Not This Girl: UK Aid Match appeal explained | ActionAid UK

Not This Girl: UK Aid Match appeal explained

Not This Girl was a special campaign backed by the Department for International Development (DFID) under its UK Aid Match initiative.

Between 7 March and 7 June 2018, the UK government doubled your donations, to fund the work of local women’s groups and networks in rural Kenya to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Find out what UK Aid Match is, how it works and the impact your donations will make.

How much did the appeal raise?

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, between 7 March and 7 June 2018, we raised an incredible total of…

£1.1 million

doubled by the UK government to tackle violence against women and girls in Kenya.

Where will the funding from the UK government go?

The funding doubled by the UK government is supporting a three-year project in three locations in rural Kenya; Nyarongi, Marafa, and Kamuthe.

The project, due to start in October 2018, will reach over 5,000 girls and nearly 3,400 community members

ActionAid will help local women’s rights networks and groups working in these areas respond to, prevent and report cases of violence against girls. This will include developing and expanding an SMS platform where a survivor, their friend, family member or anyone else they trust, can send a free text message for help and report violence committed against them. 

We will support local women’s groups to influence local officials to increase state accountability and effectiveness in response to violence against women and girls, making sure survivors have better access to justice

We will set up girls’ clubs and peer support meetings — safe spaces where girls can learn about their rights, how to access support services and report violence they or their friends have been subjected to.

We will train key individuals within local communities to raise awareness about violence against girls and how it can be prevented, bringing about a change in attitudes and behaviours. 

Our impact on reducing VAWG — in numbers



50+ Safe Spaces supporting more than 5,300 girls

5,000+ copies of booklets educating girls about their rights

Awareness events with 8,000+ people


60+ school and community debates on reducing VAWG

60+ debates with influential community members


1,900+ women trained in supporting survivors

280+ public service officials trained (in the first year alone)

A girls' forum club in Kilifi County.

A girls’ forum in Kilifi County, where young women and girls meet regularly to discuss the gender specific challenges they face.

Sheldon Moultrie/ActionAid

What is UK Aid Match?

The UK Aid Match scheme is funded by UK aid — the financial support the UK government gives to poorer countries to promote sustainable development, eliminate poverty and help people whose lives have been destroyed by conflict or disaster.  

UK Aid Match is a fund open to UK-based civil society organisations to run programmes in developing countries to help change the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. It is designed to provide opportunities for the UK public to engage with international development issues and have a say in how UK aid is spent. 

How does UK Aid Match work? 

For every pound you donated to ActionAid’s Not This Girl Aid Match appeal, the UK government also contributed a pound. This means your donation was doubled.

With your support we are able to help even more women and girls challenge abuse and make sure survivors get the support they need.

Penny Mordaunt, the former UK Secretary of State for International Development, said:

No one should have to live with the fear of violence, but shockingly, one in three women worldwide will experience it in their lifetime. For girls living in the world’s poorest places, where crimes go unreported and the support networks aren’t in place, the issue is exacerbated and the cycle of violence and poverty continues.

By doubling donations to Action Aid’s Not This Girl appeal, we can help keep more girls in school, we can give them the voice they need to report violence and stand up for their rights, and we can help them to shape the future of their communities. Together, we can make gender equality a reality.”

What donations were eligible for doubling? 

Donations were eligible for doubling from:

  • individuals who are residents of the UK

  • community groups and events, where the funding was not made on behalf of a private sector organisation. 

  • organisations such as rotary clubs, as long as the organisation is not-for-profit and all individual donors within the organisation were aware of the appeal purpose and the government match funding.

  • trusts, as long as each individual who owns the fund agreed to the donation being made during the appeal period. 

Donations from corporate organisations were not eligible for doubling.

Additionally, donations from foundations or trusts where the funds are administered by trustees on behalf of the owners were not eligible

Was the Gift Aid on donations doubled? 

No, only the donation itself was doubled. 

