When Help is needed


1st of June marks a very important date, Children’s Day, which is celebrated around the world in many countries since 1954. Universal Children's Day is not only a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to the problems faced by children around the world such as violence in forms of abuse, exploitation and discrimination.

Children’s problems such as abuse, exploitation and discrimination date back from ancient times as history will show. History will also show that when help is needed to relieve children from these circumstances it comes in various forms. And so help came again after the end of the First World War when the British activist, Eglantyne Jebb, founded Save the Children 1919. Her influence is also present in The Declaration of the Rights of the Child, an international document that promotes children’s rights which she helped to draft.

Today there is a network of 28 National Member Organizations which form Save the Children international providing assistance to children in 120 countries around the world. Save the Children Switzerland is one of these member organizations and was founded in 2006.

Since its foundation Save the Children Switzerland has been very active collaborating with its international network and working with other Swiss and international organizations exchanging know how. On April 25, 2015 when the massive earthquake hit Nepal it affected millions of families and injured thousands of people, including children. Save the Children Switzerland worked extensively with the local Nepal office to assist in the provision of relief for this crisis. Additionally, in the same year the refugee situation in Europe has heightened the humanitarian crisis. Therefore, 36% of the donations received by Save the Children Switzerland in 2015 went towards the support of emergency and disaster relief initiatives. It is important to highlight that Save the Children Switzerland since 2012 has had the Zewo seal of approval.

So today on Children’s Day, June 1st, 2016, as we celebrate this important date for the 62nd year worldwide we also face one of the most significant humanitarian crisis as a result of the war in Syria, which has been going on for more than 5 years. Save the Children has been providing refugee children and their families inside Syria as well as in neighboring countries and on their dangerous route to Europe with life-saving assistance and protection. In addition, Save the Children is one of the few organizations that continues to work within Syria more than five years after the war breakout.  According to them since the onset of the war almost 6 million Syrian children have fled their homes out of which 2.5 million are seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Another 3.3 million Syrian children are internally displayed in Syria and 2.8 million Syrian children are now out of school. These numbers are alarming and overwhelming, but we have to remember that when help is needed at this massive scale the assistance of everyone is essential to every organization out there trying to make a difference no matter how big or small.

There are many great quotes by Eglantyne Jebb regarding children. One of my favorites is:
"Every generation of children offers mankind the possibility of rebuilding his ruin of a world." Eglantyne Jebb

So I say let us help rebuild the ruins in which over 6 million Syrian children find themselves, not mentioning the countless others in other countries, by contributing in anyway we can. Either via the donation of goods, money, or our personal time. Let us not just observe Children’s Day but let us act upon it by committing ourselves to provide assistance to the millions of children in need in this world.  Everyone can do a little something to assist and take action via any organization, social group, etc. they feel most comfortable with. The numbers are alarming, the current humanitarian crisis is enormous, but every little action by ordinary people like you and me no matter how far or close we are to the problem will make a world of difference in the life of a child and his/her family.

Photos: © Save the Children 

For those interested in finding out more information about Save the Children and their work worldwide please visit their website by clicking their logo below.

"The only international language in the world is a child's cry," Eglantyne Jebb
Save the Children Switzerland has a great initiative called Magic13 - Together for Children. Companies, clubs, families and other activists can contact Magic13 to help the most deprived children worldwide for more information check their Facebook page by clicking on the image below.

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  • Flavia Augusta de Almeida
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