Save the Children
Poverty undermines the physical, social, intellectual and emotional development of children. A root cause is the lack of adequate economic opportunities, which would enable parents to provide for their children. Children are typically the first and most vulnerable victims in emergencies. Save the Children is committed to helping victims cope with crises and begin the process of recovery. Around the world, we coordinate our relief activities with other international agencies, in addition to strengthening the national institutions that can carry out this work.
History of Save the Children
Across the United States and around the world, Save the Children has helped to weave a safety net for an ever-increasing number of children. To help European children displaced during World War II, Save the Children provided clothes, milk, and food to children and helped communities rebuild in eight European countries. They also began working with Native Americans in 1948, when a devastating blizzard hit the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.
In the late 1950s, Save the Children took a leadership role redefining international development and creating models for the effective transfer of appropriate technology and skills in such areas as sustainable agriculture, small enterprise and health. Save the Children tested a new approach that addressed community wide needs, such as building roads and improving water supplies, along with needs specific to children in the Dominican Republic in 1972. This high impact approach, which facilitated long-term improvements in children's lives, was replicated around the world. Realizing the importance of providing quality childcare for children, Save the Children launched the Family Day Care Network in the state of Georgia in 1978. Now serving 7,400 children, the network has trained more than 1,200 low-income family day care providers and helped families identify quality care.
In 1985, Save the Children launched a major child survival initiative to help families provide better care for their children and to coordinate medical care, water resource development and sanitation improvements. Save the Children's health programs continue to center around child survival, maternal health care, and AIDS awareness, as well as nutrition, clean water and sanitation. Through the 1980s, Save the Children responded to the needs of children in crisis, as war and natural disasters caused incredible suffering in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Even in the most dire emergency, Save the Children demonstrated that its community development approach could be combined with relief to encourage self-sufficiency and ensure lasting change in the lives of children and their families.
Landmines: Hidden Killers of Children
Imagine being a child and knowing that if you take the wrong step your legs could be blown off, or you could lose your life. That is the horrifying reality that hundreds of children now face because of the existence of landmines. Here are a few frightening statistics:
· Landmines, left over from past conflicts, have claimed more than one
million victims since 1975.
The numbers tell a tragic story of indiscriminate destruction. Of the 350 kinds of anti-personnel mines produced by 35 nations, most are specifically designed to maim rather than kill.
Children in landmine-affected countries are especially vulnerable to injury from contact with these weapons. By nature curious and adventurous, they can easily mistake a landmine for a toy or a strange object too interesting not to investigate. Very young children without the ability to read the warning signs often wander into dangerous fields or play areas. Members of the International Save the Children Alliance confront the horror of landmines daily. Some children and families who participate in Save the Children programs are already victims of landmines. International Save the Children Alliance members work to promote mine awareness, assist landmine victims and support landmine clearance projects.
International Save the Children Alliance members also urge international policy makers to ratify The Convention on the Prohibition, Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, also known as The Ottawa Treaty, by the year 2000. Endorsed by 122 countries, in December 1997, this treaty not only bans the production, use, and export of landmines and mandates the destruction of stockpiles, it also requires countries to participate in mine clearance and victim-assistance programs.
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