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.
May 4, 2012

Moms, Grand Moms - there's always that special person

Mary and Lucy with their grandchildren
Mary and Lucy with their grandchildren

Looking after the grandkids, where ever you live

Grandmothers Mary and Lucy have visited a Merlin food distribution point in Turkana, Kenya regularly for over ten months.  They want to make sure their grandchildren stay fit and healthy and do not go hungry during the drought and ongoing food shortages - just like any grandmother would want for her grandchildren.

Due to Merlin's and other agencies' co-ordinated emergency response over the last year, malnutrition rates have dropped from 37% to 13% - a massive drop.  Merlin has been working in the Turkana region since 2004 offering health care and nutrition to families in remote areas through outreach programs and mobile clinics.

Mother’s Day will soon be here

There’s a special person in everyone’s life: it could be your mom, or grandmother, or that someone who looked after you when you were sick, told you to study hard and cheered at your prize giving.  

If you want to give your special person a unique gift this Mother’s Day – what about giving a gift towards Merlin’s emergency nutrition work in their honor?  Click on this link to give a gift.

Plus GlobalGiving will give Merlin an additional $500 for this project, if we are one of the top 10 projects with the most donors who give gifts. So as you tell that special some one just how much they mean to you, you will be helping us show moms and grandmoms like Mary and Lucy, just how much you care for them too. 

Thank you 

Apr 30, 2012

A thank you from us to you, and from you to your Mom

Echwa Apoa & her daughter Akope
Echwa Apoa & her daughter Akope

From every one at Merlin, I send a huge thank you

Thanks to you and people like you, we have raised this project’s initial target of $10,000.  This is a fantastic achievement and has only been accomplished because you have been so generous in your support of our work.  We have seen results and our teams have definitely been able to save lives. 

Sadly, there is still much to do.  There is an ongoing drought and malnutrition levels (especially in children) are still high.  Merlin’s work will continue, and therefore, the project will remain open with a new target of $15,000. There's a quick update on our work in Kenya below, to let you know about what we are doing now and looking to the future.

It’s Mother’s Day soon, so what about saying thank you too?

Mother’s Day is just ‘round the corner on Sunday May 13th.  But, if you have a mom like mine, when you ask what would she like, she responds ‘oh, nothing really’.  So here’s a suggestion for a unique and special gift to thank her for all she's done for you …what about giving a gift towards Merlin’s work, in honor of you mom, or anyone else who’s really special to you? Let them know they’ve been thought of and they’ve also helped to save a life, offer  care and given hope to a family overseas.

Plus, GlobalGiving will give Merlin an additional $500 for this project, if we are one of the top 10 projects with the most donors who give gifts from May 1st- 13th.  So you could be helping us even more. 

Click on this link: and you will go straight to the ‘gift or in honor of’ tab, under the orange donate button on the project page.  Your chosen person will get an email, print-at-home or physical card – you can even choose to have our main project photo as you picture. 

Thanks again, for your support and interest in our work – you know that we couldn’t have done it with out you.



A focus on Kenya

Below focuses on our nutrition and health activities in Turkana, northwest Kenya (other activities include hygiene, water and sanitation).  The pastoralist communities of Turkana are vulnerable to food insecurity, due to the ongoing drought conditions that exist there.

Merlin has worked with the Kenyan Ministry of Health for over a decade, and with the help of local partners offers nutrition and health and care services to some of the most remote communities in the country (if not the continent).  Currently, our teams support 31 health facilities and have over 70 location sites for our outreach, mobile clinics.  Each outreach site is visited on average, once every two weeks.  Merlin was able to use this vast network to help to distribute food and nutritional care quickly and effectively when the food crisis began early last year.

- Merlin teams continue to work via health facilities and mobile clinics, to offer nutrition and health care services to remote communities in Turkana, our program targets over 400,000 people.

- The teams are working with Ministry of Health to clearly map where our mobile clinics / outreach sites are.

Blanket Feeding Program

- The Blanket Feeding Program supplied by the World Food Program and distributed by Merlin teams is coming to an end.  A ‘blanket’ program is when food supplements are offered to all families living in the area, not just specific groups such as new mothers and children under 5 within families). However, there will be ongoing monitoring and the program could be restored if there are future needs.

- Merlin will start work on new nutrition survey in May with survey partners: Oxfam, World Vision and IRC.  This new survey will allow Merlin to compare the seasonal situation with one completed in May 2011, (the last survey was in December 2011).

 New Activities

- Funding has been secured, so Merlin can offer more targeted health care to disabled people living in Turkana.  This new program of activities is scheduled to begin in June 2011.

- Merlin is also exploring the introduction of a new mental health care program

Remember to think about my idea for a Mother's Day gift...

Apr 26, 2012

Results for Children, Focus on Malawi

Mother and Child in Malawi
Mother and Child in Malawi

Since 2001, Malawi has achieved a 29 percent decline in newborn deaths—from 19,000 per year to 17,000 per year in 2010. In those 10 years, Save the Children, with the support of its many donors, has made significant contributions toward this achievement.

Teaching Others How to Save a Life
Save the Children and partners have trained and supported over 1,700 frontline health workers—often people with little formal education but who are respected in their communities. These health workers counsel mothers, detect life-threatening conditions in newborns and refer them to health facilities when necessary. Today, frontline health workers deliver community-based maternal and newborn care in nearly two-thirds of Malawi’s districts.

Caring for a New Baby
Local customs can sometimes be at odds with what is best for baby and mother, which is why Save the Children promotes and teaches essential newborn care. It starts with prenatal care and includes checkups for newborns in the first two days after birth, when most newborns are at greatest risk. Frontline health workers also educate mothers and caregivers in how to care for their newborns. Today, essential newborn care provides the foundation for Save the Children’s newborn health programs in 18 countries.

Saving Babies Born Too Early or Too Small
“Kangaroo Mother Care” is the whimsical name for an effective way to care for low birth weight and preterm babies. Wrapping a baby skin-to-skin against its mother’s chest (like a kangaroo’s pouch), keeps it warm, encourages breastfeeding and bonding, and prevents infections. Save the Children has promoted Kangaroo Mother Care in Malawi since 2002, and today more than 100 health facilities use this approach. We are working with the government of Malawi to take this practice nationwide.

Additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is allowing
Save the Children to analyze results and lessons learned from Malawi’s decade-long program and continue to promote newborn health around the world. 

Melinda Gates in Malawi
In 2010, Melinda Gates visited a district hospital supported by Save the Children in Dowa, Malawi, where Save the Children has trained frontline health workers. Here is a brief excerpt of her assessment of that visit.

“I also visited one of the cities there, Dowa, where the women are going into the facilities just as the government has told them. In fact, the women are going up to four weeks ahead of the birth of their baby. That’s really important because they are then avoiding birth complications that might happen to them out in the village or on the road. I met about 40 women who were waiting at the Dowa district hospital, and it was so interesting to talk to these women. They are such palpable evidence of the real impact these changes are having. And I literally saw mothers and babies that would not be alive today if it weren’t for the improvements that Malawi has been making in these areas.”

Listen to Melinda Gates’ complete impressions of her visit to Malawi



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