Save The Children has been around for quite some time. In fact, since it was founded in 1919 in the UK, it’s been chugging along for almost a century now. And just because you might be vaguely familiar with the name and the “brand,” it doesn’t mean you’re up on all this brilliant non-profit has accomplished. Let’s take a moment and look at some of the lifesaving work Save the Children has championed over the decades.
Save the Children aims to improve the lives of children around the world.
First off, we need to get past the word “save.” Yes, this charitable godsend has saved or had a hand in rescuing millions of young lives in peril through its longstanding “sponsor a child” initiative. While that’s an incredible feat in itself, Save The Children’s core program does more than merely sustain basic survival needs (although it does that too). Children at risk in 120 countries, including the United States, have truly benefited from and improved their lives through many of this NGO’s ambitious outreach programs.
The funds received through donations and sponsorship are spent with extreme efficiency. With 89% of every dollar or euro (or whatever currency you favor) going directly into service programs (6% for fundraising activities, and 5% for covering the costs of running operations), any money an altruistic patron donates is put to great use. And if you don't know anything about the efficiency of nonprofits, in general, 89% channeling directly into services is pretty spectacular. Read more at Charity Navigator.
The organization reaches 120 countries in all continents.
After ensuring basic shelter and nutrition for youngsters in need, Save The Children funds protection programs for boys and girls at risk of abuse, violence, child labor or human trafficking, regardless if they’re living in conflict zones or areas affected by natural disasters. The emergency response side of the organization deals with children left in some of the most precarious situations on Earth, meeting “children's unique health, education and protection needs,” including over 1 million Syrian children fleeing war, boys and girls in Nepal affected by the recent earthquakes, children orphaned after West Africa’s devastating Ebola outbreak, and many more.
Once saving lives has been dealt with to some degree (it’s a hard, ongoing job in a volatile world)—as well as putting food in children’s bellies—donated financial assets are invested in education. Feed and protect the body, and then feed the mind. Early education programs tackle the cognitive, physical and psychosocial needs of children, focusing on girls’ education, as well as the “Numeracy Boost” and “A World with No Math” campaigns. With celebrity backers, including John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), and Julie Bowman (Modern Family), Numeracy Boost targets the fundamental math skills (often lacking in certain parts of the world) children need to survive now, and in the days to come.
From disaster relief and empowering communities through education, to the fight against childhood starvation, Save the Children has been at the forefront of protecting the lives of, and then improving the living standards of the most vulnerable amongst us. With almost 100 years of good work behind it, let’s hope Save the Children will be around for 100 years more—although maybe with less work to do (someday), thanks to the success of their programs combating hunger and poverty, and providing educational opportunities for as many young souls as they can. ■
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