Our history

Plan International was founded over 80 years ago with a mission to promote and protect the rights of children. See how our organisation has developed since then.

Girl in a child-friendly space in Nicaragua
A girl plays in a child-friendly space in Nicaragua

Plan International was founded over 80 years ago with a mission to promote and protect the rights of children. 

Today, we are a global organisation that is active in 75 countries to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. Over the 5 years from 2017-2022 our ambition is to transform the lives of 100 million girls.

Photo of John Langdon-Davies
British author and journalist John Langdon-Davies.

The organisation was set up by British journalist John Langdon-Davies and refugee worker Eric Muggeridge in 1937, with the original aim to provide food, accommodation and education to children whose lives had been disrupted by the Spanish Civil War.

Langdon-Davies conceived the idea of a personal relationship between a child and a sponsor – a model that puts the child at the centre, and remains the core of what we do.

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