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 4, 2012

Day in the Life of a Relief Worker in East Africa

Amy and a family in the refugee camp
Amy and a family in the refugee camp

One of the questions our supporters ask regularly is “What’s it really like over there?” We captured a day in the life of Save the Children Child Protection Advisor, Amy Richmond, while we worked together in the Horn of Africa on the food crisis. Here is her story from a day in the refugee camps in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia.

I wake up every morning with the sun. We ration electricity, so we all make the most of daylight. Breakfast is usually a cup of instant black coffee and a granola bar. I won’t have anything else until I return from the camps. We don’t eat in front of the children. I work every day, so they blur together. On days we have internet, I check my email.

The team huddles at 7:30 a.m. and we set priorities and tasks. One of my goals is to help kids who have been lost, abandoned or orphaned.

First stop is reception where dozens, sometime hundreds, of children arrive each day. As soon as they’re registered, they’re rushed into a Save the Children feeding center – many of them eating their first meal in days.I work with our partners to make sure vulnerable children get into a protective environment and to reunite lost children with their families.

Next, I monitor the camps - making sure kids are in our school, Child Friendly Space or early child development program. I’m also on the lookout for hazards and basically “kid proof” areas for children to play.

One day while surveying the camps, I met a girl named Alima. She lost both her parents to violent conflict in Mogadishu. She told me of her loss and her frightening journey to the refugee camp – 6 days and nights hitchhiking and walking through the desert. We help children like Alima with various programs, as needed, including foster care, education and health programs.

Despite her hardship, all Alima wanted to talk about was finishing high school. Her hopes were music to my ears. When children talk about their future, it’s a positive sign that – with the right support - they can overcome tragedy. I walked Alima to her host family, comforted to know they were caring friends of her parents. Then I went to a teen mothers’ group where the girls get needed support and resources. We help them to start a business such as tailoring or dyeing fabrics. The girls are independent and want to avoid the traps of exploitative professions and relationships.

Around 4:00, we head back for debriefing at the Save the Children compound. It’s a cluster of tents, dorms, offices, garages and warehouses of food to distribute to families in need. It’s more like a shipping company with a few places to sleep. I have a 3” mattress, a blow-up camping pillow and a mosquito net.

One good thing about it being so hot is that we actually get warm showers. At night, we have a modest communal dinner - typically rice and lentils. Sometimes we have goat meat. Then it’s computer time. Writing emails, reports, tracking status, recommendations, proposals.

It’s late at night when I miss my family and friends at home. I just missed my niece Hannah’s birthday. I look forward to returning home, having put in place strong programs that my Ethiopian and Somali colleagues will see through.

Aug 15, 2012

HEART: healing and education through the arts

At the core of our mission is creating innovative programs to create lasting change in the lives of children. One of these is HEART, Save the Children’s visionary education program, which brings the proven power of artistic expression to children in need around the world, helping them cope with traumatic events and learn the critical skills they need to reach their true potential. HEART changes children’s lives.

Save the Children has earned a global reputation for implementing state-of-the-art programs promoting the healthy development of some of the world’s most marginalized children. HEART is one of those programs. Based on extensive child development research proving that artistic expression has powerful therapeutic and educational value, especially for children in need, we aim to fully integrate HEART into all of our early childhood, education and emergency response programming.

We are creating something visionary — and through the power of the arts, achieving real and lasting change in children’s lives.

HEART is designed especially for young children in need, ages 3-14. Children struggling to grow up, trapped in the cycle of extreme poverty and limited opportunity, often compounded by trauma, like an emergency, conflict, violence, or the loss of a parent or other loved ones to HIV/AIDS. Children – some so young they can’t articulate their pain – at risk of losing hope, without ever experiencing joy.

Save the Children develops a culturally relevant, sustainable HEART curriculum to meet children’s unique needs within each community we serve. Then we train local teachers and other caregivers in the proven HEART approach, including:
• guiding children in expressive arts activities
• engaging the arts as a means for self-expression and critical skill development
• recognizing and supporting children who need special help
• involving children’s parents and communities in the process.

HEART embraces a variety of expressive arts forms. Our children draw, paint, sing, sculpt, act, dance, tell stories, write poetry, play music and more. We incorporate local arts traditions and use local arts resources. We also work with local partners and advocate with local governments for improved arts education.

HEART has been piloted in six places – El Salvador, Haiti, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal and the West Bank – changing the lives of more than 10,000 children, with remarkable results:
• healing – Children develop the ability to express and regulate their emotions, improve self-control and self-esteem, recover and build resilience – so they’re ready to learn.
• learning – Children develop the cognitive skills they need to learn – perception, attention, memory, logic and reasoning – in addition to language, social and physical skills.

Children who participate in HEART are consistently more expressive and engaged in learning. They like going to school and transition more successfully to higher levels of education. Some children experience hope, and even joy, for the first time in their lives.

Links:


Attachments:
Aug 15, 2012

A dream comes true: a goat enterprise

Children with Elmer and one of the goats
Children with Elmer and one of the goats

The dream to have a goat-based enterprise came true for the Ramirez-Cano family in the community of El Pinal.

El Pinal is located in a pine forest area where local farmers had to change traditional sugar cane farming to corn, beans and coffee due to competition from industrial sugar cane production. The area is affected by chronic malnutrition and receives Save the Children food security support, including goat raising to increase children´s milk consumption.

Don Elmer and Doña Natalia took this activity at a higher level acquiring five goats and they now produce goat cheese in addition to providing a daily glass of goat milk to neighboring 10 children under 5 years old. Elmer and Natalia added a lot of personal effort to the training received and now generate a steady daily household income of $6 a day in addition to occasional sale of goat kids; three were recently sold at around $50 each. Given that about half of the population of Guatemala live in poverty on less than $2 a day, the goats have been quite a boon.

Household fertilizer expenses and exposure to chemical pesticides were also reduced as they now successfully use goat droppings and urine. They report a 10% increase in corn production since using these goat by-products as manure and pest repellent. 

Elmer and Nathalia´s family has become a model for their community and many approach them to learn their goat raising and farming practices. Their future now looks more promising and the genetic quality of their goats is improving thanks to crossing with selected goats promoted by the Save the Children.

In Elmer´s own words ‘I am very grateful for the support and opportunity received, it has changed my family’s life and I am happy when I see the smile of children when they drink their glass of goat milk every morning’.


Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
    give
  • $35
    give
  • $60
    give
  • $120
    give
  • $15
    each month
    give
  • $35
    each month
    give
  • $60
    each month
    give
  • $120
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Save the Children Federation

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Save the Children Federation on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.