and live in a tent with her grandparents after the flooding.

“I’ve felt very happy being part of the Plan of Joy with my friends, because they have taught us a lot,” she says.

A family in a temporary shelter constructed with help from Plan International in Haiti

Recovering from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

When Hurricane Matthew struck the municipality of Les Irois in the Grand’Anse Department of Haiti, nearly 3,600 houses were destroyed. Many of the municipality's 23,000 inhabitants lost their livelihoods to the storm, and found themselves unable to access medication, food, water or hygiene, as well as being unable to reconstruct their homes.

We intervened to provide families with the support they needed to regain control of their lives. Over 1,500 families received kits containing tarpaulins, blankets, mosquito nets, ropes and other essential items. With the materials from these kits, they could construct temporary shelters while their homes were being rebuilt.

A farmer and his daughter harvesting drought-resistant crops in Ethiopia

Fighting drought with new crops

The El Niño weather phenomenon caused consecutive poor harvests in Ethiopia, undermining farmers' incomes and severely limiting their ability to buy seeds and feed their families.

In the Shahla district, drought dried the fields so much that farming became almost impossible. "We've lost all of our crops for the past two years,” explained Maruwa, 60, and a father of 10.

Working as part of a consortium with Action Against Hunger and Save the Children International, and with support from the European Commision, we distributed a variety of draught resistant seeds for crops like sorghum, Teff, wheat, and sesame. Thankfully, Maruwa's fields are now full again.

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