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Seven ways our work has transformed lives in 2019

Seven ways our work transformed lives in 2019

From championing the rights of children, especially girls, in 55 countries worldwide to our ground-breaking new campaigning work in the UK, our work has truly transformed lives this year.

In 2019 we reached more than eight million people around the world, including more than 400,000 girls and our campaigning work continued to put pressure on governments to protect the most vulnerable. 

We could only reach so many with your incredible support. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved together, and this year’s Trustees’ Annual Report highlights just some of the areas we have made a difference. 

A photo of Atlanta, 18, from Manchester
Atlanta, 18, from Manchester sits on Plan International UK's Youth Advisory Panel

Changing the conversation on street harassment

In Autumn 2018, our stand out campaign, #ISayItsNotOK, saw the UK Government recognise street harassment as a form of gender-based violence. Our research revealed street harassment is widespread and profoundly affecting girls’ lives. With your support, we changed the UK-wide conversation and ensured the government take this issue seriously. After lobbying decision makers, we succeeded in getting street harassment included in the local strategies in Manchester, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester. These are truly significant steps towards reducing the harassment girls face every day.

Youth advocates Fiona, Rowlings and Faridah from Uganda

Campaigning for girls’ rights in Uganda

Thanks to your support, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in Uganda agreed to launch an inquiry into the sexual exploitation of girls and young women at work. As many as one in 10 girls in the country have been affected by sexual abuse and exploitation. More than 50,000 people around the world agreed with our campaigners and joined their call for an inquiry, while thousands of others sent messages of solidarity.

José, 16, a peer educator from Brazil

Healthy futures

We know that education around lifestyle choices are key to empowering today’s youth to live healthier lives. 

This year, our award-winning partnership with global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, the Young Health Programme, has driven significant change in Brazil. Working with peer educators, the project reached more than 28,000 young people with health information while  also engaging 161 health professionals.


The Financial Education for Girls programme is helping girls in China build better futures for themselves

Girls education challenge

Collaborating and working with others helps us to move faster and have a bigger impact.

This year, we celebrated 10 years of working with Credit Suisse. The partnership has improved access to, and quality of, education for more than 242,600 children, empowering a new generation to achieve their goals. Together we have built schools, trained teachers and implemented a multi-country Financial Education for Girls programme, which has reached more than 116,000 girls.

Children have their lessons outside after their classrooms were destroyed by Cyclone Idai

Responding to Cyclone Idai

On 15 March 2019, Cyclone Idai made landfall through Beira in Mozambique, causing widespread devastation and flooding. An estimated three million people needed humanitarian aid across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. 

Supporters like you responded immediately to a Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal, donating £2m. We were one of the first charities on the ground and provided urgent humanitarian support, which included access to food, shelter, clean water and sanitation. We worked with local organisations to ensure children, especially girls, were protected from the additional risks posed to them during the emergency.

Syrian children in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan enjoy a football training session with Chelsea Foundation coaches

Childhood hope for Syrian refugees

Azraq refugee camp in Jordan is home to more than 36,000 Syrian refugees, of whom 60% are children. Our partnership with Chelsea Football Club helps give these children the opportunity for a childhood. 

Chelsea has funded a second all-weather football pitch and play area for 5,000 children in the camp and this year Chelsea ambassador Katie Chapman and Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck visited the camp along with the Head of the Chelsea Foundation, Chelsea Foundation coaches and Chelsea TV.

The coaches led football training sessions for more than 600 girls and boys. 

Child sponsorship changes lives. In Mabel’s school in Ghana it has enabled us to install a water pump and separate toilets for girls

The power of sponsorship - see for yourself

In 2019, more than 78,000 people sponsored more than 83,000 children and changed their lives. We travelled to Ghana to meet Mabel and her friends, who took us behind the camera to show the difference sponsorship has made in their community.

A water pump and separate toilets for girls have been installed at the school, while a sanitation and hygiene programme rolled out in Mabel’s community and 19 others aims to reduce significantly the number of hygiene-related deaths of children under 18.


Read more about our work and the impact of your support on children’s lives around the world