Plan (aid organisation)

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Plan International
Industry NGO
Founded 1937, Spain
Headquarters Woking, Surrey, UK
Key people
John Langdon-Davies, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen (CEO).
Revenue 633.8 Million (2012)
Number of employees
8000+ (worldwide)

Plan International is an international organisation which works in 51 countries across Africa, the Americas, and Asia to promote the safeguarding of children.[1] It is a nonprofit organisation and is one of the world's largest organisations based on children, it works in 58,000 communities with the help of volunteers to improve how 56 million children live. The charity also has 21 national organisations who have been given the responsibility to oversee the raising of funds and awareness in their individual countries.[citation needed]

The organisation puts an emphasis on communities working together in order to address the needs of children around the world. The NGO focuses on child participation, education, economic security, emergencies, health, protection, sexual health (including HIV), and water and sanitation. It provides training in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and has worked on relief efforts in countries including Haiti,[2] Colombia[3] and Japan.[4]

Plan International also sponsors the Because I Am a Girl campaign, which has published many stories focusing on the struggle of young women in the developing world.[5]


Plan International was founded during the Spanish Civil War by British journalist John Langdon-Davies and aid worker Eric Muggeridge. When they witnessed the conflict change the lives of children, they founded "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 destroyed by the war.

Spanish Civil War[edit]

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.


1930s - Plan International 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 International extended aid to children in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and briefly in Poland, Czechoslovakia and China.

1950s - As Europe recovered, Plan International 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 International was recognised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

1990s - Plan International offices opened in France, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Republic of Korea.

2000s - The name Plan International evolved and a unified global identity was created to help make the organization more easily recognized around the world, and the logo was updated.

Funding and accountability[edit]

The majority of Plan International's income comes from supporters who sponsor children and the remainder is raised through donations and grants. An average of 77% of this money goes directly to supporting Plan’s development work.[6] The remainder is spent on fundraising initiatives and maintaining an international network of support staff. Plan International publishes annual reports detailing its fundraising and spending activity.[7]

Plan adheres to several international standards and quality assurance mechanisms including the International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) Commitment to Accountability Charter[8] and the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.[9]

Child-Centred Community Development[edit]

Plan International adheres to the Child-Centred Community Development (CCCD) approach.[10]

Notable persons associated[edit]

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.[11] 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,[12] 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,[13] and Nicholas D. Kristof, also a child sponsor.[14] In 2015 Mo'ne Davis teamed up with the brand M4D3 (Make A Difference Everyday) to design a line of sneakers for girls, with some of the proceeds going toward the Plan International’s Because I Am a Girl campaign.[15]

The organization was featured in the 2002 film About Schmidt.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  2. ^ Source: Content partner // Plan International (2011-01-06). "'What Haiti needs now - "Safety, schooling and jobs", says Plan' | Reuters AlertNet". Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  3. ^ Source: member // Plan UK (2011-03-31). "'Devastation caused by Colombian floods worse than feared' | Reuters AlertNet". Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  4. ^ Source: member // Plan UK (2011-03-29). "Japan: Plan reaches out to families in evacuation centres | Reuters AlertNet". Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  5. ^ Tim Butcher & Xiaolu Guo & Joanne Harris & Kathy Lette & Henning Mankell & Deborah Moggach & Marie Phillips & Irvine Welsh & Plan International (2010). Because I am a Girl. Vintage, an imprint of Random House. 
  6. ^ "Plan Worldwide Annual Review and Combined Financial Statements 2013". Plan International. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  7. ^ "Plan Worldwide Annual review and Combined Financial Statements 2010". 
  8. ^ "INGO Accountability Charter member organisations". Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  9. ^ "ICRC Code of Conduct signatories" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  10. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  11. ^ "Anil Kapoor donates Slumdog pay cheque to Plan India | Top News India". 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Slumdog Millionaire – Summer Screen raises funds for Plan". Plan UK. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  13. ^ Plan International USA (28 October 2010). "Plan International USA - Plan to change the world" – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ "Changing Lives, Mitt by Mitt". The New York Times. 19 April 2009. 
  15. ^ Erin Clements. "Little League star Mo'ne Davis designs sneaker line to benefit impoverished girls - News". Retrieved 2015-03-20. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Plan International at Wikimedia Commons