Upstate New York Council
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)
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 Alison Knauf, and Ross and Maureen Schlinger.
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.
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.
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:
Officer Leadership Councils & Appeals, Resource Development
Save the Children
CHILDREN IN CRISIS IN MYANMAR
2021 Project: Innocent children in Myanmar have had their futures brutally and needlessly snatched away from them. The deadly and ongoing violence is having a deep impact on the mental health of millions of boys and girls. As children continue to be among the targets of fatal attacks, including attacks against schools, Save the Children and our local partners are providing front-line support.
With your help we hope to reach as many girls and boys as possible to provide for their immediate needs for protection, food, water, psychological aid, and the educational support they so desperately need. For example, $65,000 can feed 1500 children for six months, $4000 can set up ten Child Friendly Spaces.
SAVING LIVES OF CHILDREN IN KENYA'S KIBRA SLUMS
2020 Project: Despite COVID and not being to have “traditional” events, in 2020 we were still able to raise funds to 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.
With your help we provided Kibra with personal protective equipment (PPE): 10,000 surgical masks, 10,000 N95 masks 10,000 disposable gowns, and 100 Handwashing stations and soap for this very poor community.
Amount Raised: $26,107
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!
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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