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.
Jun 1, 2016

Milk Goats Improve Quality of Life

Thanks to support from Global Giving channeled through Save the Children’s programs, children’s nutritional status and household incomes have improved for the families implementing goat modules in Quiché, Guatemala.

Sisters Margarita and Juana, are an example of this transformation.

Three years ago in Xevitz Nebaj, Margarita’s son, Juan, was found to have low weight. Because of this situation, Margarita decided to learn about raising milk goats and to establish a goat module at her house. Every day she gave a glass of goat’s milk to her child who began to gain weight and his quick improvement surprised her whole family.

This wasn’t the only benefit. The family also increased their income by using the goat’s urine and manure for organic fertilizer instead of buying chemical fertilizers. "Now my land is stronger and this year my corn plants are greener than last year.”

When she saw the results Margarita was getting, her sister Juana, also set up a goat module at her house with support from Global Giving. This helped her four year old grandson, Edgar, who was suffering from chronic malnutrition to grow and become healthier.

Similar to the sisters, Isaías and his wife, Julia, of the village of La Hacienda, Cunén, decided to implement a household goat module when they were told that their daughter Claudia wasn’t gaining weight the way she should.

Isaías and Julia were concerned about their daughter and began giving her a glass of milk every day and 30 days later they were amazed at the results, “My daughter gained weight and isn’t sick any more. She has begun to grow the way she is supposed to and plays more. Now I don’t have to spend money on medicine all the time,” says Isaías as he hugs his daughter.

By implementing the milk goat modules, Gaspar and Jacinta improved their family’s life and that of their community in La Pista, Nebaj. When they joined the program implemented by Save the Children, they began managing five milk goats which had been Gaspar and Jacinta improve their goat production genetically improved at the Highlands Goat Production Center (CEPROCAL, for its initials in Spanish).

The family’s interest and hard work allowed them to increase their herd to 16 goats and 11 kids. "It is clear that these animals are of better quality and have greater reproductive capacity. I see a significant difference between them the the ones that I had before," explained Gaspar.

Besides increasing his herd, Gaspar sponsored many low weight children with a glass of milk, produced goat cheese, used the organic fertilizer for his crops and he feels that he has improved his farm as well as the nutritional status of his grandchildren.

Learning how to manage milk goats has been an important experience for Gaspar. The training included goat feeding and nutrition, reproductive management, milking, consumption, vaccination, and management and use of manure and urine.

More than 2,400 families in the Guatemala Highlands have received training on goat management. One of these was Apolonio, who already had experience with goats but lacked resources and technical assistance. The program’s support helped change his life as he improved his abilities and he now has three goats instead of just one.

When Miguel, the technician from the Western Program of Integrated Food and Nutrition Security Actions (PAISANO) implemented by Save the Children, visited him to provide technical assistance, he suggested marketing the goat’s milk in the municipal seat of Uspantán. At the beginning Apolonio was embarrassed and nervous about going out to sell the milk but when he realized how he could earn money from selling the milk he was convinced to keep going.

Now he goes out into the streets of Uspantán with his son Arturo, offering goat’s milk, “The first day I sold eight glasses, the next day I sold 10 and this encouraged me to keep going. People know me and when they hear me shout, ‘Milk, Milk’, they rush out with their containers to buy from me." Apolonio says that people attribute many benefits to drinking goat’s milk – they say it cures gastritis, alleviates aching bones and helps with other diseases.

In El Pinal, Uspantán, Elmer and Natalia's family also improved their lives and the nutritional situation in their community with the implementation of goat modules. Every Apolonio lives in San Antonio which is 1.5 kilometers from the municipal seat of Uspantán where he sells his goat’s milk every day. day 10 children under five years of age who have low weight come to their house to receive a glass of milk to improve their nutritional status. This is possible thanks to the implementation of five goat modules.

Additionally, Natalia makes cheese every day from the surplus milk and sells it in the community. The demand for her cheese keeps growing and now she earns $ US 6.50 a day from cheese sales. Other benefits are the sale of baby goats for $ US 50 each and the reduction in expenses for buying chemical fertilizers since they use the goat by-products for organic and foliar fertilizer.

This has increased their bean and corn production by 10%. This case study presents various success stories of families that have benefited from milk goats in Quiché. This is just a sample of the value of Global Giving’s support for improving children’s and families’ nutrition channeled through Save the Children.

