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Save the Children

by Save the Children Federation
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children
Save the Children

Dear friends,

What would our pioneering founder, Eglantyne Jebb, think of our world today and Save the Children’s place in it?

With the relentlessly alarming news headlines, she might fear the world is falling apart. But she would never back down from a challenge. She would know our 100-year history of responding to emergencies and innovating new ways to help children have given us the expertise and the global presence to deliver what’s needed now for children.

Eglantyne’s words are as inspiring and relevant today as they were when she said them in 1919: “Humanity owes the child the very best it has to give.”

As this report is published, the coronavirus pandemic has spread to almost every country in the world, bringing grief, suffering and economic chaos in its wake. Across the world and here at home, the poorest and most disadvantaged families are hurt the hardest. Save the Children is working around the clock to ensure that the health and well-being of children are protected. We invite you to review our results from 2019 and to be assured our work is going full force in 2020, adapting as needed to new realities, and committed to doing whatever it takes to give children the childhoods and future they deserve.

Thanks to supporters like you, we achieved tremendous results for children last year. Together, we changed the lives of more than 144 million children, including 328,000 here in America. In these difficult times, we thank you more than ever for your compassion, generosity and determination to ensure children everywhere survive, learn and are protected. They need us now more than ever – and they deserve the best we have to give.


On behalf of the world’s children,

Janti Soeripto President & CEO Brad Irwin Chair, Save the Children Board of Trustees

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The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a stark reminder of our shared humanity, common interests and joint responsibilities. No country is immune, and no country can defeat a virus that knows no borders by acting alone.

Save the Children has mobilized a pandemic response that is unlike any other humanitarian mission in our 101 years of alleviating the needs of vulnerable and marginalized children.  We have seen the coronavirus overwhelm health systems of some of the world’s wealthiest countries. It is now vital that the world’s poorest countries, with the most limited health systems, put in place the defenses needed to save lives. Those defenses include the provision of protective equipment, training health workers and community education.

But this is a crisis that goes beyond health systems. Economic recession and social disruptions have already inflicted an immense toll in countries with strong safety nets. The risks now facing vulnerable populations in poorer countries with high levels of poverty and weak safety nets are even greater. That’s why Save the Children is urgently working to extend programs aimed at protecting nutrition and countering poverty.

School closures have left an estimated 1.5 billion children out of classrooms. As we learned with Ebola, once schooling is interrupted, there is a real risk that children won’t return. Adolescent girls may be forced into early marriage. As poverty deepens, children may be drawn into labor markets to make ends meet. We know from the bitter experience of past crises that when recession and rising food prices kick in, children will be hurt by rising levels of poverty, poor health and malnutrition. Those least able to cope will be hit first and hardest.

Save the Children is doing everything in our power to protect and support children and their families everywhere we work. Our aim now is to extend the reach and strengthen the impact of our programs in the poorest and most at-risk countries, focusing on four areas:

  • Preventing and managing the spread of the pandemic
  • Helping children learn, stay safe, and return to school
  • Supporting family survival and food security through safety nets
  • Keeping children, families and communities safe


The COVID-19 crisis is global, and so is our response. Since the pandemic is due to hit all 120 countries where we work, we will respond in all of them. In line with the World Health Organization’s planning scenarios, we anticipate that all places where we are present will experience a sever outbreak during the next 12-18 months. We are working to ensure that all our programs are ready to respond, particularly in those countries where children and families are the most vulnerable to the pandemic.

We are focused on children in countries where the gaps for children are the greatest. These are the girls and boys in the world’s most difficult humanitarian settings, where the impact will be disproportionate – including conflict zones, refugee camps, fragile states and places experiencing natural disasters. We are focused on the most vulnerable populations of children in low-, medium- and high-income contexts, where the harshest inequalities exist. In some of the world’s most wealthy countries, we are bringing our long experience in supporting children during emergencies in difficult places and adapting that to this unprecedented crisis.

Our dedicated team of international health experts is working with governments and aligning our plans to ensure that all of our programs are able to respond. They are working with the World Health Organization and other partners; we are also helping to guide other organizations on how to respond to a disease outbreak within a humanitarian crisis.

Thank you for continuing to support all of our work for children around the world as we continue to adapt to these new and changing times. 

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Hoda at the stabilization center
Hoda at the stabilization center

6 month old Hoda's family were nomadic pastoralists with around 80 goats, until drought came and they lost all but seven goats. Having lost their livelihood, they moved to an Internally Displaced Person's camp on the outskirts of Gardo, where they live in a shelter made of scraps of metal and wood.

