Upstate New York Council

Members of the Upstate New York Council pose for a photo.

A few members of the council gather to help raise funds for children in Kenya. Front row: Vin Cooper, Emily Cooper, Kay Moberg, Stephanie Jorgensen, Kathy Braico. Back row center: Scott Moberg, Shawn Jorgensen, and John Braico. Also pictured: speaker Barry Finette of THINKMD (left)

Members of the upstate New York leadership council (left to right): Diana Sarro (Save the Children), Beth Miles, Emily Cooper, Kathy Braico, Matt Miles, Shawn Jorgensen, Meaghan Dugan, and Mike O'Toole. Photo credit: Save the Children 2019.

Council Members (left to right): Diana Sarro (Save the Children), Beth Miles, Emily Cooper, Kathy Braico, Matt Miles, Shawn Jorgensen, Meaghan Dugan, and Mike O'Toole.
Not pictured: Anja O'Toole, Vincent Cooper, Doug Girling, John Braico, Chris and Alison Knauf, and Ross and Maureen Schlinger.

Council Members: Top row: Lily Miles, Matt Miles, Meaghan Dugan, Erin Rudd, Shawn Jorgensen, Kathy Braico, Beth Miles, and Clara Somoza Bottom row: Christa Switzer, Stephanie Jorgensen, Kellie Girling Not pictured: Doug Girling, Chris and Allison Knauf, and Ross and Maureen Schlinger. Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children 2017.

Council Members: Top row: Lily Miles, Matt Miles, Meaghan Dugan, Erin Rudd, Shawn Jorgensen, Kathy Braico, Beth Miles, and Clara Somoza Bottom row: Christa Switzer, Stephanie Jorgensen, Kellie Girling
Not pictured: Doug Girling, Chris and Alison Knauf, and Ross and Maureen Schlinger.

Our Mission

The Upstate New York Council of Save the Children is a group of dedicated individuals from the capital region and Saratoga area of New York who are committed to reducing the burden of extreme poverty in the developing world, one project at a time.

We aim to join together the contributions of neighbors throughout Upstate NY and collectively support select projects for the world's poorest children that achieve immediate and lasting change by improving their health, education and economic opportunities.

Our Vision

Save the Children identifies several priority needs from around the world where a small amount of private funds could make a big difference and are of a size and scope that our group could fund. We then present the potential projects to the entire committee in the spring and the one that best fits the group's goals is chosen. This becomes the project we support with our fundraiser in the fall.

The board votes annually on a priority project to distribute funds, considering where needs are both greatest, as well as how support will be used most sustainably and in the most effective manner.

Our projects must:

  • Target those most in need - in an area of extreme poverty in the third world.
  • Be highly efficient - helping the greatest number of people for the least amount of money.
  • Be sustainable - a local or national Government will consider our project for adoption nationally or regionally, thereby providing a long-term solution for the community and multiplying our impact.

Our Results

Through seven fall fundraisers, two golf tournaments, and a black tie affair, our small but mighty group has raised more than $400,000 to help transform the lives of children around the world!

A meticulous project selection process and efficient and effective execution of these projects by Save the Children, has enabled us to leverage a modest amount of money to do amazing things, including:

  • Saving the lives of 2,258 children.
  • Achieving amazing efficiency of $57 spent for every life saved (well below typical philanthropic standards).
  • Shaping national policy regarding newborn health in Liberia and Nicaragua.

 

For more information about the Upstate NY Council contact:
Diana Sarro
Director, Individual Philanthropy
Save the Children
DSarro@savechildren.org
203.434.8578

Our Projects


SAVING LIVES OF CHILDREN IN KENYA'S KIBRA SLUMS

2020 Project: This year we want to help protect the kids we have supported over the past three years in the Kibra Slums of Kenya from the impact of COVID-19. In Nairobi’s overcrowded slums and settlements social distancing is almost impossible. The Population Council recently interviewed 2,000 people living in informal settlements and found that 85% did not have a place in their homes to isolate someone who was infected. At the same time, only 20% reported receiving health information from sources that they trusted. As of early September 2020, Kenya had a total of 35,020 COVID-infected individuals and 594 deaths. Nairobi County, where Kibra is located, has the highest number of confirmed cases (19,762).

