NGO: Save the Children

The International Save the Children Alliance is a network made up of separate Save the Children organizations in 29 countries.  These organizations work with children in their own countries as well as in international programs.  They have a secretariat that supports and coordinates the efforts of all the Save the Children organizations.  These organizations are nonprofit humanitarian relief and development organizations, and consider themselves to be the largest independent global movement for Children.

The first Save the Children organization was founded in London, UK in May 1919.  In 1920, International Save the Children was officially founded.  In January 1932, Save the Children US was founded in New York.

The primary mission of Save the Children is to fight for children’s rights, and improve the lives of children throughout the world.  Eglantyne Jebb, who founded Save the Children with her sister Dorothy Buxton, wrote five statements known as the Rights of the Child, which was approved by the League of Nations.  These statements later became the basis for the UN “Rights of the Child.”  Save the Children continues to lobby governments and the international community to change policy or practice when the rights of children are not respected.

Some of the areas they are involved in include: education, HIV/AIDS, preventing the exploitation and abuse of children; providing protection, health care, education, and emergency relief in conflicts and disasters.

They are working in 111 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, East and Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, South and Central Asia, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, North America, and Europe (Western, Eastern and the former Soviet Union).

Save the Children is independent of all governments, religious and political groups.  Their funding comes through individuals, organizations, national campaigns, and international partnerships such as American Express who offers giving through their ‘Membership Rewards’.  In 2003, their combined income was over US$570 million.  Spending by sector shows 4.2% was spent on administration, 10% on domestic programs, 72% on overseas programs and 13.8% as other.

Save the Children works together with other member organizations and works closely with many governments, UN agencies, and other NGO’s.  They also make a concerted effort to collaborate with the communities where they are working.

University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822