Plan International Australia receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, trusts, foundations, corporations and the Australian community. Currently, Plan International Australia has five program partnerships with its funding partner Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), enabling us to receive over AUD $10 million annually to fund programs in developing countries.
The five program partnerships are:
• The Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)
• The Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP)
• Water for Women Program
• BEQUAL Program
• Education Pathways to Peace Program
An example of the ANCP partnership is Plan International Australia’s Inclusive Education Program in Bangladesh. In collaboration with in-country partners, we have developed a practical, inclusive education model that contributes to the goals of the Bangladesh Government’s Primary Education Development Program.
In the 2017/18 Financial Year, grants from DFAT accounted for 11% of all income:
Living with a disability in any country comes with challenges. But in the most vulnerable regions of the world, it’s even harder. Getting an education is so important for a child’s future, yet is rarely accessible for children with disabilities.
Due to pre-conceived community stigmas, children living with disabilities are kept hidden. Every child deserves the right to an education, and no child deserves to be hidden from their potential.
In Bangladesh there are more than 3 million children out of school, and children with disabilities remain one of the most disadvantaged groups. When our project began, we surveyed 50 communities in Bangladesh and found that close to zero children with disabilities existed. But they were real. They are real. These children were kept hidden due to the shame associated with having a disability.
We later found that among the 872 children who were not attending school, 53% had special needs or disabilities. That was proof that children with disabilities were not given the same support and opportunities to an education as other children.
Mim only recently began school in 2013. She has speech and hearing impairments, which kept her at home for too long.
Mim's mother worried that sending her daughter to school would not be suitable for her.
That was, until Mim’s mother became aware of her daughter’s rights to an education. Mim’s mother says that due to the work of Plan International’s Inclusive Education Enrolment campaigns, she felt more assured in her decision to send her daughter to school for the first time.
Plan International Australia began working with schools and communities in this region to support learning environments and education of all children, regardless of their abilities and challenges.
This project, funded in partnership with the ANCP, is committed to directly supporting schools to understand and take steps to implement inclusive educational practices.
So far, 50 schools have been transformed into inclusive model schools with over 1,000 schools nationally taking on components of Plan International Australia’s Inclusive Education approach. A further 351 teachers from 50 schools have received vital training on inclusive education, to assist and support children with disabilities and their education.
For Mim, she is no longer hidden from the world. This project has given her the chance to go to an inclusive school and to be supported throughout her journey. Her teachers have championed her and importantly, Mim received a hearing aid in 2015, allowing her learn and focus better in class. Mim has now successfully completed Primary School and is one step closer to achieving her dreams.
Plan International Australia is fully accredited and a trusted recipient of funds from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Our accreditation is maintained through a rigorous process overseen by DFAT that is undertaken every five years. This involves an in-depth assessment of our management capacity, systems, operations, and linkages with the Australian community against a set of agreed criteria.
The DFAT Accreditation process ensures the Australian Government is funding professional, well-managed organisations that are capable of delivering quality development outcomes and are accountable to their stakeholders. It assures the Australian public that the Australian Government is working with the most effective partners. Plan International Australia is proud to be one of them.