Nine ways your support has changed children’s lives in 2018
From signing our petition to stop the trafficking of girls and women in Nepal, making a donation to transform children’s lives, joining our innovative new sponsorship app trial and lending your voice to our period emoji campaign – we’ve been blown away by your support over the last year.
Thanks to incredible supporters like you, we were able to reach eight million people in more than seventy countries in the last 12 months.
As we publish our Trustees Annual Report 2018, we wanted to share just some of our highlights from a life-changing year.
DEVELOPING EARLY CHILDHOOD SUPPORT
In north-east Cambodia, we’re working to provide childhood care and development services for infants.
Since we started our three-year ‘Young Bamboo’ project in August 2017, 64 parents’ groups have been established, construction has begun on seven pre-schools and materials for parents – covering children’s health, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene – have been specially developed, and the impact is already clear: 57% of the communities’ children are now enrolled in preschool, showing that parents are more aware of the importance of early years education.
HELPING FRAGILE COMMUNITIES
In August, over 600,000 Rohingya people fled violence in Myanmar, and arrived in Bangladesh. In response, we launched an emergency appeal with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), alongside 12 other leading UK aid charities, for children and their families in urgent need.
With your support, we were able to raise £164,000, enabling us to provide 13,800 people with water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, toilets and bathing spaces, as well as reaching over 2,000 adolescent girls with hygiene materials.
A DIGITAL REVOLUTION FOR GIVING
In 2018 we piloted an innovative new digital project: Plan Connect. The app links 300 of our UK sponsors with girls and boys from a community in Codó, Brazil, and allows smartphone and tablet users to send and receive texts, images and videos to and from their sponsored child.
Now we’re looking forward to exploring the app’s potential to transform connections between sponsors and their sponsored children in more countries around the world.
TACKLING PERIOD POVERTY
In the last year, we’ve continued to challenge the shame and stigma surrounding periods. We’ve kept up the call for a blood drop emoji to be included on keyboards everywhere, and on International Day of the Girl 2017 our #weallbleed campaign highlighted the fact periods are a normal part of everyday life.
We were also thrilled to receive a grant for a new UK project, Let’s Talk. Period – supported by the Tampon Tax Fund and in partnership with Brook – which will enable girls in need to access period products and education about periods.
CHANGING THE PARADIGM
In Segou, Mali, only 11% of children complete their education – but our three-year education project, supported by The Hodge Foundation, is working to change that. In a year, we’ve trained 50 teachers and provided nearly 800 children with school kits.
In all the project villages, video projections and radio shows have raised awareness of harmful practices, including FGM, that lead girls to drop out of school. By the end of the project, our aim is to help more than 2,500 girls across five schools and communities to stay in school.
SAVING CHILDREN’S LIVES
In the Punjab province of Pakistan, over 26,000 children under five die from diarrhoea every year.
Our work with Reckitt Benckiser (RB) aimed to reduce infant deaths by using simple, effective and low-cost interventions. Last year, we ran 23,800 awareness-raising health and hygiene sessions, that reached 456,000 people.
AN END TO TRAFFICKING IN NEPAL
In the summer of 2018, over 46,000 of you stood with youth advocates Sabina, 17, and Sarita, 15, to end the trafficking of girls in Nepal.
With your support, they were able to get a commitment from their Mayor to launch a new public awareness campaign, to make sure every girl in their area knows about the risks – and this is just the beginning. We’ll continue to work with Sabina, Sarita and other youth advocates, as they take their campaign to neighbouring areas and all the way up to the national government.
WORKING TOGETHER TO CHANGE LIVES
Our partnership with the Costa Foundation focusses on education in Latin America, specifically Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. With Costa’s support, we’ve been constructing and refurbishing schools as well as supporting vital water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, to ensure children - especially girls - stay in school.
The partnership has already supported 19 schools and will reach over 4,500 children to provide training on bullying, negative attitudes towards girls, and violence, all of which can lead to children being denied access to education.
HARNESSING COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE
In the Philippines, a country prone to natural disasters, we’ve been asking communities how they’d rebuild after a typhoon, fire, earthquake or conflict. Over 450 residents have submitted innovative ideas, which will now be tested and further developed.
Some of the ideas include capturing indigenous knowledge from elders on forest management in order to preserve and protect the environment, and the Bakwit Kit, a flat-pack evacuation tent which could provide privacy and basic necessities in evacuation centres.
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