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21 things that come better as a pair…just like our approach to working together

Our mission is to end extreme poverty, whatever it takes. But like most things, it takes two to make a thing go right.

At Concern, we believe in partnership. We work with tens of millions of people each year, in some of the hardest-to-reach and most fragile places. In partnership, we can develop cutting-edge approaches, reach more people, increase our impact and amplify the voices of those living in extreme poverty. 

So, to celebrate this wonderful way of working, we thought we'd take a look at other perfect pairs that are not simply double trouble but are stronger together.

1. Peanut butter and jam

Peanut butter and jam are both divine individually. There's nothing quite like spooning some crunchy nut butter from the jar. But together? A match made in foodie heaven. (Pssst! Did you know that peanuts feature heavily in solving malnutrition? Find out how)

2. Bat and ball

Welcome to the world's worst game of rounders where there is only a bat and no ball.

3. Mosquito and nets

Florence Mutungi with six-month-old twin daughters Blessings and Precious. The family’s Community Health Volunteer has encouraged them to use the mosquito net provided when the girls were born to protect them against malaria. Photo: Peter Caton
Florence Mutungi with six-month-old twin daughters Blessings and Precious. Photo: Peter Caton

Mosquito nets are a simple but effective way of protecting people against malaria, keeping mosquitoes at bay and enabling a family to sleep safe and sound. 32-year-old mom Florence Mutungi uses a mosquito net at night to ensure that her six-month-old twin daughters Blessings and Precious are safe from harm.

4. The Two Ronnies

You simply can't have 'The Two Ronnies' unless, well, there are two of them!

5. Socks

Yep. Socks. Not much else to say except definitely better in twos. They’re pretty much the epitome of a pair.

6. Rain and water

Ok, so this one maybe isn’t a pair as such – more like one and the same thing – but you cannot have one without the other. You also cannot grow food without rain: a problem facing millions of people across the world right now. Large parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have experienced insufficient rainfall for two consecutive rainy seasons, with devastating consequences for people living in those areas. Crops have been lost, livestock have died, and food prices have increased. The number of people across the region who don’t have enough food to eat has reached 12 million. This just shows the importance of some pairs that we might forget.

7. Left and right

Otherwise, you’ll simply be going around in circles.

8. Sweet and salty

The revolutionary popcorn flavour that has changed snack time forever. Double the flavour, double the fun.

9. Day and night

Unless you're accustomed to Alaska's daylight hours, we bet you're glad that with night comes day.  

10. Chips and...

You choose! Chips and ketchup? Vinegar? Mayonnaise? Chips and gravy? Rarely ordered plain, potatoes are easy to grow, easy to cook, nutritious and can be stored for longer than other crops making them a lifeline for many of the people we work with in the world's poorest countries. Read here how the potato has transformed the level of food insecurity in Ethiopia.

11. Bangers and mash

While we're on the subject of potatoes, sausage and mashed potato, with lashings of gravy. Mmmm, lovely British comfort food. Case in point: type in "Bangers" into Google and automatically "and mash" comes up. But why are sausages called bangers? Because of sausages' tendency to split open with a BANG whilst frying. Bangers and mash is also cockney rhyming slang for cash, and that takes us down a whole other line of pairs.

12. Apples and pears

Ahimed Ali Mahamed now has apple trees - and the skills to tend to them thanks for Concern supported programme. Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern Worldwide
Ahimed Ali Mahamed now has apple trees - and the skills to tend to them. Photo: Jennifer Nolan

Cockney rhyming slang originated in the mid-19th century in the East End of London. Would you Adam and Eve it? Believe it. Dog and bone. Phone. Lashings of army and navy. Gravy.

13. Tom and Jerry

They've loved to hate each other for 47 years. What would they do without each other?

14. Kermit and Miss Piggy

The ultimate 'will they, won't they?' couple apparently permanently split in 2015 with this shock announcement. 

But we're not buying it. However, we will be buying Concern gifts as soon as pay day comes around the corner.

15. Clinics and medicine

What is the purpose of a health clinic that has no medicine? That’s right, this duo is a vital, lifesaving pair. However, unfortunately in countries like the Central African Republic, health services are unreliable - they are often temporarily closed, frequently run out of essential medicines, and do not have qualified staff, equipment or monitoring tools.

Concern supports a number of clinics - providing them with therapeutic and supplementary food, medicine, equipment and upgraded facilities. We also support them in the treatment of acute malnutrition and illnesses and promote Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and caring practices.

16. Bouncing and babies

Concern Program Manager Akunsito Kananji with Baby David in Malawi. David's family home was washed away with all their belongings. David's family are casual labourers. With no crops to harvest, his parent won't have any work this season. Photo: Gavin Douglas
Concern Program Manager Akunsito Kananji with Baby David in Malawi. Photo: Gavin Douglas

There’s no greater sight than seeing a baby bouncing with joy. However, in many of the world’s poorest countries, babies do not receive the food and care they need to survive, never mind get the happy, healthy start to life they deserve. Nearly half of child deaths worldwide are linked to malnutrition. And even for those who do survive, many must live with the consequences: they are likely to be small for their age, perform less well at school and be more susceptible to illness.

17. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

The iconic dance partners who have made audiences over many decades wish they could tap dance. They made 10 films together from 1933–1949 and though they starred with other actors after, it was never quite the same.

18. Pen and paper

While the pen being mightier than the sword, it isn't much use without paper! Despite pen and paper being replaced by our devices, reports show that we retain knowledge and learning much more when we handwrite. And let's face it, a thank you note or love letter is much more touching received on paper, handwritten in ink, rather than received by text or email.

19. Knowledge and power

Not naming names, or pointing fingers, but we can all think of people who could have done with a bit more knowledge before they gained power. 

20. Soap and water

In Wrobone Town, many families have built latrines and set up hand-washing points - such as this ingenious bamboo tap. Concern has also helped install a water pump to provide safe drinking water, cutting the risk of disease – an underlying cause of malnutrition.  Photographer: Nora Lorek
In Liberia, people have set up hand-washing points such as this bamboo tap. Photo: Nora Lorek

As well as treating malnutrition, we also work to prevent it.  With your support, we will train community volunteers and traditional midwives to actively screen for malnutrition, promote the importance of breastfeeding, and encourage good health, nutrition and hygiene practices. Such practices include using one of the most iconic pairs, soap and water. Lather up!

21. Family and mealtime

Whether your family gives the Weasleys a run for their money, is made up of friends, or is simply you and your cat, mealtimes are the perfect opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. Of course, there is nothing better than a pizza for one every now and again, but we believe that family and mealtimes are the ultimate pair (or a dangerous duo if it’s Christmas). 


We are helping families in some of the world’s poorest countries have the strength to break free from hunger, so that mealtimes can become what they should be: safe, happy and nutritious.

Read more about how we are responding and how you can help here.

Alain* and baby Christian* in Ngata village outside their home on 22/02/22 Photo: Ed Ram/Concern Worldwide

Help babies get a healthy start

  • Nearly half of all deaths of children under five worldwide are linked to malnutrition.

  • We’re helping families facing severe hunger to give their children the best start to life – but we can only do it with your ongoing support.

  • Giving just £5 a month for a year could provide enough life-saving food to treat two weak and malnourished babies.

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