Creating Responsible Members of Society

Tahmina HaiderTahmina Haider, Sponsorship Manager

Meherpur District, Bangladesh 

November 8, 2012 

There are around 15,000 sponsored children in Bangladesh. Recently a new initiative was introduced for 600 sponsored children from 70 villages in the Meherpur province to help them grow as leaders and responsible members of their society.

The children received training on important issues affecting them and other children. The training covered a wide array of topics, such as basic communication and facilitation, hygiene and nutrition, child marriage sexual abuse, child labor, drugs and corporal punishment. They also received orientation on sponsorship operations and programs.
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All the children expressed what an amazing experience it was for them and how honored they felt to participate. They are now aware of their rights, needs and responsibilities and will transfer their knowledge to the children in their villages. They believe they will be able to act as change agents for all children in their villages. They also shared that they are now more valued by the adult members of their society.

In the villages the youth leaders are monitoring and helping with a variety of issues, like ensuring that children always wear shoes when going to the toilets and that they maintain good hygiene. They are also observing if children are being mistreated or receive unacceptable punishment in school or at home.

Through this initiative the children are helping Sponsorship Field Officers receive timely updates on children who are not attending school regularly, have stopped participating in the sponsorship program or have moved away. They also help collect drawings, letters and family updates for sponsors.

This all helps Save the Children run our programs more efficiently and successfully while achieving our goal of developing a child friendly world which prepares them as strong and important future leaders and protects them from all kinds of abuse.

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Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

Visiting Early Childhood Care and Development Centers

Eman Mahrous, Early Childhood Care and Development IMG_1681Manager

Assuit, Egypt

October 26, 2012

 After an hour of driving on the Upper Egypt agricultural road we reached Kom el Mansoura village, part of the Assiut governorate, to visit one of the Early Childhood Care and Development centers.

 As I entered the classroom the children happily greeted me with awelcome song and beaming smiles. I talked with them a little to see that they are doing well, enjoying the classes and to ensure that they’re benefiting from the services Save the Children provides.

 IMG_1034After my conversation with the children they return to their coloring, drawing, and writing. During the classes, the children feel free and safe in an environment ideal for learning – one which every child should have, but unfortunately many still do not.

 One mother arrived at the center to bring her child lunch and I had a chance to speak with her. I asked if she is satisfied with the ECCD
services and if she sees positive changes in her child. She replied happily:

ECCD is like a dream come true; before we were constantly wondering why no one could see our problems and was helping our children, not even government officials. Then all of a sudden, our calls for help are answered. Now we have a safe place for our children to play and get an education that will help them make an easy transition to primary education since they are familiar with the school environment. Since joining the program our children are able to express their needs, communicate better with their peers and their behavior ha s improved.

The most important thing though is the parentIMG_0983 education sessions
that we attend.

Save the Children staff tell us all about common problems our children might face, how to solve them, the best ways to deal with our children and how can we support our children while they grow.

After hearing all of that, I can honestly say that the voices of the people we work with is the motivation which helps Save the Children staff,
like me, work harder and reach more children and communities in need with these beneficial services.

 Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

A Well-Deserved Reputation

Raul PinedaRaúl Pineda, Sponsorship Manager

Las Mesas, El Salvador 

October 17, 2012

So often many good acts go unnoticed. And this is good, most times.

But there are other times where these same good acts create an avalanche of good deeds that surpass our expectations, when these actions are made public. 

I’m not talking about daily activities where we all try to do our best for our family, friends and work. I’m talking about the incidents we have in the lives of so many people while working for or interacting with Save the Children.

An example of this could be seen in the newspaper last week, where Save the Children was highlighted as an important actor in a project working to stop and eradicate human trafficking in the region. Our involvement in this project is so impactful that even government entities look for our advice and participation in the decision making at the highest levels. 

