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 15, 2012

CRISIS IN EAST AFRICA: One Year Report

Chronic poverty and malnutrition, conflict, weak health systems, high food prices, poor vaccination coverage, a lack of access to clean water and a changing climate all culminated in a deadly food crisis in 2011. Despite early warnings, livestock perished and thousands of families were pushed closer and closer to the brink of disaster.

It was to become the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years, affecting over 13 million people and killing tens of thousands. In response, Save the Children launched the largest emergency response in our 90-year history. We were already on the ground when the first warning signs were seen. We rapidly scaled up our life-saving programs, delivering health, nutrition, water, crucial life-saving support, protection and education to children and their families.

Thanks to our donors

We are very grateful to all our donors and supporters for their contribution to our work. Thanks to you we have reached over 3.4 million people to date with life-saving and life-sustaining aid.

You’re helping us feed thousands of families, providing many more with clean water and health care across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. You are also giving children a future by helping us to provide them with a quality education – many for the first time in their lives. Families are being supported to find sustainable solutions to drought in their communities. But they are not out of danger yet, and many remain on the brink of crisis.

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Jul 30, 2012

Whatever She Does, It Will Be Big

Jazmine loves to learn!
Jazmine loves to learn!

Four-year-old Jazmine, of Queets, Washington’s Quinault Indian Reservation, is a lively little chatterbox and without a doubt the most charismatic kid in her preschool class. She takes the lead in games and activities, raises her hand first when her teacher asks a question and sits front and center during read-aloud sessions with Save the Children’s program coordinator, Tracie Kenney.


Save the Children's U.S. programs reached 185,000 children in 17 states and the District of Columbia in 2011.Jazmine’s enthusiasm has been part of her steady transformation— from a tentative to a tenacious learner—made possible by Save the Children’s early education programs in the United States. All told, we served 5,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers and 15,000 parents, and will bring this much-needed program to another 1,000 children in the next year.


Of course, success begins in the home where families are at the frontline of education. Jazmine’s mother, Yvonne, actively sought out Save the Children’s program for her daughter, and family involvement is integral to children’s progress. Thanks to your generous support, Jazmine and thousands of other children in the United States have developed the necessary skills to succeed in school. “Jazmine is so chatty and social; as I’m sure you’ve noticed,” said her mother, Yvonne. “Whatever she does, it will be big.”


“One day I came across a list of books your child should read by a certain age,” said Jazmine’s mother, Yvonne (pictured with Jazmine). “I recognized most of the books because I read them to Jazmine. It made me so happy that my child was where she needed to be in her development.”

 

Parents Josh and Yvonne lack the means to drive 30 miles to the library. They depend on our program for their children’s books.

The Olympic rainforest surrounding Jazmine’s hometown of Queets, Washington, is in stark contrast with local families’ struggles to make ends meet.

 

Jazmine’s brothers, Adam, 2 (at left), and 5-month-old Hunter, are also enrolled in the early education program and showing progress. Tracie gives most of the credit to Jazmine’s mother. “I can tell that she takes everything I share with her to heart and puts it into practice,” said Tracie.

 

Save the Children’s Tracie Kenny is a central figure in Jazmine’s life, paying visits to her home since she was 2 years old and now working with Jazmine and other Quinault Indian Nation children through home visits and a Save the Children partnership at the local Head Start program.

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Jul 10, 2012

Thank you - another milestone reached with your help

Napeyok and her mom
Napeyok and her mom

With your gifts on Global Giving, we have raised $15,000 towards Merlin’s emergency response to the food crisis in East Africa.  Unfortunately, the crisis continues and our teams are now planning response activities into 2013.  This means that we still need your support, and our next target is to reach $20,000.

 

Napeyok’s mom thanks you for caring

Merlin has been providing nutrition services in Kerio, Turkana since 2006. As part of our response to the food crisis, last June activities in Kerio’s health facility were scaled up, and community health workers began conducting outreach visits to communities, up to six miles from the facility. 

One baby identified by the health workers as severely malnourished, was eight month old Napeyok (see photo).  She was referred immediately to Merlin’s outpatient therapeutic feeding program at Kerio’s health facility.  At the time, Napeyok weighed 7.9lbs and had a mid-upper-arm circumference of 4.2” (a measurement of 4.3” or below indicates that a child is suffering from severe acute malnutrition). She was also suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, and tested positive for malaria.

Napeyok’s mother, Veronica Ipoo Esirete (pictured with Napeyok), had been raising six children alone in a village near to Kerio.  She used to own 30 goats – the family’s source of food and livelihood, but the severe drought led to the depletion of green pastures and the death of the goats.  Veronica became unable to provide breast milk (due to being malnourished herself) for the youngest children and with a continued lack of food; soon the whole family were suffering from various degrees of malnourishment.

Once Merlin began caring for Napeyok, her condition steadily improved.  She was given medication and supplies of PlumpyNut (a highly nutritious peanut butter paste packed with calories and vitamins, especially formulated to help nourish children) by Merlin health workers and her mom brought her to the clinic every week for check ups. By November, Napeyok was still malnourished, but only moderately so, and was transferred to a supplementary feeding program – where children are given regular meals of corn-soya blend (a fortified porridge).  In January of this year, Napeyok was finally discharged from the feeding program completely.

Napeyok is now 16 months old, and her family has moved in with relatives in Kerio who share their meals of beans and maize in return for Veronica fetching firewood and water. It is a temporary solution, but ensures that the family does not go hungry, and allows the family to begin building up thier livestock again. 

Veronica says thank you and adds, if it were not for Merlin, Napeyok, who was so weak and is always vulnerable to illnesses, would not have survived.

Also… Do you think Merlin is doing a good job?

If you love our work, then tell the world! You have an exciting opportunity to help Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International) make even more of a difference. GreatNonprofits - a site like Amazon Book Reviews or TripAdvisor - is a website where people can share their stories about nonprofits that they really believe in.

 Will you help us raise visibility and support for our life saving work by posting a review of about us?

 All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It's easy and only takes a few minutes.  Please go to:

http://greatnonprofits.org/organizations/reviews/medical-emergency-relief-international-usa-inc and log your comment.

With your help, we can increase awareness, gain visibility and raise support for our health and nutrition care in east Africa and around the world.

Thank you from everyone at Merlin.

 
   

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