Save the Children

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Group.png Save the Children   WebsiteRdf-icon.png
FounderEglantyne Jebb
Slogan"We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfill their potential."

The Save the Children Fund,[1] commonly known as Save the Children, is an international non-governmental organisation that promotes children's rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries.[2] It was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts.

In addition to the UK organisation, there are 29 other national STC organisations who are members of Save the Children International, a global network of nonprofit organisations supporting local partners in over 120 countries around the world.

Save the Children promotes policy changes in order to gain more rights for young people[3] especially by enforcing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Alliance members coordinate emergency-relief efforts, helping to protect children from the effects of war and violence. Save the Children has general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Global board

The international board oversees STC's global strategy and programmes. Global board members are:

Executive team

Save the Children International’s executive team, led by CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt, has the global experience and drive to achieve the most we possibly can for children. Formerly the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle led a coalition government from 2011 until 2015. Helle was member of Parliament and the Leader of the Social Democratic Party for 10 years. She was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004, and previously worked as an international adviser to the Confederation of Trade Unions.

Throughout her career, Helle has tackled significant national and global issues, specifically with regards to children’s rights. Helle has been recognised for her commitment to helping children fulfil their potential by ensuring access to quality education and was invited by the UN Secretary-General to be a Global Education Champion to promote the Global Education First Initiative. In September 2015 she was appointed to the Education Financing Commission led by Gordon Brown.[5]

Latest emergency operations

In 2014 Save the Children responded to over 103 humanitarian crises around the world reaching over 4 million children affected by conflicts, disease outbreaks, floods and cyclones:

  • In Ebola affected Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia we reached over 867,000 people with life-saving care, awareness-raising and hygiene kits.
  • On April 25th an earthquake measuring magnitude 7.8 struck Nepal. We launched an immediate response collaborating with the government of Nepal and reached the most inaccessible places like Gorkha which were the hardest hit and in dire need of aid. We airlifted 1,600 emergency shelters and kitchen items to these places and have set up four mobile health clinics to provide primary care to some of the most affected communities.
  • Since fighting first broke out in Syria in March 2011, the crisis has unfolded to become a large-scale civil war, affecting more than 16 million people across the region, including millions of children. So far, the fighting has tragically claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. Save the Children is working with Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt, providing families with the basics they need, including food, clothing and shelter for children and families who are facing extremely difficult conditions. We are working to ensure children now living as refugees still have access to school, emotional support and recreational activities. We have so far reached more than 2.5 million people, including 1.6 million children.
  • We prepare children and their communities to reduce the impact of extreme weather. And we have relief supplies ready in vulnerable areas. Across South East and East Asia we are currently responding to 16 emergencies.
  • In West and Central Africa we are responding to 16 emergencies reaching over 5 million people.[6]

Global Legacy award

In November 2014, Tony Blair was honoured with STC's Global Legacy award despite the fact he was responsible for catapulting Britain into the 2003 Iraq war with the US ̶ a conflict that saw the deaths of hundreds of civilian children. In an internal STC letter signed by almost 200 members of staff, they branded the award “morally reprehensible” and a “betrayal” and called for it to be withdrawn. They wrote that they felt it also endangered the charity’s “credibility globally” and demanded an investigation into their decision-making process.

The dispute has since flown into the House of Commons, where Conservative backbencher Andrew Turner seized his chance to force debate over the philanthropic affair:

“Should Tony Blair get a global legacy award from Save The Children for taking us to war unnecessarily in Iraq?”

PM David Cameron said he thought it was “remarkable” that the accolade was awarded to Blair by a former staff member of Labour rival Gordon Brown:

“Obviously the person who gave the award knows about peacemaking and peacekeeping,” Cameron added.

The award also sparked speculation over the charity’s apparent independence, in light of its links to the former British Prime Minister. Justin Forsyth, the UK chief executive of STC, used to be a Special Adviser to Blair, while Jonathan Powell, who is also on the STC board, was his former chief of staff.

Fergus Drake, STC’s director of global programmes, advised president Paul Kagame as part of the consultancy team in Blair’s Rwandan office.

Meanwhile, director of policy and advocacy Brendan Cox was a Special Adviser to Gordon Brown.

Richard Warburton, director of media for STC, told The Guardian:

“Save the Children has, and always will be, an impartial organisation that is above party politics. The background of our staff and their previous employment does not affect the organisation’s impartiality. We have strong links across the political spectrum.”

Asked if Sir Alan Parker, the chairman of STC UK and PR company Brunswick Communications, a Blair associate, had put the former PM forward for the prize, he confirmed he was “not part of the process”.

Blair was among the guests at Parker’s wedding in 2008.[7]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Index on DisgraceArticle22 April 2018Craig Murray"We thus have the extraordinary spectacle of a coordinated government and media onslaught on anybody who doubts their entirely fact free narratives. Public trust in the state and corporate media hits new lows, which is the happy part of this story."
Document:Peak KinnockArticle19 September 2016Craig Murray"11,000 people saving £2 a month might not save a dying little baby, but would exactly pay the £264,000 per year salary of Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive of Save the Children and wife of MP Stephen Kinnock. Misery for some is a goldmine for others."