This has been a major success because the results have been made public and have shown that this problem can be addressed with the appropriate measures. We feel proud to be a part of this, not because we were in the spotlight, but because the issues surrounding human trafficking are now being handled by more government entities and a likely solution is really in sight.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

A Mother’s Perspective: Feliza Asteti

Crispin AcostaCrispín Acosta, Basic Education Facilitator

Cochabamba, Bolivia

October 12, 2012

My name is Crispín Acosta and I work for the Wawakunan Purina Program (We work with the children) as a basic education facilitator at the San Nicolás School in Bolivia. My work offers me the
opportunity to work closely with the entire school community – children, parents,teachers and the authorities. Through my work I recently had the opportunity to talk with Mrs. Feliza Asteti from Oruro in the Challapata Province.
Feliza and her daughter Daniela helping to find words in the dictionary

The Asteti family moved to Cochabamba 16 years ago. They live near the Nicolás neighborhood and like many in this area they suffer from deficiencies in basic services such as water, electricity, sewerage, telephones and transportation.

During my conversation with Feliza she clearly showed how happy a mother gets, knowing that her daughter Daniela is sponsored and has friends in other countries.

With a beaming face she asked me how to pronounce Daniela’s sponsor’s name in English and explained how happy and excited Daniela is to receive and send letters and drawings to her sponsor.

 TCrispin and Felizahe education materials delivered on behalf of Save the Children are also a great source of joy for both the students and parents. “I have seen the materials that were delivered to the school. Bookshelves and many books, balls, toys and materials so they learn better, like calculators. I also participated in a workshop on how to speak with my family and how to treat my children. This was very helpful and I want to continue participating in this type of workshop,” shared Feliza.

A parent’s emotion and satisfaction of being able to rely on educational materials of equal or better quality than well-funded city schools, and seeing the results of their children improving their learning skills, is expressed by Feliza: “I have said that before we never had anything at school, but now new materials are arriving for our school and my daughter no longer wants to miss school, therefore I am very happy and I thank the friends, sponsors and Save the Children.”

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

Literacy Boost: The Power of a Teacher!

Zerihun GultieZerihun Gultie, Sponsorship Manager

West Showa, Ethiopia

October 5, 2012

In 2009 a study was conducted to measure the reading skills of children in the South West and West Showa zones of Ethiopia. The results were shocking, a huge percentage of 3rd grade children were unable to read a single word, despite schools, trained teachers and community support. It was then that Save the Children came up with an innovative concept called Literacy Boost to create a culture of reading, both inside and outside the classroom. 

In April of this year I visited three schools which have benefited from Literacy Boost. I was
stunned by the positive change. Children in the 2nd and 3rd grades were reading their textbooks and were highly engaged – almost all were able to read an average of 40 or more words per minute.

There I met Mitke Kuma, a vibrant 2nd grade teacher. She is a multi-disciplinary teacher, teaching 6 lessons a day on all subject matters. She lives several miles from the school and walks almost three hours each day to and from work. When her shift starts in the morning, she often sets off walking in the dark in order to be ready to start teaching at 8am. On Mondays, she arrives an hour early or extends her afternoon shift to help students in the library as part of her commitment to the Literacy Boost program. Mitke in action

Mitke has participated in several Save the Children trainings. She is a strong supporter of Literacy Boost and is constantly developing aids to help her students read. She has grouped them into three reading levels with materials according to their skill, and has facilitated a reading buddies program where younger children are paired with older students who help them with their reading. According to Mitke, the Literacy Boost trainings have equipped teachers with effective and necessary teaching skills.

Mitke is committed to helping the children at her school and hopes to move closer, “If my home were closer to school, Icould have more time to help students improve their literacy level,” she
shares. Her dream is to improve her educational qualification to a PhD.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

Rekindling The Spirit of Bayanihan

Anonymous manAvemar T. Tan, Sponsorship Manager

Cloocan City, Philippines

September 28, 2012

Bayanihan is a Filipino term which originally referred to an old pre-Spanish tradition where entire villages helped families move by literally carrying their house to a new location. They would construct a strong frame out of bamboo, place the house on it, and then lift and carry the entire house.

