Our work with children

Reaching more children, families and communities than ever before.

Highlights in 2016

Education and early childhood

Our education programs are designed to break down the barriers that prevent children from accessing education. At the same time we work with teachers and governments to improve the quality of education. Our early childhood development programs prepare children for school and a future of learning and encourage parents to be the champions of their children’s education.

Where we work: Uganda, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Zambia, Laos, Vietnam, India

117011 children raising their hands and Plan International supported ECCD centre in Uganda
Children raising their hands at their Early Childhood Care and Development Centre in Uganda.

In 2016 our Early Childhood program directly reached 90,615 people with a continued focus on embedding learning around gender and disability inclusion and promoting the role of fathers. Investing Australian Government Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) funds in inclusive early childhood models has influenced the approach of the Indonesian government through an integrated module, it is being replicated and scaled up by the Women’s Union in Vietnam, and is also being drawn on in a new integrated WASH-Health-Nutrition program in Laos.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Our WASH projects are designed to support and empower children and families to lead their own improvements to stay healthy by learning good hygiene practices like hand-washing, using a toilet and brushing their teeth.

Where we work: Indonesia, Laos, Malawi, Pakistan, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe

Timor  Lautem District  Raising a hand for hygiene
Students in Timor-Leste celebrate Global Handwashing day by raising a hand for hygiene.

In Laos, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Zimbabwe Plan International Australia's WASH program ensured almost 17,000 people now have access to an improved water supply, over 22,000 people are using new latrines, more than 65 villages now have latrine access for all households and over 37,000 people have more knowledge of safe hygiene practices including hand washing with soap and safe water storage.

In Pakistan, sanitation activities have generated significant interest and over 38,000 improved latrines serving more than 270,000 people have been installed. Open Defecation Free (ODF) certification for 140 villages (that’s 275,000 people) has been reached, with a further 15 pending assessment. Villages organisations have made progress towards inclusive membership with more than 80% of committees including members from usually excluded groups: people with a disability, religious minorities, low caste, and extremely poor.

Making a living

We help families and young people build their livelihoods by gaining job skills, participating in workplace training, securing employment and/or setting up their own businesses. 

Where we work: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste

Fathima 26 has grown her business in bagmaking after taking part in the YEE program in Sri Lanka
Fathima, 26, has grown her business making bags after taking part in Plan International's Youth Economic Empowerment program in Sri Lanka.

Plan International's Youth Economic Empowerment program delivered vocational and ‘soft' skills training for 11,434 vulnerable men and women with an explicit focus on inclusion of young women, youth with disabilities and indigenous youth. We worked with 20 civil society organisations, government partner organisations and  training institutions to more effectively deliver services, and enhanced the confidence and earning capacity of more than 6,500 men and women from marginalised families in Cambodia and Zimbabwe. In Cambodia we supported disadvantaged young people to access vocational training and help them find work. The project embraced inclusion through every stage, taking a mainstreaming approach to disability. We have been generally meeting our targets for 6% of placements being made up by people with disabilities.

Rights in the Community

We promote and protect people's rights within their communities, while influencing governments responsible for protecting rights.

Where we work: Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Indonesia

Lucia took part in Plan Internationals PRAAC activities in Zimbabwe
Mother of two, Lucia, felt empowered to challenge tendencies to undermine her presence as a young woman in both the community and family life after regularly taking part in Plan International's PRAAC activities in Zimbabwe.

In 2016 we completed the final year or our five-year Promoting Rights and Accountabilities in African Communities program implemented in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. The key target groups for the program are marginalised women of all ages and marginalised male and female young people (aged 10–14 years up to 24 years). In addition, people with disability are recognised as people who are particularly marginalised. The program works with all members of targeted communities to ensure marginalised women and marginalised young people are able to claim rights and access services. The program reached in excess of 36,800 people in 168 communities including 1,208 people with disabilities (PWD) through rights awareness activities and  over 700 community volunteers were trained in providing support and services.

In all countries the inclusion of marginalised people and claiming rights is a visible outcome of the program.  It played a significant role in improving gender relations in many communities, and there are many more marginalised people taking on meaningful roles in community committees and leadership positions. In all countries there have been significant increases in the number and proportion of women and people with disability included in community committees and structures. In Zimbabwe the project had significant impacts on gender-based violence. Read the full evaluation.

Food assistance

Our food projects enable children to access nutritious food. We work with communities to improve their harvest quality, farming methods, and resilience to food crises, and provide immediate food assistance to those who have experienced conflict or disaster.

Where we work: Cambodia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Myanmar

112336 Women carrying sacks of rice Myanmar

Cyclone Komen placed food pressures on communities in Myanmar. Plan International supported families with distributions of food and water.

In 2016, Plan International Australia’s food and livelihoods programs provided a combination of emergency and targeted assistance to a total of 883,201 children and adults across five countries: Cambodia (170,311); Central African Republic (192,705); Myanmar (113,777); South Sudan (339,544); and Zimbabwe (66,864).


Climate change and disasters

Through our Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) projects, we work closely with children and families to build resilience against disasters and the dangerous threat of climate change. We encourage children to take the lead and learn how disasters and climate change impacts their communities and rights.

Where we work: Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati Tonga, Tuvalu

Youth ambassadors in Jakarta Indonesia taking part in urban farming
Youth ambassadors in Jakarta, Indonesia have been using bio-degradable waste in urban farming for a cleaner, healthier environment.

Our Disaster Risk Management – Climate Change program contributed to community resilience building by reaching 32,464 people, as well as partner organisations and institutions who have increased awareness of and capacity to plan and develop local solutions to climate change and disaster risk. Local systems and capacity have been enhanced in all project locations and more than 50 communities and schools have organised risk assessments and developed action plans, and implemented more than 30 small-scale risk mitigation activities.