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What you helped us achieve in 2018
Every day we hear incredible stories of how the lives of women and girls are changing for the better.
With your support in 2018, our work has helped to transform lives — whether that’s by ending harmful period shaming practices in Nepal, distributing life-saving aid in emergencies, or training women and girls with skills that help lift them out of poverty.
Here are just a few examples of how your donations helped the most vulnerable women and girls in 2018.
We’ve established 11 ‘chhaupadi free’ communities in Nepal
For 14-year-old Ishu, from Western Nepal, having a period means putting her life on hold.
In her community, when women and girls have their period they are banished to a mud hut, using only rags as sanitary products, as part of an ancient practice known as chhaupadi.
“I’m scared of ghosts and snakes,” Ishu told us.
When I was sleeping in the night, I felt scared some bad people would come and attack me.”
But we’ve supported local campaigners and women’s groups to put an end to period shaming in Western Nepal.
Since our work began in the region, more than 1,400 women and girls have stopped practicing chhaupadi.
Now, girls like Ishu can manage their periods safely, and with dignity.
We reached over 60,000 people following the Indonesia earthquakes
More than 2,000 people died after a series of earthquakes hit Indonesia in September 2018, triggering a tsunami.
In the first two weeks of the crisis we reached over 60,000 people with our women-led community response, like Wahida, who received support after her family home was destroyed.
Alongside emergency food, shelter and water we built women-friendly spaces where women and girls could receive tailored aid.
Our ongoing emergency response work has seen us setting up women task forces which monitor and report instances of violence against women, as well as women-led relief distribution committees.
We’ve supported 60,000 women and girls in Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia
Thanks to funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, our work has promoted girls’ education across the region, and helped to tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls.
In Kilifi County, Kenya, we created a training centre to support girls who have dropped out of school through early marriage and pregnancy.
Here, they gain support to help them return to the formal schooling system, or learn livelihood skills like dressmaking, arts and soap-making, to help lift themselves out of poverty.
And in Rwanda, we’ve supported the creation of 31 Girls’ Rooms in schools, which allow girls a private and clean space to manage their periods. These supportive spaces are helping girls to stay in school when they have their period — and get the education they deserve.
We’ve distributed 40,500 dignity kits to Rohingya refugees
Since the outbreak of violence in Myanmar in 2017, an estimated 745,000 Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh.
We have provided life-saving humanitarian aid to thousands of refugees, including food, safe drinking water and shelter.
We’ve also distributed over 40,000 dignity kits to women and girls, containing items like sanitary towels, soap, clean underwear and buckets for washing.
Somira, pictured, volunteers as a member of an ActionAid-supported health committee in a refugee camp.
“If another person comes into the community and tells them to do something, they will not accept it,” she says.
But they will listen to me, because I am part of the same community and they trust me because I do good for them. It makes me feel proud to do this work.”