Save the Children is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure lasting, positive changes in the lives of children. The organization works in the United States as well as in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Save the Children’s priorities include helping students be safe, well nourished, and educate.
In particular, the organization focuses on the world’ most vulnerable and marginalized children. It reaches out to children at risk, including girls, ethnic minorities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, children affected wars and other catastrophes, and children with disabilities.
Save the Children provides the following services:
- Training community health workers to care for newborns and young children
- Protecting vulnerable children from abuse and exploitation
- Helping communities in at-risk countries to be prepared in advance of natural disasters
- Improving children’s health through regular exercise and nutritious food in the United States
Save the Children helps build schools and ensures the education that students receive in them is of the highest quality. The organization focuses largely–though not exclusively–on girls. Two-thirds of the world’s 880 million illiterate adults are women, and 70% of the 125 million children who are not attending school today are girls. Girls are far more likely to leave school due to financial reasons, abuse, disease, and cultural and religious beliefs. For instance, in parts of the Horn of Africa, girls are reluctant to walk to school because many have been abducted on their journey. A dowry system is still in place in the Sahel region of Africa and in some parts of the Middle East that requires girls to leave their studies. In southern Africa and in Asia, the AIDS crisis has left many girls as the head of their broken families; to support their siblings, thy often drop out of school to work. Indigenous girls are among those with the least opportunity.
Save the Children works to address these issues, having found that educating girls has a number of benefits:
- Healthier, better-educated children and grandchildren
- Fewer maternal deaths and reductions in the “younger than age five” mortality rate
- Delayed marriage and better parenting skills
- Improved literacy and numeracy skills, leading to greater economic opportunities
- More skills and knowledge enhancing women’s self-esteem and the well-being of families
Save the Children works with university-based researchers to obtain information about problems affecting children and the most effective interventions. Members of the Save-University Partnership for Education Research (SUPER) include
Columbia University Teachers College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Wisconsin. Projects undertaken by SUPER have focused on the quality of early childhood programs in the Philippines, the safety of students in Malawi, the cost-effectiveness of community schools in Haiti, and ways to ensure girls’ education in Pakistan.
Although the organization worked in Haiti prior to the devastating earthquake of January 2010, it has dramatically expanded its efforts in that country since this natural disaster occurred. Save the Children has initiated school readiness programs and health and hygiene programs for both Haitian students and their parents.
- Save the Children: http://www.savethechildren.org/