In pictures: your favourite Instagram photos from 2015 | ActionAid UK

From the Nepal earthquakes to the escalating refugee crisis - throughout the year we have been sharing images on Instagram of the women and children we support around the world. Here are your favourite #PhotosOfTheWeek from 2015. We hope you enjoy them and - if you don't already - why not join us on Instagram for more powerful pictures in 2016?

Just a few of photo stories of women and children that we've shared on Instagram in 2015.
Just a few of photo stories of women and children that we've shared on Instagram in 2015.

Instagram photo of the year

When two earthquakes devastated Nepal in April and May, the response from ActionAid supporters was incredible. We were able to start giving out emergency aid almost straight away, and went on to support families with the tools and training they needed to rebuild their homes and lives. Our most popular Instagram post of the year, is this beautiful picture of Laxmi, 35, and her nine-year-old daughter Kanchan, in their village in the Rasuwa District, Nepal.

The photo shows them standing inside their new temporary shelter, made with materials supplied by ActionAid. The photo was taken on July 26th, 2015 by Brian Sokol, a photographer specialising in documenting humanitarian crises and human rights issues.


Laxmi’s home in Rasuwa District, #Nepal, was completely destroyed by the quakes, along with all her family’s belongings. But with a tool kit and materials donated by #ActionAid, they’ve been able to #build a safe temporary shelter where Laxmi and her nine-year-old daughter are happily posing. Laxmi says: “It may not be a lot in terms of cash, but it has made million dollars worth of difference to us. We had seen the worst of life,” she continues, “and we needed a place to have proper #family time and feel secure again. The tool kit allowed us to put the pieces together and make that happen. It gave us #hope.” #PhotoOfTheDay by Brian Sokol (@briansokol)/ActionAid #ChangeLivesForGood #NepalEarthquake #RebuildNepal

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Helping Balleh care for her baby boy in The Gambia




13-year-old Janet who escaped FGM in Kenya



Celebrating amazing women for International Women’s Day


Sponsoring children like Linet in Uganda



Training women to help them earn a living in India



Responding to the Nepal earthquakes



Celebrating the birth of girls in India



Emilia Fox meets women beekeepers in Ethiopia



Child sponsorship provides clean water in Sierra Leone



Supporting families to rebuild their homes in Nepal


When the first #earthquake struck #Nepal, Bimaya, a widow, was standing outside her #home in Rasuwa District. She was thrown off her feet, hit her head on a stone and was knocked unconscious. When she came to, she found her house completely flattened and was filled with an overwhelming sense of fear and isolation. “I felt like I was dead. With no #family and no one here to help me, I was incredibly #alone.” Bimaya’s only #daughter, Bimala, was #married five years ago and moved to her husband’s village, several days’ journey away. It was more than a week before Bimala and Bimaya were reunited. “When I finally saw my daughter I cried. We both cried. I hadn’t expected to survive the earthquake, so it was a #gift that I was able to see her again,” she says. #ActionAid is helping Bimaya by constructing a safe temporary shelter to protect her from the #monsoon season. #PhotoOfTheWeek: @briansokol /#ActionAid #RebuildNepal #ChangeLivesForGood

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Standing against violence as part of our Fearless campaign



After being carjacked and sexually assaulted in 2002, Wangu, like many #women in #Kenya who experience violence, used alcohol and sex to ease her pain. From the challenges and stigma she endured, Wangu set up the Wangu Kanja Foundation, a partner of #ActionAid. “I wanted to use my experience to provide the type of services we need in this country to support and inform the survivors of sexual violence. Only survivors of such an experience can really understand what women who have suffered sexual violence have gone through,” she says. The Foundation provides medical, psychological, and legal support to #survivors of sexual violence. Read more: #PhotoOfTheDay by Photographer’s Credit Georgina Goodwin/ ActionAid #InspiringWomen #Fearless #ChangeLivesForGood

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Responding to the refugee crisis on the island of Lesvos


The Greek #island of Lesvos, which has a normal population of 80,000, has received 122,400 people this year alone. The majority of #refugees are #Syrian, who can no longer face the barrel bombs and shelling in the #war that has claimed an estimated 240,00 lives. During their long and dangerous #journeys, #children and #women are facing violence and exploitation. Those who arrive in #Europe are traumatised, and have no information in a language that they understand. They can end up in wretched conditions, without access to #water, toilets or showers. We plan to provide child-friendly spaces to support traumatised children, and information, guidance and support for refugees arriving on Lesvos. #PhotoOf heWeek by Kelly Perrou/ActionAid #ChangeLivesForGood

A photo posted by ActionAid UK (@actionaiduk) on



Marking six months since the Nepal earthquakes


Meet Shreya, 23, and her newborn #baby – they’re just one of the #families we’ve helped since Nepal’s devastating #earthquakes six months ago. 23-year-old Shreya was eight months #pregnant when the first #earthquake hit #Nepal and was terrified she’d lose her baby after experiencing such trauma. Thankfully, things improved for Shreya when her and her #family got a chance to recover whilst staying in temporary #shelter built by #ActionAid. After receiving medical help,​ her #miracle baby started to kick again, and two months later Shreya gave #birth to a #beautiful baby #girl called Sushreya. Read more stories of change in our powerful before and after slideshow: Photo by @kishorksg

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Celebrating the girls for International Day of the Girl



Marching for women worst-affected by climate change


Meet Sabita, 38 from #Bangladesh. This Sunday, 29 November, we are joining the #PeoplesClimateMarch to stand up for women like Sabita. Sabita was trained by #ActionAid to be an emergency response leader in her village. During Cyclone Mahasen in 2013, she worked with other women to assist 500 people to find shelter. The death toll of that storm was just 17, compared to hundreds in #Cyclone #Sidr, which Sabita believes was largely down to their evacuation effort. Working with women like Sabita, ActionAid is not only improving the way villages respond to emergencies, we’re also leading the way in helping people to protect their lives and livelihoods. #ClimateChange is hitting the poorest women and children the hardest. Help us make sure a global deal at the #ParisClimateTalks puts them first. March for Sabita with ActionAid in #London this sunday: #PhotoOfTheDay by Mahmud/Map #everydayclimatechange ##ParisSummit #COP21 #peoplesclimate #peoplesmarch #PeoplesClimateMarch

A photo posted by ActionAid UK (@actionaiduk) on



Keeping vulnerable children warm and safe this Christmas


We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our photographers, who work so hard — and often risk their lives — to help us tell the stories of the women and children we work with. The images above show hope of how — together — we can change lives in the face of adversity. If you’ve enjoyed these pictures, please do share with your friends and family, and if you don’t follow us already, join us on Instagram to see more photo stories in 2016.

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