They need 25,000 masks and gloves, and have fewer than 1,000. With our help we can provide 10,000 of each. They also need 1,000 face shields and 100 handwashing stations with soap. We can equip health care providers and familes with all of this if we can raise $24,000 from our friends in Upstate NY.

A healthworker holds a a table while conducting an assessment with a child sitting on his mother's lap.

With your support, we competed our project in the slums of Kenya saving an estimated 900 lives of children under age 5. The result of our pilot will be shared with other organizations to replicate and improve urban healthcare elsewhere around the world! 

Saving Lives of Children in Kenya's Kibra SLUMS


2019-2018 Project: 
Kibra, Kenya is one of the largest slums in the world - where more children will die of preventable or treatable causes than almost anywhere.

Our project piloted a proven algorithm technology to train private practitioners to properly diagnose, treat, and refer children for proper treatment. We also connected practitioners with authentic mediations in an effort to save the lives of more children in this desperately poor area.

Our Goal: We have reached 4,000 children through our pilot alone

Type of Benefit: Immediate benefit and ongoing.

Amount Raised: $77,000 in 2019 and $65,000 in 2018.

Multiplying Effect: This model now proven effective, is a model for other urban slums and will be published in an upcoming health journal for other NGO’s to replicate. It will also be scaled up further throughout Nairobi’s slums to fundamentally change the healthcare of children in these difficult health care environments. Learn more.

In 2017, we provided critical aid for the children and families facing massive devastation in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, so they can recover and rebuild their lives. Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children.

In 2017, we provided critical aid for the children and families facing massive devastation in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, so they can recover and rebuild their lives.

RELIEF FOR Puerto Rico AND THE Dominican Republic

2017 Project: The destruction was massive across the island, complicated by severe power, fuel and communications challenges. Thanks to our support Save the Children's relief experts were on the ground doing whatever it took to care for the most vulnerable in any emergency: children. Our support also helped another hard-hit island, the Dominican Republic.

Amount raised: $25,000 

In 2017, we felt strongly that the plight of the Rohingya people could not be ignored. More than half of a million children and families are in dire need of immediate lifesaving aid and our group raised funds toward helping children there. Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children.

In 2017, we felt strongly that the plight of the Rohingya people could not be ignored. More than half of a million children and families are in dire need of immediate lifesaving aid and our group raised funds toward helping children there.

RELIEF FOR THE Rohingya Crisis

2017 Project: The majority of the refugees who fled Myanmar to Bangladesh are children, and an alarming number of these children are suffering from malnutrition.

Type of Benefit: Immediate emergency aid

Amount Raised: $25,000

Results: Food, water, education, shelter, psychosocial support, and medical aid delivered to children in greatest need.

Providing Health Facilities in Bangladesh

2016 Project: Our collective support is improving and saving the lives of mothers and newborns in rural Bangladesh by providing a safe place for mothers to give birth in four rehabilitated health centers. Bangladesh has one of the highest numbers of mothers and babies who die in childbirth.

Type of Benefit: Ongoing

Amount Raised: $23,000

Results: Four health facilities have been rehabilitated allowing for more births to be attended, protecting mothers and newborns, and improving the quality of care.

Chlorhexidine applied to the umbilical cord stump can help protect newborn babies from infection. Gloria, a Community health worker trained with our support was able to save the life of Indira Bravo, a premature baby. Photo credit: Save the Children/Abir Abdullah.

Chlorhexidine applied to the umbilical cord stump can help protect newborn babies from infection. Photo: Save the Children/Abir Abdullah

Saving Newborn Lives in Bangladesh

2015 Project: We decided to help another country who desperately needed funds to save newborns from sepsis by providing the antiseptic Chlorhexidine. We knew the solution was effective and cost so little to provide.