Mar 31, 2016

Childhood Under Siege

Childhood Under Siege
Childhood Under Siege

Now reaching the five-year mark, the conflict in Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. Indiscriminate and brutal violence against civilians, as well as the denial of aid, has forced half of the population to flee their homes, with 6.6 million people displaced inside Syria and another 4.7 million refugees seeking safety and assistance in neighboring countries and increasingly in Europe. It is estimated that between 250,000 and 470,000 have been killed.

The crisis has deteriorated even further over the past year, with the active involvement of the Russian military the latest in a seemingly never-ending spiral of military escalations. At least 14 nations, including four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, are now militarily engaged in Syria. The siege of civilian areas has been a tactic since the very beginning of the war. In early 2011, protests began in Dara’a and the government closed off the town, shutting down electricity and cutting supplies of water and food for 11 days. Since then sieges have become increasingly systematic and commonplace. Some areas, such as Darayya and parts of Eastern Ghouta, have been under constant siege since 2012, with children and their families struggling to survive in a chronic crisis. Other areas have seen sieges tighten for months at a time, plunging them into a state of heightened emergency and starvation.

Save the Children and partners have conducted 22 focus groups with 126 mothers, fathers and children living in besieged areas of Syria, as well as 25 extensive interviews with local aid groups, doctors, teachers and individuals. These discussions painted a picture of enormous suffering and injustice, of sick children dying while the medicine they need is on the other side of a checkpoint, and of children forced to eat animal feed or leaves just a few kilometres from warehouses of food. 

To learn more, read Save the Children’s report: “Childhood Under Siege – Living and dying in besieged areas of Syria”

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Mar 31, 2016

Yemen's Conflict - A Matter of Life and Death

Yemen
Yemen's Children Suffering in Silence

One year since the conflict in Yemen escalated, nearly 90 percent of children now need emergency humanitarian aid, yet the desperate plight of 10 million children is still being largely ignored.

Save the Children warns that international governments are exacerbating the crisis and endangering children’s lives by choosing to support military action while ignoring the devastating consequences for civilians.

“An entire generation of children – the future of Yemen – is being abandoned to their fate,” says Edward Santiago, Save the Children’s Country Director in Yemen.

“For millions of children here, the terror of airstrikes and shelling, and the destruction of everything around them has become a daily fact of life. This must not be allowed to continue.

“Even before the current crisis spiraled, Yemen was already the poorest and least developed country in the Middle East, but now thousands more children’s lives are at real risk as long as the fighting continues and the delivery of vital humanitarian aid and commercial supplies continues to be obstructed.”

A new Save the Children briefing note, Yemen’s Children Suffering in Silence, illustrates how a year of war has created a humanitarian crisis that ranks as one of the worst in the world, with most areas facing extreme, and often deadly, shortages of medicine, food and fuel.

“A doctor at a Save the Children-supported hospital in Sana’a told us how a newborn baby died last month during a power cut when incubators shut down for an hour and there was no fuel left to run the back-up generators.” says Santiago.

“Other health facilities we work with report running out of even simple materials such as sterile bandages, antibiotics and iodine, and have all reported cases of potentially fatal conditions doubling, or in some cases tripling, over the past six months, including malaria, severe acute malnourishment, respiratory problems, and diarrhea.”

A recent assessment by Save the Children health and nutrition teams in Sa’ada also found critical shortages of therapeutic foods, which are used to treat malnourished children.

“One in three Yemeni children under five are now acutely malnourished, with nearly 10 million without access to clean water and more than eight million no longer having access to even basic health care,” says Santiago, adding that around 600 hospitals and health facilities have had to shut down due to damage or shortages.

An estimated six boys and girls killed or injured every day of the conflict, and civilians made up 93 percent of casualties when explosive weapons were used in populated areas during 2015—the crisis in Yemen has had a devastating psychological impact on children.

"Worryingly, children are increasingly being recruited into armed groups, abducted and detained, and at risk from thousands of newly-laid landmines.”

Nearly half of school-age children are now also out of school in Yemen, with an average of two attacks on schools per week of the conflict, and more than 1,600 schools now closed or being used as emergency shelters for families who have fled their homes.

Despite the enormous needs, the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen was only 56 percent funded in 2015, and so far is only 12 percent funded for this year, with no funding at all received for education or child protection.

“Rich nations are turning a blind eye to children’s suffering, and in some cases are even making billions of dollars by selling weapons that continue to be used against civilians,” says Santiago.

“UN Security Council resolutions are being ignored and the conflict goes on with complete disregard for international law and the protection of civilians, particularly children. There needs to be much more aid to those suffering, and much more diplomatic pressure on those fighting in Yemen to end the conflict.”

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