Save the Children Federation

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Our mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Aug 1, 2011

Fresh Water for the First Time!

Students in Baliarpur primary school in Savar are now much more able to learn, and to protect their health, thanks to the support of Global Giving contributors. With funds raised, Save the Children has repaired two latrines, built two new latrines, installed two urinals for boys, built five hand washing points (four for children and one for teachers). And for the first time, children at the school now have clean, safe drinking water! 

Fifth grader Hajera explains, “Before, I had to leave school and walk to my house to use the bathroom. This meant I would miss one class. I am very happy to get new latrines, hand washing facilities and drinking water right at my school!”

Salman, another fifth grader, says “My friends and I used to have to go to the bathroom outside. There was a very bad smell at the school because of the dirty latrines. Sometimes, we would carry bottled water from home, now we have as much as we need at school.”

Save the Children is also providing health education, vitamins, vision screening, de-worming medicines and other basic health services to children at the school. In the next month, the latrines will be painted and a signboard will be installed.

Jul 28, 2011

More Tubewells Needed to Move Forward

At the Well
At the Well

Why are more tubewells needed?

Children in Southern Bangladesh face frequent illness as a result of consuming unclean water. The geography and climate mean that obtaining safe water is difficult. Water which is in ponds or is close to the surface is usually salty, is often contaminated by arsenic, and becomes contaminated with organic wastes during storms and floods. For this reason, tubewells need to be drilled an average of 1,000 feet. This is something which the poor households and communities served by Save the Children are unable to pay for on their own.

How is Save the Children identifying areas to install tubewells?

In each community Save the Children facilitates social and resource mapping. This is a participatory process to identify assets, such as schools and vaccination centers, and risks, such as areas prone to flooding. Through this process, communities themselves prioritize groups of highly vulnerable households without access to safe drinking water.

How much do tubewells cost?

Each tubewell costs about US$1,000 to build. There are other costs which are needed to ensure that the overall water and sanitation situation improves, and these contributions are made by communities. For example, each community where we install a tubewell commits to building sanitary latrines and a lined pit for disposing of wastewater.

Who maintains the tubewells?

Each community selects two caretakers, one man and one woman. Save the Children provides these caretakers with training and tools needed to maintain the tubewell. In Uttar Lamchuri, the caretaker Farook (shown in photo) noted that he was very happy to provide this service to his village as he has already seen the incidence of diarrhea and skin infections among children decrease. He is also pleased that women, who used to collect water from a distant market place, have more time available to devote to income-earning activities and childcare.

Where are tubewells needed most?

There are a variety of settings where tubewells are needed but schools are a key priority. When children are not able to get clean water and sanitation facilities at school, they get sick more often. This means they are not able to attend school and are less able to learn. So tubewells at schools are critical for the development and future of communities in Bangladesh.

Jul 25, 2011

The Disaster’s Impact on Save the Children

Susan Warner / Save the Children
Susan Warner / Save the Children

The earthquake had a profound impact for Save the Children, which has worked continuously in Haiti since 1978.  On the afternoon of the disaster, we had approximately 160 national and international staff conducting development programs in health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, education, child protection and emergency relief during Haiti’s frequent floods and storms. The urgent needs created by the earthquake required Save the Children to quickly initiate what became our largest humanitarian aid mission to date in the Western Hemisphere. By June 2010, there were some 1,200 staff, the vast majority of whom were working on relief and recovery programs.

As of June 2011, our Haitian staff numbered 757. While some will be leaving the agency as grant-funded programs end, there will be approximately 430 national and international staff at the end of this year—more than double the number prior to the earthquake.

Save the Children’s reach has also grown.  In 2009, some 1.6 million Haitians directly or indirectly benefited from our work. In 2010, with much of our attention focused on the earthquake, we reached 2.1 million children and adults through earthquake relief; relief for those affected by a late-season tropical storm; responses to the cholera epidemic; and through development programs that were restarted. We are also now in the second year of a five-year earthquake recovery initiative focusing on education, health, nutrition and child protection to benefit 1 million children and adults. 

With more staff in place, Save the Children seeks to take advantage of this opportunity and provide training to improve the effectiveness of our programs and the required support services and increasingly nationalize our workforce.  This not only addresses the very real needs of our Haitian staff today in terms of building their skills and leadership, but reflects Save the Children’s global commitment to sustainability, local participation and the long-term development of civil societies by creating talent pools of trained and skilled national staff wherever we work.

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