Type of Benefit: One-time

Amount Raised: $35,000

Results: Over 84,000 doses were purchased to treat and save newborns in Bangladesh. Newborn infections in Bangladesh typically account for 23% of all neonatal deaths, but in a representative district where our chlorhexidine was used, only one death occurred out of 392 live births treated (0.26%)!

Multiplying Effect: Bangladesh has now begun to fund this solution as part of their national budget. This should go forward with an uninterrupted supply of this lifesaving treatments for all newborns.

 

2016 Project: Expansion of our 2014 project to bring newborn healthcare to an additional 160 Community Health Workers in 80 more communities in Nicaragua.  Type of Benefit: Ongoing  Results: As of May 2017, 16 Community Health Workers trained, 12 newborns treated, with no newborn deaths. This project is now projected to become a national program adopted by the ministry of health and a model for other countries because of the success it has shown!

Our 2014 seed funding made treatment of sick newborns possible for the first time ever in some of the poorest remote communities of Nicaragua. This is a model program currently being expanded to additional communities.

Reaching the most in need: SAVING NEWBORN LIVES IN NICARAGUA (2014 and 2016) 

Life in rural Nicaragua for mothers and newborns is fraught with uncertainty. The hospitalization needed for a newborn with a serious infection is not an option for most families. As a result, infants in rural areas of Nicaragua die at a rate of 54 per 1,000 live births, most often from preventable causes - sepsis (severe infection), prematurity and birth complications (asphyxia).

Our collective support established and then expanded a mentorship training program (2014 and 2016) to allow existing community health workers to recognize the danger signs of illness and begin to treat newborns.

Results: We anticipated a 15% reduction in all cause newborn mortality, but the results were even better! Not one single death occurred among any of the newborns treated! This project is now projected to become a national program adopted by the ministry of health and a model for other countries because of the success it has shown!

A mother in Liberia who just received chlorhexidine for her baby. Photo: Save the Children 2013.

A mother in Liberia who just received chlorhexidine for her baby. Photo: Save the Children
The goal is to improve the futures of children in Ebola-ravaged Liberia. We aim to provide high-quality teacher training and establish savings and loan groups. 

Saving Newborn Lives in Liberia

2013 Project: A newborn's umbilical cord is a potential entry point for bacteria which could lead to severe and fatal newborn infection. Preventable infections are one of the three major causes of newborn deaths in the developing world.

Type of Benefit: One-time

Amount Raised: $25,000 ($12,500 used for Ebola emergency)

Results: Upstate NY Friends rallied to allow 6,805 newborns to be treated with the inexpensive antiseptic chlorhexidine. The good news: NO deaths were reported in treated groups, despite only anticipating a 23% drop in mortality! This solution has now been adopted nationally.

Multiplying Effect: Liberia has officially adopted the use of chlorhexidine as national practice for the treatment of newborns. However, the government is still rebuilding after Ebola and lacks the necessary funds to procure the chlorhexidine necessary for the scale-up and are seeking funding from NGOs.

 

Upcoming Events

Upstate New York Trivia Game Night Invitation

2020 Upstate Friends of Save the Children Virtual Game Night!
Join us for Virtual Trivia Night November 28. Test your trivia know-how for prizes and to help the children of Kenya’s slums. Send an email to register by 11/25.

For more information or to RSVP please email or call:
Diana Sarro | Director, Individual Philanthropy
dsarro@savechildren.org | 203.434.8578

Other Opportunities

Opportunities exist for members of our group to travel to the field to see the impact we are having on children and communities. In 2016, several members visited Nicaragua and met some of the community health workers our support trained! Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children.

Opportunities exist for members of our group to travel to the field to see the impact we are having on children and communities. In 2016, several members visited Nicaragua and met some of the community health workers our support trained!

Committee members' children have been instrumental in providing volunteer support for our events and now they are also planning events of their own! Youth members have also been able to travel to the field with their parents. Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children.

Committee members' children have been instrumental in providing volunteer support for our events and now they are also planning events of their own! Youth members have also been able to travel to the field with their parents.

Welcome!

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