What about regular donations and existing direct debits? 

Existing regular gifts were doubled. However, if you chose to increase your regular donation in response to the Not This Girl appeal, the amount by which you increased this donation could be doubled. 

If you signed up as a new regular giver during the Not This Girl appeal, your donations will have been doubled for three months. 

How do we safeguard the vulnerable women and girls we work with? 

We have a zero-tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment and misconduct as well as clear child protection policies in place aimed to protect the women and girls we work with.  

We also have a whistleblowing policy to encourage staff to come forward if they have any concerns and if an allegation is made, processes are in place to ensure immediate and decisive action is taken.

It’s essential that ActionAid prioritises creating an environment in which people feel safe to report incidents that in any way make them feel uncomfortable or threatened.  Staff and the vulnerable people that we work with need to feel confident that our safeguarding policies will protect and support them. That’s why we’ve been taking proactive steps to develop our safeguarding policy and procedures. In 2017 we employed an external safeguarding expert to develop and oversee this project. This includes compulsory training on the policy and procedures for staff. In addition, the policies and procedures we have in place are regularly reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose.

ActionAid strives to create a world where women and girls have an equal voice and can claim their rights regardless of where they are born. We’ll continue to be transparent and accountable, which is both vital for the communities where we work and for those who so generously support our work.

Can we be confident in these safeguarding policies and our approach? 

ActionAid has been taking steps for some fifteen years designed to root us firmly in the communities where we work. Even in humanitarian emergencies, we consistently give decision-making power to women in affected communities in planning, overseeing and evaluating the emergency response. 

While this does not make us immune to abuses, we believe it does help to promote a high standard of accountability and transparency. Building on these changes, we are committed to continuous improvement in safeguarding, particularly in the communities where we work.

How do we protect the children whose images are used in our publicity? 

ActionAid takes child protection very seriously and this includes ensuring that all the girls we photograph and video for our appeals are supported in telling their story. This means making sure it is safe for them, that they have emotional support and that they fully understand how their story will be used. For people under the age of 18, we also always gather the consent of a parent or guardian.  

In addition to gathering our content with strict levels of informed consent, we have also anonymised images to protect the survivors of violence, changed their names and removed any indications to their geographical location. In our Not This Girl appeal we have also used a child actress to help depict the experiences of her friends.

ActionAid does not pay people to share their stories. After open and respectful discussions with our local staff, people volunteer because they want to raise awareness of an issue, share their experience with others and/or have their voice heard.   

As a charity committed to helping people take control of their own future, we share the truth about situations and show real people in real situations. Wherever possible we let people tell their own stories in their own words, and emphasise individuality and real-life experience.

Why have we used the stories of young girls who have survived sexual violence in our fundraising campaign? 

We want to ensure that we are authentic in our campaigns and therefore work alongside women and girls in the world’s poorest places to ensure they can share their stories, so their voice is heard loud and clear across our communications.

However, we are also mindful of the risks, and the personal trauma, that the women and girls we assist are dealing with. We work hard to tell these stories in a way that helps — and doesn’t harm — the women and girls we work with.  We ensure that the people who feature in our campaigns and tell their stories have volunteered to do so; we never feature a person in our campaigns who doesn’t want to tell their story, and we never push anyone to talk about her situation in a way that makes her uncomfortable. 

Finally, we use strict guidelines to protect the identity of the women, girls and families we work with whenever this is needed. 

Why did we launch this campaign at a time when there are questions about safeguarding in the humanitarian sector? 

Sexual exploitation and abuse is completely unacceptable in any line of work, and what we have seen in the last six months is that no one is immune. But it cuts especially deep in the charity sector because it contradicts the values and the standards to which we are all committed.

Now more than ever we need to use this moment to speak out, and encourage women and girls to reclaim their rights, end violence against women and girls, and challenge the systems and structures that condone it, so women and girls can fulfil their potential and live without fear. 


Page updated 14 May 2019