1. 1937

    In 1937, Plan International was founded as ‘Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain' to help children whose lives were disrupted by the Spanish Civil War.

  2. 1940s

    During World War II, the organisation became known as ‘Foster Parents Plan for War Children' and worked in England, helping displaced children from all over Europe. After the war, we extended aid to children in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and briefly in Poland, Czechoslovakia and China.

  3. 1950s

    As Europe recovered, we gradually moved out of these countries and opened new programmes in less developed countries. The organisation removed the reference to war children and became ‘Foster Parents Plan Inc.' to reflect the goal of bringing lasting change to the lives of children in need, whatever their circumstances.

  4. 1960s

    We expanded work in Asia and to countries in South America. In 1962, US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was honorary chairwoman during Plan's Silver Jubilee.

  5. 1970s

    The global name became ‘Plan International' as programmes now spanned Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

  6. 1980s

    Belgium, Germany, Japan and the UK joined Canada, the US, Australia and the Netherlands as donor countries. We were recognised by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

  7. 1990s

    We marked our 60th anniversary of helping children. Offices opened in France, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Republic of Korea.

  8. 2000s +

    Our donor countries increased to 21 as offices opened in Colombia, India, Ireland, Italy, Hong Kong, Spain and Switzerland.

  9. 2017

    In 2017, we are marking our 80th anniversary of helping children. We are active in over 70 countries to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. Our work reached 17.1 million girls and 15.5 million boys last year.