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.
Sep 1, 2010

Taking Education Forward in Haiti

"Ecole Eddy Pascal Takes Education Forward"

Ecole Eddy Pascal was a cornerstone of the local community in Carrefour, Haiti, for over 25 years. Housed in an imposing three-story building, Ecole Eddy Pascal offered elementary and secondary school, classes for adults and a cultural club for the community. But the facility collapsed on January 12, and the school director, Eddy Pascal himself, began searching for a way to start over.

"The first thing we did was ask parents what they had and what they could contribute," he said. "But then Save the Children arrived and gave us exactly what we needed."

Soon there were tents for classrooms, blackboards, equipment and supplies. Children received school kits including a backpack, notebooks and writing utensils. Save the Children has also been training the teachers on how to help children cope with the emotional stress children have suffered from the earthquake. In addition, teachers are coached on how to handle aftershocks that might occur during school hours, making them better prepared to respond in an emergency situation.

"I'm very happy for the opportunity to participate in the trainings," says teacher Jean-Joab. "Psychologically we are much more prepared now."

Jean-Joab hopes the children will be able to move forward despite the suffering they have experienced and the challenges they continue to face. He continues, "I want the children to be able to live their lives with the tools they gain here so that education is practical for their lives. I am much more patient now. We have just come out of a nightmare."

"Making a Home for the School: Cash-for-Work and Education Working Together"

When the January 12 earthquake completely destroyed the Ecole Mixte Etzer Vilaire des Orangers in Jacmel, Haiti, School Director Joseph Constant was devastated. The remnants of the foundation are the only evidence the school ever even existed. Fortunately school had ended by the time the earthquake hit, and no one was hurt. "I thought there was no way school could continue," Mr. Constant explains, "but I knew we had to find a way to prevent the children from slipping in their studies. So now we have a friendship with Save the Children."

In addition to clearing an area for a temporary school through a cash-for-work program, Save the Children provided tents, benches, blackboards, and a school kit for children including a backpack, writing utensils and a workbook. Local community members who were engaged in the cash-for-work program also set up the tents and cleared the rubble from the former school location. They are now working to prepare the new school site.

Participants in the cash-for-work program are local community members who were affected by the earthquake, some of whom had lost their home or their livelihood in the disaster. The program also specifically supports people with three or more children and women who are heads of household.

The students are thrilled to be back in classes. "School is important because we need to learn," exclaims the first grade class almost in unison. "It's important to know how to write so that we can spell our names," adds 7-year-old Woudline. Each student in the first grade class has a goal: they want to "work the land" or "build houses" or "be a nurse."

Twelve-year-old Monise states in a serious tone, "After school I'm going to work so that I can help my mother." The school had 127 students prior to the earthquake. To date, 92 students have returned. Many others have left the area as families migrated to other regions or children who had been in the care of a relative returned to parents' homes. Mr. Constant is hopeful that school attendance will continue to grow as they move into their new, permanent location. "Education is the key to freedom," Mr. Constant declares. "Both the school and Save the Children know it is our duty to educate children. To work in education is a matter of the heart."

Save the Children has been working in Haiti since 1978 and had numerous education projects in place prior to the earthquake. Since January 12, education programming has expanded to include over 270 schools that are now benefitting from tents, tarpaulins, equipment, supplies, school kits and/or teacher training. Save the Children plans to provide access to school for more than 160,000 children in Haiti.

Aug 23, 2010

Saving Mothers and Children in Bangladesh

Save the Children is providing life-saving healthcare to mothers and newborns in remote areas of Bangladesh where families live in poverty and lack access to essential services. Through community health workers and grassroots clinics, projects are addressing the leading causes of child mortality by providing antibiotics to treat pneumonia and newborn sepsis, rehydration salts for diarrhea and “clean delivery kits” containing basic items which help families make home-births safer for mothers and newborns. These items are low cost but, for families living in poverty, can mean the difference between life and death.

Please see below for pictures of our program in Bangladesh and a case study detailing Save the Children's efforts to help fight malnutrition.

Jul 27, 2010

Improving Health in Afghanistan

Afghan Child - Photo Credit: Save the Children
Afghan Child - Photo Credit: Save the Children

The health care system in Afghanistan was largely destroyed by decades of conflict – particularly services for women and children. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Save the Children works with families, communities and health care workers in homes, health posts, clinics and hospitals to promote basic health, well being and survival, particularly for children younger than five and for women of childbearing age.

Each year, four million babies die in the first 28 days of life – the neonatal period. Most of these deaths occur in developing countries. In response in Afghanistan, Save the Children partners with the MoPH, WHO, UNICEF and other health service delivery providers with a focus on improving the access of mothers and newborns to low-cost, low-tech interventions. Recently, we led a qualitative research study in partnership with the MoPH and UNICEF to learn about practices during pregnancy, delivery, postnatal period and for newborn care.* Based on these findings and in consultation with the MoPH Technical Advisory Group, Save the Children is developing a demonstration project focused on extending postnatal care to mothers and newborns at home through the existing Community Midwives and Community Health Workers.

In all health initiatives we encourage people – from school children to health officials – to take part in improving the health of Afghan children, mothers and families. In addition to government healthcare leaders and administrators, Save the Children supports doctors, nurses, community midwives and other clinicians. As importantly, we support community health workers, who staff home-based health posts in some of the poorest and most rural areas of northern Afghanistan.

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