Hoda's mother, Shukri brought Hoda to the stabilisation centre in November after she became very weak due to vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. There she was given antibiotics and therapeutic milk, and recovered and gained her strength again over the course of her 10 day stay.

Shukri says “Before, life was much better than in the town, we had around 80 goats and we sold or ate them when we needed something. Now we’re in a desperate situation, and we depend on the help of neighbours. If I could have stayed and had my animals I would have, but I have to accept the situation. We don’t have a stable source of income. Everyday I go to town to see what I can do, if I can wash clothes etc. My husband is jobless.  I wouldn’t want to think about death, but if Hoda hadn’t come to the stabilisation centre she wouldn’t be the same as she is now, she wouldn’t be happy. You can understand, I was very worried and didn’t know what would happen. I’m very happy now to see her well again.”

“I want to tell Save the Children that without this service, a lot of people would not be alive today. I want to encourage them to carry on supporting it.”

After treatment, Hoda is back home
After treatment, Hoda is back home
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Abrahim, 7 months, recovering from Pnemonia
Abrahim, 7 months, recovering from Pnemonia


Abrahim’s story

Just seven months into his life, Abrahim was fighting for breath. “I noticed that his coughing was unusual,” says his mom, Mercy. “When he cried he produced a very low sound.” Mercy knew something was seriously wrong. Her fears were confirmed at their local health centre where doctors referred the family to Lodwar County and Referral Hospital.

But the family didn’t have the money to pay for the 50km journey. It’s any parent’s worst nightmare. Watching your child get sick but not being able to afford the care they need. Mercy spent a month pulling together the funds to pay for public transport. On arrival at the hospital, Abrahim was diagnosed with pneumonia – responsible for more deaths of under-fives than any other disease. The paediatric ward at Lodwar Hospital sees a high volume of cases of children suffering with pneumonia. In the surrounding rural areas 6 to 7 out of every 10 children contracts severe pneumonia at some stage. The hospital treats the condition with both intravenous and oral antibiotics. Children who are lucky enough to get to the paediatric ward (they often have long distances to travel to get to the hospital and their families may not have the means or the funds to do so) usually respond well to the antibiotics within a couple of days.

Abrahim was one of the lucky ones – he won his battle, thanks in part to the equipment and the training of the staff at the hospital, supported by Save the Children. With early and correct diagnosis and timely treatment with the appropriate antibiotic, it is possible for young children such as Abrahim to recover well from pneumonia, I’m relieved that he is well now,” says Mercy.

Mercy with her son Abrahim
Mercy with her son Abrahim
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Back to School In India
Back to School In India

Sandhya is a 13-year-old girl who lives with her mother, brother and grandmother in a small rural village in southern India. Their home is very small, with just one room and an outdoor kitchen. It is made from concrete and stone, with a sheet of tarpaulin which is used as a makeshift front door. It is surrounded by other small stone cottages, which back onto endless cotton, chilli and chickpea plantations.

When Sandhya was just ten years old, she dropped out of school to work picking chillies with her mother. She says “I used to wish, ‘if only I could study.’ I would feel bad when I saw girls of my age are going to study. I did not want to work in the chilli field. I worked in the chilli fields for almost one and half years. I earned 200 rupees per day (USD 2.80 per day) for this work.”

“I was ten years old when I worked in the chilli fields. I would work the whole day; I would pluck the chillies, my fingers would burn and I couldn’t wipe the sweat from my face. We used to say to each other ‘when will this day end, when will this day end?’

A Save the Children Community Worker saw she was working and encouraged her mother to let her return to school. She told her that education was extremely important for girls, and that Sandhya needed to attend school regularly to keep up with her peers. The worker also told her mother about different government programs to help reduce the financial burden on her family. The Community Worker succeeded and Sandhya, now 13, loves to study.  She says “Now I am able to catch up and study well and get top marks.”

She is also a child champion, which means she is supported by Save the Children to lead discussions in her community around things like education and child labour. Being a child champion has made Sandhya feel like she can give back to her community and help ensure that other girls like her have the opportunity to complete their education.

Sandhya’s dream is to finish her education and one day become a lawyer, so she can help other families deal with issues like child marriage.

Thank you for your support of children like Sandhya!

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Organization Information

Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @savethechildren
Project Leader:
Lisa Smith
Fairfield, CT United States
$42,859 raised of $50,000 goal
767 donations
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