Our world is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
This organisation began in 1919 as an emergency fund to assist children in Germany who were starving because of an economic blockade still imposed by the allied victors of Word War I. Eglantyne Jebb (1876-1928), one of the main founders, was arrested and fined in London for distributing leaflets, entitled ‘A Starving Baby’, that criticised her government’s vengeful policies; but many members of the public responded generously to her appeal for donations. Over the next few years, Save the Children sent relief aid and workers across Europe, and partner organisations were set up in several other countries, forming an International Save the Children Alliance that has since grown to include members from 27 countries. Jebb, meanwhile, wrote a Charter of the Rights of the Child that was adopted by the League of Nations in 1924, and served as the basis for the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Today, as well as responding to humanitarian emergencies, Save the Children UK works in more than fifty countries worldwide to promote and protect the rights of children. In the 1990s, from a base in Hong Kong, it carried out basic education and water and sanitation projects in Tibet, a programme in Anhui Province to integrate children with learning difficulties into mainstream kindergartens and, also in Anhui, a pilot project to restructure an orphanage into small group homes with family style care.
Since 1995, when the China programme office relocated to the mainland, work has grown steadily in breadth and depth, making Save the Children’s one of the largest international NGO programmes in China. In all programme areas the organisation works closely with government partners, introducing its distinctive approach through Child Rights Training for agencies and individuals that work directly with children or on related research and policy. Save the Children has over 90 years of experience in addressing the needs and rights of children all over the world, including 20 years working in China. Save the Children' 120 staff are building on this accumulated expertise to implement highly effective programmes in 10 provinces in the field of education, health, and protection. We also respond to emergencies to ensure children’s specific needs are attended to. Success is achieved by working with government and other organisations. Save the Children is finding ways to make sure that every child, regardless of background or ability, receives a quality education. We work to stop young children dying from preventable causes. Save the Children also concentrates its efforts on reducing the risk of abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence for all children, provides immediate relief in emergencies, but also works to develop a safer environment before disaster strikes.
In the year ending March 31 2004, Save the Children UK’s total income was EUR 178 million. Donations and legacies from the general public accounted for 41% of this; 8% was earned from the sale of (mainly donated) goods; and 49% was given in grants by foundations, government and multilateral donors. Recent donors to the China programme have included the UK Department for International Development, the European Union, the Kadoorie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, R. Twining & Co. Ltd, and other International Save the Children Alliance members.