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Our Timeline

British journalist and Plan founder John Langdon-Davies.
British journalist and Plan founder John Langdon-Davies.
Esme Odgers was the first Plan field director. Her compassion, good humor, courage and ingenuity set a standard for hundreds more. France, early 1939.
Esme Odgers was the first Plan field director. Her compassion, good humor, courage and ingenuity set a standard for hundreds more. France, early 1939.
During World War II, Anna Freud, daughter of the great psychoanalyst, sought and received Plan's support for Hampstead Nursery. At Hampstead she worked to help children from London's poorest neighborhoods cope with and recover from the effects of the Blitz. Her book on the psychological effects of danger and violence, War and Children, was first published by Plan.
During World War II, Anna Freud, daughter of the great psychoanalyst, sought and received Plan's support for Hampstead Nursery. At Hampstead she worked to help children from London's poorest neighborhoods cope with and recover from the effects of the Blitz. Her book on the psychological effects of danger and violence, War and Children, was first published by Plan.
Mrs. Roosevelt became a Plan sponsor in 1939 before World War II began and continued her support for many years. In 1942 she visited her three foster children, Tommy, an English boy, Janina from Poland and Kerman of Spain at Barnet Colony in England.
Mrs. Roosevelt became a Plan sponsor in 1939 before World War II began and continued her support for many years. In 1942 she visited her three foster children, Tommy, an English boy, Janina from Poland and Kerman of Spain at Barnet Colony in England.

Plan was founded in 1937 by British journalist John Langdon-Davies and refugee worker Eric Muggeridge. Originally named "Foster Parents Scheme for Children in Spain," the aim was to provide food, accommodation and education to children whose lives had been disrupted by the Spanish Civil War. 

Today, Plan has evolved into a global organization that works with millions of children and families in 50 developing countries around the world.  

 

1937

During the Spanish Civil War, Muggeridge and Langdon-Davies begin moving truckloads of orphaned and displaced children to safe camps in France, where they were provided medical care, food, shelter and clothing.  

 

1938

Plan, with 500 Spanish sponsored children, holds its first public meeting, Algonquin Hotel, New York City.

1940

The world at war. Plan, with 1,200 children, flees bombardments in Spain, through France, to England. Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund Freud, opens Hampstead Nurseries for Plan children. Enrollment is opened to children living with families at home.

1949

At the end of the decade, sponsors in the U.S. and Canada are helping 5,706 sponsored children.

1959

Plan programs in Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, China, Korea, Greece, Italy, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Total enrolled children and their families: 15,004.

1960

A decade begins of expansion in the developing world, and a reconstruction of our program’s objectives and methods. The war now is the war on poverty.

1970

Australia joins the U.S. and Canada as a Plan donor country. Sponsorship grows. By 1969, the number of children sponsored reaches 53,069.

1975

The Netherlands becomes the first Plan program country to recover and join the U.S., Australia and Canada as a donor country. Plan surpasses the 100,000th sponsored child milestone.

1980

Plan United Kingdom opens. Plan program countries now are all outside of Europe: Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Hong Kong, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mali, El Salvador, Peru, Indonesia, Haiti, Vietnam and the Philippines.

1981

Plan is recognized by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

1983

Belgium and Japan join Plan as donor countries. A new milestone crossed: 206,128 children sponsored worldwide.

 

1987

Plan celebrates its 50th anniversary. There are now 310,000 sponsored children around the world.

1997

Plan ends its 60th year helping 1.1 million sponsored children in 42 developing countries.

2009

Plan celebrates over 70 years working with children and their families. Our global alliance is comprised of 65 countries.

2012

Plan commemorates 75 years of commitment to children. Through programs focused on eight technical areas, now reaches 56.5 million children in 50 developing countries and raises funds in 21 countries.

Join us in our commitment to improving the lives of children: Sponsor a child today!