Today it has come to refer to a spirit of kinship and camaraderie.

The sun was blazing as we headed to Barangay Hall in Cloocan City for a meeting of community volunteers. The meeting aimed to reconnect with our volunteers, gather their insights and prepare strategies and plans for the year. We arrived a few minutes late to find the hall full. Our volunteers were eagerly waiting.  Bayanihan 513KB File

In a country where poverty is the norm and the minimum wage is barely enough to sustain a family, it is inspiring to know people like our volunteers still exist. Despite busy schedules and family obligations, they offer their valuable time to make Save the Children’s sponsorship program a success.

One volunteer, Mary Rose, shared how the fulfilment they get from seeing children’s faces light up when they deliver sponsors’ cards, letters and packages, is enough to keep them going.

“It is difficult,” Ate Loida, the volunteers’ team leader remarked. “Sometimes our husbands get jealous of the time we spend volunteering or we forget to clean the house or do a chore. But we explain the value of what we do and in the end, they understand and support us.” 

Reaching the children is also challenging. The local streets can be confusing and children’s homes difficult to locate. “The homes can be situated far apart, and since commuting costs a lot, often we choose to deliver or collect the letters by foot. It is tiring, but fulfilling,” Mary Rose shares.

As we boarded our van back to the office, I reflect how lucky we are to have partners like these who bring to life the spirit of bayanihan, forgotten by many. They are a valuable ingredient in helping us achieve success in improving the lives of the children.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

Little Things Mean A Lot


Barbara Lencheck, Sponsorship Programs

Westport, CT

September 24, 2012

Orange shirt boy

This past spring, sponsors were sent warm, whimsical farmyard puzzles to sign and
return for forwarding to their sponsored children the world over.

Who would have guessed that 24 little, interlocking pieces could bring so much joy
to so many children? Children worked on their puzzles at home and at school,
alone and with friends. As you can see, they shared the fun – and they shared
their delight in knowing a faraway sponsor cared.

Yellow shirt girl-DSC05562If
you’re a sponsor and have questions about this project, call Donor Services at 1-800-SavetheChildren or email

If you’re not a sponsor and would like
to experience providing this kind of joy to children in need, just click here to learn more.   

A Former Sponsored Child’s Reflections on the Importance of Sponsorship

Blog AuthorFaimi Moscova, Sponsorship Mananger


August 31, 2012

For over 25 years Save the Children in Haiti has supported development in the Maissade community through our sponsorship-funded programs, addressing the needs of vulnerable children and their families.

Archange Christophe was once a sponsored child and now works for Save the Children in Maissade.  In 2004 Save the Children helped found the first and only community radio station in Maissade, and Archange was, and still is, one of the broadcasters at the station. Radio is a powerful tool for the education and welfare of the population, and also plays a key role i Archange at the radio stationn emergencies.

“With the strong beginning my family and I received from Save the Children I completed my secondary studies and went on to a professional school.  Then I returned to my village and applied for
the position with Save the Children.  I feel like I owe it to the organization and my community.  I accomplish my daily tasks with a spirit of kindness and try to help my people as best I can,” shares Archange.

Archange was enrolled in the sponsorship program when he was in 1st grade, and remained a sponsored child for nearly five years. He still has happy memories of those days and taking part in the many activities Save the Children organized in his community of Bois Rouge.  He received school assistancv through the Save the Children education programs and his whole family was able to receive health care support. Archange believes Save the Children, with its many child-centered development programs, has inspired his lifelong pursuit of self-development. “Save the Children and its child sponsors have made remarkable contributions to education, health care and nutrition in Maissade,” he states.

