Upstate New York Council

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 Allison Knauf, and Ross and Maureen Schlinger.

For more information about the Upstate NY Council contact:

Diana Sarro

Director, Individual Philanthropy

Save the Children

DSarro@savechildren.org

203.434.8578

Our Mission

The Upstate New York (NY) 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 Focus

We hold one main fundraiser per year to fund a tangible project that addresses the needs of an underserved community in extreme poverty in the developing world. Additional events are planned based on the interests and support of committee members.

We also are seeking to actively engage children with the group in a Junior NY Council of their own and with kid-run events!

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 Projects

This year we will save the lives of children living in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. Our project will pilot a proven solution to train private practitioners to properly diagnose, treat, and refer children in an effort to save more children's lives. Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children.

This year we will save the lives of children living in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. Our project will pilot a proven solution to train private practitioners to properly diagnose, treat, and refer children in an effort to save more children's lives.

Saving Lives of Children in Kenya's Kibera Slums

2018 Project: Kibera, Kenya is one of the largest slums in the world - where more children will die of preventable or treatable causes than almost anywhere. Most families who can afford to seek medical care for a sick child go to untrained private practitioners who often fail to correctly diagnose the child and dispense expired or counterfeit medication.

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

Our Goal: We aim to reach 20,000 children through our pilot alone.

Type of Benefit: We anticipate this project will demonstrate results over 18 months and be a model that can be adopted in other urban areas of Kenya and beyond.

Minimum Amount Needed: $50,000

 

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 is massive across the island, complicated by severe power, fuel and communications challenges. Save the Children's relief experts are on the ground right now, doing whatever it takes to care for the most vulnerable in any emergency: children. Our support will also help another hard-hit island, the Dominican Republic.

Type of Benefit: Immediate emergency aid

Collective Amount Needed: $25,000

Results: Aid delivered.

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
Next year, 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: Our first project demonstrated we could save the life of a newborn for less than a dollar. 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

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.

 

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. Our goal was to provide as many children and families as possible with water, food, shelter and protection through 'child friendly spaces' that protect children from trafficking, as well as provides children with play-based psychosocial activities.

Type of Benefit: Immediate emergency aid

Collective Amount Needed: $25,000

Results: Aid delivered.

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

Results: Construction is underway to rehabilitate four facilities to improve the quality of care and allow for more births to be attended protecting mothers and newborns.

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. Gloria, a Community health worker trained with our support was able to save the life of Indira Bravo, a premature baby 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: Ongoing

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. Photo credit: Upstate New York Friends of Save the Children 2014.

Training First-Responders in Nicaragua

2014 Project: 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).

Type of Benefit: Ongoing

Results: Our collective support in 2016 allowed for the training of 88 existing community health workers to recognize the danger signs and in some cases treat newborns. We anticipated a 15% reduction in all cause newborn mortality, but the results were even better! Not one single death occurred in the 738 newborns treated!

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.

Saving Newborn Lives in Nicaragua

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!

Upcoming Events

Please join us for a Party with a Purpose
on Sunday, December 2, 2018
hosted by Meaghan Dugan
3:30PM to 6:30 PM
Share cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with
friends and be part of saving the lives
of children in the slums of Kibera, Kenya.

If you can’t join us, but would like to support our project CLICK HERE.

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!

We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add support@savechildren.org to your contact list.