Myanmar is no longer a safe place for children.
At least 65 children have reportedly been killed by armed forces in Myanmar since the military coup began. We must see an immediate end to the killing. Right now, Save the Children is providing support to children and families in Myanmar who have been harmed by the deadly violence.
Help Save Children in Myanmar
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has vast natural resources, but the majority of its population is poor, living on less than $2 a day.
The country also has a troubled political history, including its unfinished transition from military dictatorship to democratic rule. On February 1, a military coup began that has thus far killed more than 785 people, including more than 69 children. This crisis comes at a time when armed conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic already pose severe challenges in Myanmar, especially for marginalized communities.
Today, most schools in Myanmar have been closed for nearly one year, which means that 9.7 million children have missed out on classroom-based learning.
In 2017, rapidly escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State caused thousands of reported deaths and human rights abuses, forcing over half a million ethnic Rohingya to flee the country for their lives in what the United Nations called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."
Hundreds of thousands of Myanmar’s children are now living in overcrowded refugee camps, including the world’s largest in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. With little access to essential services, and at heightened risk of disease, abuse and exploitation, these children need your help to survive. Learn more about the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Challenges for Children in Myanmar
Suffering from violence and extreme poverty, many lacking access to basic health care, education and protection, and especially vulnerable to trafficking, the children of Myanmar need your help.
- 1 child in 22 dies before their 5th birthday, 7 times the U.S. rate
- 29% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
- 17% of children are out of school, with 9% engaged in child labor
- 12% of girls (ages 15-19) are married, and 1 in 34 gives birth
- 3% of children are displaced due to conflict
Our Results for Children in Myanmar
Thanks to giving people like you, our work is helping give Myanmar’s children the childhoods they deserve. Last year, we changed the lives of over 993,000 children in Myanmar.
Save the Chidlren is on the ground, thanks to you, serving childdren who fled horrific violence in Myanmar – and now face a terrifying pandemic.
- 606,000 children healthy and nourished
- 423,000 children educated and empowered
- 28,000 children protected from harm
- 22,000 children lifted from poverty
- 80,000 children aided in crisis
Our Work for Children in Myanmar
Save the Children has worked as a leading charity for children in Myanmar since 1995, and has offered sponsorship since 2017. We’re helping children access essential services like health care, education and protection. We've expanded our programs to support the most vulnerable children and their families. We provide emergency relief for those displaced by conflict or whose lives are disrupted by disaster.
We’re also leading the massive humanitarian effort for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, providing physical and mental health care, education, protection and so much more.
Here are some recent examples of our work:
A healthy start in life
- We're focused on ensuring children get the medical care they need in their early years, especially those in remote areas and are working closely with Myanmar's ministry of health to ensure frontline health workers are well trained, equipped and supported
- We’re working hard to prevent and treat HIV, TB and malaria
- We helped improve nutrition for mothers and children through the delivery of cash transfers and behavior change sessions with pregnant women and their families, resulting in reduced child stunting
- We opened a new primary health care center that provides 24/7 in-patient care, serving a population of 20,000 people
- Through our Resourcing Families for Better Nutrition approach, we’re helping families with the cash, information and access to quality services they need to prevent young children from suffering malnutrition
The opportunity to learn
- Through sponsorship, we extended early childhood care and development programs to new villages by providing training to parents and volunteers, providing technical support for construction and training communities to operate and maintain facilities
- We fully implemented Literacy Boost in all of our sponsorship-supported schools in 2019, including establishing reading clubs, stocking community book banks, and training caregivers on how to support reading efforts at home
- In support of Myanmar’s 2019 Child Rights Law banning corporal punishment in education, we provided refresher training in positive discipline
- We’re working to increase access to education and improve learning outcomes of the most vulnerable children, particularly those with disabilities and children from ethnic minorities in the early grades
- In rural areas, we're helping families develop sustainable livelihoods by providing financial services to small businesses
Protection from harm
- At a national level, we're working with government and other partners to strengthen the country's child protection system
- Locally, we're helping communities develop their own mechanisms to protect children, including building child rights groups so that children can monitor and report on domestic violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in their communities
- Through our Steps to Protect approach, we’re providing those working with children in need of care and protection with a proven, step-by-step process to manage each case, resulting in 50% improvement in compliance
- We conducted research on the impact of social media on social and political discourse among young people
- Together with children themselves, we created Youth Activate! – an innovative digital advocacy platform that is redefining the way we campaign with children and youth, specifically nurturing and supporting youth-led campaigning, with a focus on the most marginalized
- In response to the ongoing crisis that began on February 1 2021, together with partners, we are providing support to children who have been harmed and their families, providing front-line emotional support to children who have witnessed violence, and referring children with severe mental health needs to specialists. Due to insecurity and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, much of this work is being done remotely, and many children are still not able to receive the support they so desperately need.
- Our work with the Rohingya community in Myanmar has included working with community volunteers to promote hygiene practices and raise awareness of health services, managing over 100 learning centers, setting up child- and girl-friendly spaces, and providing vital psychosocial support
How You Can Help Children in Myanmar
Support Save the Children’s mission. Donate to help children in Myanmar and around the world grow up healthy, educated and safe.
Sponsor a Child in Myamnar
Be the hero in the life of a child in Myanmar. Sponsorship drives lasting change in children’s lives, families and communities.
Sources: Facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as our thought leadership publications, including our Global Childhood Report 2020 and Stop the War on Children 2020 report. Other sources include CIA World Factbook and BBC Country Profiles.
Photos: GMB Akash / Save the Children / 2017.
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