Global Advocacy Results
Like our founder, Eglantyne Jebb, Save the Children is an outspoken champion for every last child. Drawing on a century of expertise, we work to ensure children’s voices are heard, their rights are realized and their issues are given top priority. We educate and engage policymakers to champion policies and programs that improve children’s lives, especially the most vulnerable. In 2018, we focused our public policy and advocacy efforts on our global Every Last Child campaign, with an emphasis on educating all refugee children and promoting global gender equality, all thanks to your generous support.
Your Results: The Highlights
HEAR IT FROM THE TEACHERS
In 2018, we continued to advocate for helping refugee children return to learning, including the incorporation of a time-bound commitment in the Global Compact on Refugees and agreement to include child refugees in national education plans – and we achieved both. Our efforts included the release of a new report, Hear It from the Teachers: Getting Refugee Children Back to Learning, on World Teachers’ Day, with a special launch event and high-level discussion in Washington, DC involving the U.S. State Department. The report sheds light on why educating refugee children matters and the challenges teachers face in helping them.
ENSURING AID AND ACCESS IN YEMEN
We’re helping support the voices of vulnerable children, like those suffering in Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. Working in coalition with other humanitarian aid agencies, our persistent, high-level advocacy with Congress, the State Department and USAID helped secure millions in additional funding for crisis relief and helped prevent an escalation of conflict around Hodeidah port, a key lifeline for Yemen’s children. Our advocacy messages on child malnutrition and humanitarian access were repeatedly used in hearings, statements and social media by multiple members of Congress, raising critical awareness of this escalating crisis.
PROTECTING FOOD SECURITY
Proposed budget cuts to two vital international food security programs, Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program, would have been catastrophic for millions of the world’s most vulnerable children – especially at a time when large swaths of the world are on the brink of starvation. Save the Children was a key player among coalition partners who worked to build bipartisan support to protect these critical programs – and save lives.
BIG IDEAS FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS
Save the Children co-chaired the Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition and, in collaboration with the DC-based gender community, led in mobilizing Congress to successfully resist proposed rollbacks on gender equality in critical USAID policies, strategies and structures. To further protect and promote progress on global gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, we secured a bi-partisan “Dear Colleague” letter, led by Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), to USAID Administrator Mark Green on the critical importance of keeping gender equality central to USAID reform efforts.
GENDER EQUALITY AND GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT
The newly established Center for Girls and Gender Equality keeps gender equality at the heart of all we do. In 2018, we established a team to systematically address issues of gender equality and social inclusion across all areas of our work, and we proudly launched our first Gender Equality Strategy. Our strategy treats equality as a human right and an end in itself, as well as a means to overcoming poverty and injustice and accelerating results. Our five thematic pillars include eliminating gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including child marriage; empowering women and girls; promoting positive and diverse expressions of masculinity; keeping gender equality at the heart of our advocacy; and integrating gender equality into how we think, plan and operate as a global organization.
Investing in Children’s Rights
Not only do governments need to improve how money is spent, but also how money is raised in order to fulfill children’s rights to survive, learn and be protected. In 2018, we implemented the first year of a local-to-global project in Kenya, with the support of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.
At the local level, we provided training and capacity building to Child Rights Networks. The networks then engaged with their county finance officials on increasing revenues to provide vital public services for children, like health and education. In addition, as a result of our active participation in conversations around citizen engagement in tax policy discussions, we were invited to become a supporting organization of the Addis Tax Initiative. In 2018, thanks to you, we directly reached 1.1 million children through our child rights governance work.
Children are not party to conflict. Children do not need to suffer. But if food is used as a weapon of war, then children will die.
Global Thought Leadership
Excellence in Family Planning
Working to serve millions of women of childbearing age living through Yemen’s horrific humanitarian crisis, our team was recently recognized for their extraordinary efforts with an Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning Award by the International Conference on Family Planning.
The Many Faces of Exclusion
More than half of all children globally – over 1.2 billion – are threatened by widespread poverty, conflict or discrimination, including against girls, according our second annual End of Childhood Report, launched in commemoration of International Children’s Day on June 1. In the report, we examine eight defining life events that signal the end of childhood, and we call on world leaders to ensure a childhood for every child.
Innovative Finance for Survival
Launched by Carolyn Miles at the 2018 UN General Assembly, our Investing in Maternal and Child Health: Development Impact Bonds report explored one of the many innovative financing tools being leveraged to reduce the global financing gap for maternal, newborn and child survival. The report was featured by the USAID Global Development Lab, Devex and Oxford University, among others. Research was conducted in the U.S. and the West African nations of Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire.
Day of the Girl
On International Day of the Girl, we launched our #SheCanBe campaign – because when a girl grows up healthy, learning and safe, she can become anything she wants! Last year, we offered three young girls – 10-year-old Breyanna from South Carolina and 9-year-old Larissa and 8-year-old Aya from California – the chance to celebrate the day in Los Angeles. They were joined by members of our Celebrity Cabinet – Save the Children Ambassadors Dakota Fanning (shown here) and Rachel Zoe, along with actor Cobie Smulders.
“It’s really shocking that there are 1.2 billion children at risk of not having a healthy childhood,” said our CEO Carolyn Miles in an appearance on Cheddar to discuss our End of Childhood Report findings – and how the world can help. Cheddar is a business news network, broadcast from the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange and watched live by over 6.5 million people each month. The network covers innovative executives, products and technologies that are transforming our lives.
For the one in six children living in areas affected by conflict, war is changing what it means to be a child. This is according to our 2018 report, The War on Children: Time to End Grave Violations Against Children in Conflict. We partnered with Dictionary.com to powerfully illustrate the point, re-defining words like: family, home, playground and school.
In March, we hosted a “Solidarity with Syria” event in our Fairfield, CT office, attended by First Selectman Mike Tetreau and several locally resettled Syrian refugees. Participants were invited to create signs with messages of hope in seven words – one word for each year of the conflict. Online, we initiated a #7WordsforSyria social media campaign, generating 34,000 mentions.
Without urgent action, we’ll never meet the 2030 promises made by every country at the United Nations – governments can and must do more for children.
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