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Friendship is - stories to brighten up your January

Akim and Lim from Ethiopia

Friendship is…

Stories to brighten up your January

Around the world, children are growing up surrounded by gross inequality. They’re facing up to the challenges posed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. But their stories are proof of how, when you’ve got good people in your corner, the world becomes a brighter place. The support of people like you plays such a vital role in their stories. 

It means that children like Akim and Lim, pictured above, who escaped civil war in South Sudan, can access the education and support they’ve been denied and start dreaming of a better future again. It means that we’re able to fund ground-breaking work like the Path of Love project in Colombia, bringing together communities that were divided for so long and creating bonds that could last a lifetime. 

It also means that, in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach communities, we’re able to give parents like Lem La the hope that their children’s futures will be filled with possibility rather than struggle.

Thank you for being part of our extraordinary family of Plan International UK supporters giving every child, every chance.

Lim and Akim, both 12, play football together at the child-friendly space where they met.


The civil war in South Sudan forced Akim and Lim to flee their homes. Both made it across the border to Ethiopia, but their safety came at a heavy price: Akim was separated from his parents, while Lim’s family had to flee attacks from militants. 

But thanks to the support of people like you, our child-friendly spaces can give Akim and Lim the care they need to come to terms with everything they’ve been through. 

The pair have forged a special friendship. “Lim’s become my best friend,” says Akim, “We both love playing football together.  We come here every day now.”

Two friends share a meal in Cauca Valley.


In Colombia, children and young people’s lives have been blighted by civil war, drug cartels and poverty.   

But in the Cauca Valley, our Path of Love project is bringing communities together, helping children take control over their lives.

In schools, we’re working with children to help them take responsibility for their actions and express their emotions, which has led to a huge reduction in bullying and fights. Now children respect each other, which is laying the foundation for a fair and prosperous community in the future.

Lem La takes her daughter to school on the back of her bicycle in Cambodia.


In Cambodia, five-year-old Chana means the world to her Mum, Lem La. “I love my mum because she takes care of me always,” Chana says. 

Lem La has lived her whole life in poverty. Now climate change is making it even harder for her to earn an income from growing crops. But joining a savings group supported by Plan International has given her a boost. 

“With the income from the interest, I was able to buy a used bicycle to take Chana to school,” she says. It’s thanks to people like you that Lem La can help Chana keep learning, giving her every chance for the future.

Danica, 10, and her brother Darwin, 12, carry water home from the new pump.


In the Philippines, Danica and Darwin used to have to get up at dawn to fetch water for their family. 

“We carried 20-litre cans using our cows. It was hard, it was steep and often the path was slippery. It made me late for school,” says Darwin.

But thanks to Plan International supporters, that has all changed. We dug wells for fresh, clean water in their community, which means Danica and Darwin can do what children should be doing – stretching their minds at school. Their new-found free time also gives this brother and sister something special: quality time to share. Without the support of people like you, it simply wouldn’t be possible. 

Thank you for your support

Read on to find out more about our work and the lives your support is helping to transform