You are here:

5 ways we’re keeping children safe

5 ways we’re keeping children safe

We believe that all children have the right to a life that is safe and free from violence, exploitation, and poverty. Our work around the world not only provides relief and recovery from such circumstances, but aims to eliminate the causes behind the danger. We provide safe spaces during emergency, and we help families to provide for themselves and better weather whatever crises they may face in the future.

Student first aid officers at their school in Cambodia
Student first aid officers at their school in Cambodia

1. Teaching children how to survive in emergencies

Our Safe Schools Initiative teaches children in areas that experience extreme weather how to respond to and stay safe in a natural disaster. We work with children to set up early warning task forces, search and rescue teams and first aid teams. Children are also taught how to respond to drills and develop school evacuation maps.

A Plan International staff member plays with girls at a temporary shelter
A Plan International staff member plays with girls at a temporary shelter in Piura, Peru

2. Providing child-friendly spaces

During emergencies, we set up child-friendly spaces that give children a safe place to learn, play, and interact with their friends. These spaces protect children from abuse and exploitation, give them access to psychological support, and can let them continue their education if their school is not safe. By providing safe spaces, we’re keeping these children out of dangerous places and situations.

A boy washing his hands in the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon
A boy washing his hands in the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon

3. Teaching children how to wash their hands

We work to provide better access to clean water and better hygiene, putting water tanks and handwashing stations in schools, and teach children and their communities about the importance of washing their hands.

Each year, diarrhoeal diseases kill over half a million children before they reach the age of five. Proper handwashing and hygiene can prevent the spread of these diseases, reducing the number of cases by 30 per cent.

A Village Savings and Group Loans meeting in Kamuli, Uganda
A Village Savings and Group Loans meeting in Kamuli, Uganda

4. Helping families find economic stability

Children are often the first to feel the effects of poverty, being forced to go hungry or leave school to earn an income for the family. We work with children and families in extreme poverty to build up the skills they need to increase their income and assets.

We also set up savings and loan schemes so families can plan and provide for their children’s future. This approach helps families to become more resilient and better placed to cope with changing circumstances.

Plan International staff members at an anti-trafficking checkpoint
Plan International staff members at an anti-trafficking checkpoint on the border between Nepal and China

5. Fighting child-trafficking

During an emergency or disaster, children are vulnerable to many things – injury from unsafe environments, hunger, cold, and many other risks. But in these times of chaos, when families can become separated and communication is difficult, children are also at risk of abduction and trafficking. We work with communities and local organisations to prevent this. After the earthquake in Nepal, our anti-trafficking booths intercepted 247 abducted children!

Many children are tricked into their own abduction by the promise of a better life elsewhere – we aim to eliminate this danger by helping families out of poverty and into a more stable economic situation.

Make a donation

Help us to continue the many different ways we work to improve the lives of children everywhere

Latest stories for you