"When we went out of the house, my father was hit by a collapsed wall. There was blood everywhere. I tried to wake him up but he wasn't moving anymore. The water got even higher and I wanted to carry my father with the tide but I thought we would both die.
I was scared and crying.
I swam and swam and every time I was tired I would cling to a log. Then I would swim again. It was a miracle that I survived.
When I was swimming, the rain felt like needles on my face. I was very afraid for my mother and siblings as well as I thought they were all dead."
Drifting through the village, Rafael finally fell asleep.
"When I woke up it was a miracle because I was in another village and I saw some of my friends."
He began walking to the evacuation center to meet with his family. The first thing he told his mother when he got there was that his dad had died and they both cried together.
His mother told him that they had been through similar things on their way out. They have a baby and one of the youngest children is disabled with slow mental and physical development.
"Dad was really protective and generous. Although we are poor, he would always make sure that he would bring something home to us after work. Whenever he prepared his coffee he would share half of the cup with me."
They are now living in a van outside the center as they cannot stand the stench inside.
"We are getting sick, my siblings are always coughing because it is very cold and we don't have any dry clothes at the moment. We don't have anything with us.
The problem is that they have two baby siblings and they don't have water. They are drinking water from a water hose and it is not clean."
Save the Children is responding to Typhoon Haiyan. Please donate to our GlobalGiving project for typhoon relief
Children were the face of a record year of disasters in the United States. That's why Save the Children has produced our annual America’s 2013 National Report Cardon Protecting Children in Disasters. This year's report focused on how unsatisfactory gaps in prepardness put children at risk before disaster strikes.
Did you know?
• 28 states and the District of Columbia still fail to meet minimum standards to protect children recommended by the National Commission on Children and Disasters.
• 17 states don’t require child care providers to have an evacuation plan.
• 16 states don’t require child care providers to have a family reunification plan.
• 24 states don’t require child care providers to have a plan for children with disabilities or with access and functional needs.
• 6 states and the District of Columbia don’t require schools to have a disaster plan that addresses multiple types of hazards.
• Schools and child care centers are often not required to practice emergency plans regularly.
• Families are often not well-informed about reunification plans or asked to update emergency contact information.
• Emergency responders often have no official registry of child care centers to facilitate plans to reach all children.
• State and community emergency plans often fail to adequately account for the needs of children.
Find out if your state makes the grade and how you can better prepare your family for disasters and emergencies at Get Ready. Get Safe.
Salif* lives in Mali, but sadly, attacks on education are not uncommon in many nations around the world. The United Nations defines an attack as any intentional threat or use of force directed against students, teachers, education personnel and/or education institutions, carried out for political, religious or criminal reasons.[i] Nearly 50 million children and young people in conflict zones face these unnerving barriers to education every day, keeping them out of school and preventing them from reaching their true potential.
On July 12, 2013, youth delegates from around the globe met at the United Nations in New York City to fight for a quality education for all children, even those living in areas of war and conflict. They were joined by children like Malala, a Pakistani school girl and education activist whose only ‘crime’ was a desire to learn when she was shot and gravely wounded by armed men on her way back from school.
Sadly, attacks on education are not uncommon. The number of recorded attacks on education has increased in recent years. Global reports show these confrontations and acts of violence are widespread in a number of on-going conflicts. Based on UN data, Save the Children estimates that there were more than 3,600 separate, documented attacks on education in 2012.[ii]
Save the Children is calling on world leaders to tackle this crisis and commit to the following:
To learn more, read our report, Attacks on Education: The Impact of Conflict and Grave Violations on Children's Futures.
[i] See Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), What Is an Attack on Education?; UNESCO, Education Under Attack 2010, Paris, 2010, see pg 23-28[ii] UNESCO, Institute of Statistics and Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA-GMR), Schooling for millions of children jeopardised by reductions in aid, UIS Factsheet No. 25, June 2013
Every year, our State of the World’s Mothers report reminds us of the inextricable link between the well-being of mothers and their children. As any mother – myself included – will tell you, our children’s health and safety is the most important thing in our lives. And we know that a strong and empowered mother is the best champion a child will ever have. More than 90 years of experience have shown us that when mothers have health care, education and economic opportunities, both they and their children have the best chance to survive and thrive.
But many are not so fortunate. Every year, 287,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth, and 6.9 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday. Almost all these deaths occur in developing countries where mothers, children and newborns lack access to basic health care. While child mortality rates have declined in recent decades, 19,000 mothers still mourn the loss of a child each and every day – an unthinkable number of heartbreaks. This is especially tragic since most of these deaths could be prevented at a modest cost.
This year’s report looks at the critical first day of life, when mothers and their newborns face the greatest threats to survival, and when there is tremendous opportunity to save lives. It highlights approaches that are working to bring essential health care to the hard-to-reach places where most deaths occur. And it shows how millions more lives each year can be saved if we invest in proven solutions and help mothers do what’s best for their children. If we don’t save lives on this critical first day, we will never truly end preventable child deaths.
Please read the Take Action section of this report and join me in doing what any mother would do: put the well-being of children first.
All women deserve the support they need to breastfeed, if they choose to. Breastfeeding has important benefits for moms and babies everywhere, and can literally save lives in the developing world. Save the Children’s new report, Superfood for Babies, estimates that 830,000 babies could be saved if all women breastfed in the first hour of life. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months could save even more lives.
Yet, the report explains, moms face four significant barriers to successful breastfeeding. They are cultural and community pressures, the health worker shortage, lack of maternity legislation, and inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes.
In the last two decades there has been huge global progress in reducing child mortality. Five million fewer children died in 2011 than in 1990. The world is nearing a tipping point, the time at which the eradication of preventable child deaths becomes a real possibility. There is still a long way to go to achieve that goal.
One-third of child deaths are still attributable to malnutrition; the reduction in malnutrition rates has been proceeding at a stubbornly slow pace. Unless malnutrition is tackled it threatens to become the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of development, holding back progress in other areas. We must also tackle the unacceptably high number of newborn deaths: while overall child mortality rates are falling, a larger proportion of deaths now occur within the first month of life. Breastfeeding saves lives. It’s the closest thing there is to a ‘silver bullet’ in the fight against malnutrition and newborn deaths.
Breast milk is a superfood. In the first hours and days of her baby’s life the mother produces milk called colostrum, the most potent natural immune system booster known to science. Research for this report estimates that 830,000 newborn deaths could be prevented every year if all infants were given breast milk in the first hour of life. It is not only through the ‘power of the first hour’ that breastfeeding is beneficial. If an infant is fed only breast milk for the first six months they are protected against major childhood diseases.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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