Plan (aid organisation)
|Headquarters||Woking, Surrey, UK|
|Key people||John Langdon-Davies, Nigel Chapman|
|Revenue||€633.8 Million (2012)|
Plan is an international development organisation operating in 50 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote and protect the rights of children. The nonprofit organisation is one of the world's largest child-centred community development organisations, working in 58,000 communities with 600,000 volunteers to improve the quality of life for more than 56 million children. Plan has 21 national organisations responsible for raising funds and awareness in their respective countries.
The organisation emphasizes community engagement and ownership as the means to address the needs of children around the world. The NGO focuses on Education, Economic Security, Water and Sanitation, Health, Sexual Health (including HIV), Emergencies, Protection, and Child Participation. It provides training in disaster preparedness, response and recovery and has worked on relief efforts in countries including Haiti, Colombia and Japan.
Plan was founded during the Spanish Civil War by British journalist John Langdon-Davies and aid worker Eric Muggeridge. After seeing children orphaned by the conflict, they established ‘Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain’, which would later change its name to Plan International. Set up in 1937, the organisation provided food, shelter and clothing to children whose lives had been disrupted by the war.
Spanish Civil War
During the Spanish Civil War in 1937, as many as 11,000 refugees a day were passing through the railway station at Santander in Spain. Many were orphaned children. Among them, was a little boy whose father had pencilled this note:
"This is José. I am his father. When Santander falls I shall be shot. Whoever finds my son, I beg of him to take care of him for my sake."
John Langdon-Davies met the orphaned boy with this note and was inspired to found ‘Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain’ to help children whose lives were disrupted by the war. The organization expanded to help children from all over Europe who were displaced by the war, listening to their dreams and aspirations while equipping them with the skills and knowledge to improve their lives and make a better future.
Here’s a brief timeline of Plan’s evolution:
1930s - Plan was founded as "Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain."
1940s - During World War II, the organization became known as "Foster Parents Plan for War Children" and worked in England, helping displaced children from all over Europe. After the war, Plan extended aid to children in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and briefly in Poland, Czechoslovakia and China.
1950s - As Europe recovered, Plan gradually moved out of these countries and opened new programs in less developed countries. It became "Foster Parents Plan Inc." to reflect the goal of bringing lasting change to the lives of children in need, whatever their circumstances.
1960s - Foster Parents Plan expanded its work to countries in South America and Asia. In 1962, U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was honorary chairwoman during Plan's Silver Jubilee.
1970s - In 1974, the global name became Plan International as programs now spanned South America, Asia and Africa.
1980s - Belgium, Germany, Japan and the UK joined Canada, the US, Australia and the Netherlands as donor countries. Plan was recognised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
1990s - Plan offices opened in France, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Republic of Korea.
2000s - The name Plan International evolved to simply be "Plan" and a unified global identity was created to help make the organization more easily recognized around the world, and the logo was updated to reflect this name change.
Funding and accountability
The majority of Plan’s income comes from supporters who sponsor children and the remainder is raised through donations and grants. An average of 80% of this money goes directly to supporting Plan’s development work. The remainder is spent on fundraising initiatives and maintaining an international network of support staff. Plan publishes annual reports detailing its fundraising and spending activity.
Plan adheres to several international standards and quality assurance mechanisms including the International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) Commitment to Accountability Charter and the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.
Child-Centred Community Development
Plan adheres to the Child-Centred Community Development (CCCD) approach.
Notable persons associated
Anil Kapoor, who starred in Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire, is an ambassador for Plan India. He donated his entire fee for the movie to the NGO’s Universal Birth Registration campaign. Slumdog Millionaire’s stars, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, were among cast members who attended a screening of the film at Somerset House in London, where over £2,000 was raised for Plan’s work in Mumbai, the setting of the film.
In the U.S., some notable people associated with Plan International include Jacqueline Kennedy, David Elliot, Beau Bridges, Dina Eastwood, Scott Bakula, and Nicholas D. Kristof, also a child sponsor.
The organization was featured in the 2002 film About Schmidt.
- "Plan-international.org". Plan-international.org. 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Source: Content partner // Plan International (2011-01-06). "'What Haiti needs now - "Safety, schooling and jobs", says Plan' | Reuters AlertNet". Trust.org. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Source: member // Plan UK (2011-03-31). "'Devastation caused by Colombian floods worse than feared' | Reuters AlertNet". Trust.org. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Source: member // Plan UK (2011-03-29). "Japan: Plan reaches out to families in evacuation centres | Reuters AlertNet". Trust.org. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "INGO Accountability Charter member organisations". Ingoaccountabilitycharter.org. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "ICRC Code of Conduct signatories" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Centreforcivicdrivenchange.org" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Anil Kapoor donates Slumdog pay cheque to Plan India | Top News India". Topnews.in. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Slumdog Millionaire – Summer Screen raises funds for Plan". Plan UK. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Plan to change the world| YouTube
- Changing Lives Mit by Mit | New York Times Opinion Pages