 Archange during a focus group with community leaders“Being a sponsored child helped me appreciate generosity.  Now I can give back to my community what I received. I can still remember my sponsor’s encouraging words ‘school is very important, you must work hard at it’ and ‘it is essential to love your friends.’ I am so grateful to Save the Children, without them and the support of my sponsor I wouldn’t have been able to gain a good education and succeed.”

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

A sponsor’s letter made all the difference…

Riel AndaluzRiel Andaluz, Philippines sponsorship manager

Manila, Philippines

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rosalie is 10 years old and lives in Pateros, a neighborhood
in Metro Manila. She is the third of five children.   

 On Tuesday night, Rosalie’s home began to fill with water as
rain from a northern typhoon coupled with a southwest monsoon to swamp the
city, unleashing a devastating flood.

“It was raining all night, all day and all night again. The
water was up to here.” She holds her hand up to
P8110272 (2) her waist. “We put chairs
together in the middle of the room and slept on them. When I woke up, the water
was up to here.” She raises her arm up to her shoulder. “We took some of our
things and left our house. It was so hard to walk. My feet felt heavy in the

Since then, Rosalie and her family have been living in a
classroom on the second floor of her elementary school, which has been turned
into an evacuation center. The already small classroom is broken up into seven
smaller sleeping areas.

“It’s hard to sleep,” Rosalie confesses. “It’s hot during
the day and very cold at night. There are only a few toilets downstairs. You
have to stand in line and usually it’s a long line. Sometimes, I get pushed out
of the way by bigger children.”

The toilets are temporary portolets that stand in the
courtyard outside. They are beginning to overflow, the contents spilling out
from underneath into the area where the children play. 

“I miss going to school,” Rosalie says sadly, looking around
at the classroom that has become her home. History and geography lessons still
cover the walls and chalkboards. “I like reading Filipino stories in school.” She
pauses, “I don’t know what has happened to my school materials. I miss my

P8110291 (3)Schools are set to reopen on Monday. However, in order to
open them, local officials must move Rosalie and her family to another
evacuation center nearby. “I hope it’s much cleaner than this place,” she says.

Yesterday, Save the Children distributed emergency kits to
the families living in this evacuation center, providing them with blankets, sleeping
mats and hygiene materials. Rosalie received something else, too – a letter
from her Save the Children sponsor in the U.S.  

Enclosed with the letter was a jigsaw puzzle. Her eyes light
up and she shows me. “I will share it with my brothers and sisters,” she says.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

Everyone Can Help Someone

Wendi Cameron Pictures_Page_1Wendi Cameron, Child Sponsor

August 15, 2012

I am a true believer of the saying, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” I am actively involved in my local community, but I wanted to do more. Although my heart is filled with a joy that is beyond measure, I still felt something was missing. 

I looked in to various charity and sponsorship programs on the internet and I was most impressed with Save the Children’s sponsorship program.  I decided to become a sponsor because of the organization’s history, their commitment to helping others in need, and the fact that I would be able to establish a relationship with the child chosen for me. 

It was then that I realized what I was missing was the connection with the child I am helping, and Save the Children encourages interaction between the sponsor and the child. IMG_0517

I was so excited when I received my sponsor packet from Save the Children because it included a picture of Willow… a smiling, beautiful little girl with rosy cheeks, wearing a pink t-shirt.  My heart melted.  From all the children that could have been chosen for me to sponsor, I was given Willow.

From that day on, barely a day goes by that I have not picked up something to send her.  Trust me, I enjoy every minute of it!  Words cannot describe how incredible it feels to be Willow’s sponsor and to know that I am helping her and her community, but most of all, I love being part of her world.

When I receive the drawings that Willow has made for me, it is like my birthday and Christmas all wrapped up in one.  I have her drawings all over my home and office.  In addition, the pictures I eceive of Willow are so precious to me and I proudly show them off.  It is amazing to see how fast she is growing up! 

Little does Willow know she has filled an empty space in my heart and continuously enriches my life.  Maybe one day I will get to tell her in person!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.