What we achieved together in 2017
2017 will be remembered as the year in which women’s rights became the centre of a huge global conversation.
It was during this turbulent year that ActionAid in the UK published our new strategy: Together, with women and girls. We’re shifting our focus because no community can truly prosper when half its citizens are denied the rights enjoyed by the other half.
2017 in numbers
new supporters in the UK signed up to give a committed gift
raised to help change lives, for good
raised through our emergency appeals for the East Africa food crisis, Rohingya crisis and Sierra Leone mudslides
A success story – child sponsorship in occupied Palestinian territories
Eleven-year-old Aya lives in the West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territories. Many girls growing up here have faced deeply traumatic experiences, because of the ongoing conflict.
Thanks to child sponsorship, ActionAid is able to support children’s clubs where children can learn and play in a safe and nurturing environment. Creative activities like drawing, drama workshops and singing sessions can help them come to terms with what they have witnessed.
Aya is a sponsored child. “I feel very proud that somebody from a different world is supporting Palestine,” she says. “I thank them very much.”
Rohingya refugees supported
people received life-saving support across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, where ActionAid works in Somaliland
people in Sierra Leone received humanitarian assistance, including in response to the mudslides
A success story – women’s leadership in a humanitarian crisis
Fatema, 35, is an ActionAid camp counsellor and trained paramedic working in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Fatema provides psychosocial support to traumatised women and girls fleeing violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar. “One woman was pregnant and fleeing with her husband,” she recalls. “Her baby and husband were killed, and she had to witness this. I saw marks of an attack on her body. She was crying and crying.”
In humanitarian crises, ActionAid works with local women to ensure the aid we provide is appropriate and meets the needs of women and girls. “When we do this work as women, women can open up and talk to us more comfortably,” says Fatema. “They would not open up and share what is in their hearts as readily with men.”
people in the UK campaigned to change lives for good
people in the UK called for safe cities for women
people watched our Survivors’ Runway Facebook live, celebrating the courage and resilience of acid attack survivors
A success story – standing with courageous women in Bangladesh
When an intruder broke into Safura Khatun’s house in rural Bangladesh and threw acid on her, she said it felt like her whole body was burnt. She was blamed for bringing the attacks on herself and was told that she could no longer work.
Safura was directed towards Shetu Bandan Gori, an ActionAid-supported network for acid attack survivors. She became group secretary, helping members discuss the issues they faced, and the rights they could claim. With an interest-free loan from ActionAid she was also able to start rearing livestock and provide for her family.
ActionAid Bangladesh helped to establish one of the first networks run by survivors of acid violence and also works with local government offices to advise on policies and services that will work for survivors. In the UK, the Survivors’ Runway launched our three-year campaign to tackle violence against women and girls, in all its forms. Safura was one of the stars of this inspirational event. “Through this network and ActionAid, we got this opportunity,” Safura says.
raised by ActionAid supporters in the UK to fund child sponsorship programmes across 35 countries ￼
grant from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, to support our work promoting girls’ education and tackling violence against women and girls
women and girls in Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia have already benefited from this grant
A success story — educating girls, ending child marriage
Mary Lily is an ActionAid child sponsorship volunteer in northern Ghana. She started working with ActionAid Ghana back in 1999, and has become a prominent campaigner against child marriage.
“Since ActionAid started working here, we’ve started to tackle child marriage,” she says. “Before, we didn’t take action if girls were taken away. We didn’t even know that it was wrong and against the law.”
Now Mary Lily helps to organise awareness-raising sessions in her village, where she talks to the community about child marriage, abduction and the law. When two girls from her village were abducted, Mary Lily put her training into practice. She worked with the girls’ fathers and the village chief to secure their quick release, warning the abductors that their actions were illegal and that they would face prosecution.
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Read our latest stories from the girls, projects and communities we work with.