Why You’d Want This Job

Karisten Strong Karisten Strong, Sponsorship Marketing Associate 

Westport, CT

Friday, November 12, 2010  


Every Save the Children child sponsor enjoys a special connection to children in need.  If you sponsor a child in Nepal, you also have a direct connection to Seema Baral, whose passion for children is sure to inspire.

Seema, our Sponsorship Manager in Nepal and Bhutan, has one of the most enviable jobs in the entire agency. Every day, she sees first-hand the impact that you and every Nepal sponsor make in children’s lives.

Seema (1)

On a recent trip to one of Nepal’s poorest communities, Seema was on hand for the opening of a new school building that was funded by our Nepal sponsors.

“Everyone was so pleased with the new learning space, and I was so happy thinking of sponsors like you, who’ve joined hands with people here in Nepal to make positive changes in their communities.”

Seema is especially grateful for your sponsorship because education and equality can help children achieve their dreams—something she has sought to do even before joining Save the Children in 1997.

After graduating from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, Seema began volunteering her time assisting displaced women and children in the town of Siraha. 

The women and children were considered “untouchable” by the community merely because of their families’ past economic circumstances, and they struggled mightily to overcome discrimination at every turn.

What struck Seema was that instead of faltering in the face of such adversity, the children remained hopeful: they dreamed of being teachers, policemen, mothers and fathers just like other children. It was then Seema knew her calling. She sought equality for all children; she wanted every child to have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. She has been working to accomplish that goal ever since. 

Seema sees a long and successful future ahead for Save the Children Nepal, thanks to the loyal support of sponsors like you. With your support she and her team will continue working to bring Save the Children’s mission of creating lasting positive changes in the lives of children to life. 

Save the Children Humanitarian Response in Philippines- Sponsorship Update

Riel Andaluz Riel Andaluz, Philippines sponsorship manager

Manila, Philippines

Friday, October 22, 2010


Save the Children is actively responding to the current emergency in the Philippines.  Initial estimates from the province of Isabela, where Typhoon Megi made landfall Monday, are of over 82,600 homes damaged or destroyed and over 1 million children and adults affected. 

Save the Children first wants to let you know that the region struck by the typhoon is more than 250 miles north of Save the Children’s sponsorship program area in the capital of Manila. To the best of our knowledge, all girls and boys in our Philippines sponsorship programs are safe.

We will work on keeping our sponsors up-to-date with our emergency response efforts.  You can learn more about our post-typhoon work and find out how you can help by visiting Save the Children’s website.

If you have any immediate concerns please contact Donor Services at 1-800- SAVETHECHILDREN (1-800-728-3843) or email us at twebster@savechildren.org.  Thank you for your concern and we hope you will help the people of the Philippines who have been devastated by Typhoon Megi.

Learn more about our response to Typhoon Megi

Donate now to our Philippines Typhoon Children in Emergency Fund

Behind the Sponsorship Scene: Malawi- Part Two

Kathryn koonce Kathryn Koonce

Global Sponsorship Operations Manager, Save the Children

Thursday, September 30, 2010

 At the end of Kathryn's first post she was leaving a child-care center in Malawi supported by sponsors like you and administered by Save the Children.
We rush off to a nearby primary school that holds more than 2,000 children to catch the 1st-3rd-graders in the St. Martin district before their day ends. There are half a dozen one-story brick buildings on a barren piece of flat sandy property. The teachers are inspiring and the children are engaged and enjoying their studies. After visiting a sixth grade class, I sit outside the head master’s office. More than 20 kids crowd around me, wondering where I come from, staring at me, and waiting for me to take their picture. They scream as soon as they hear “click,” and retreat. Moments later they inch closer and closer until they get another “click” out of me.

Reading camp tree

Students gather under a tree for "Reading Camp"

Our last stop is the Literacy Boost “Reading Camp,” a voluntary after-school program where children in grades 1-5 practice reading and play word and alphabet games. When we arrive they are reading together, playing and having fun with locally-made materials. The volunteer facilitators are great at keeping the children (who have already attended a full day of school) engaged and interested. They read a book with lots of “L” words, then discuss names with the letter L and draw names and words with L in the sand with their fingers. The Malawian music blasting from a nearby house and what looks like a 200-pound, gray pig wandering about makes the atmosphere cheery and comfortable.

Teacher and class

A teacher poses with his students

I am inspired by the passion of the volunteers, teachers, and caregivers, and encouraged by the smiles on the faces of the children. In this region, where many parents cannot read, they are compelled to send their children to get the best education they possibly can through the early learning centers, schools, and reading camps that Save the Children supports.

I will leave Malawi comforted by the smoky scent and vibrant cloths, and most of all, the sparkle in the smiles of the children.


All Photos Courtesy of Kathryn Koonce


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

Behind the Sponsorship Scene: Malawi

Kathryn koonce Kathryn Koonce

Global Sponsorship Operations Manager, Save the Children

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This post is the first in a two-part series written by Kathryn while on a trip to our sponsor-funded schools and community centers in Malawi.

Driving down a reddish dusty road in a four-wheel drive vehicle—the only car on the road—there is a pleasant smoky smell in the air and we are covered in a layer of grainy auburn dirt. We pass women in colorful cloths, some of them with children tied to their backs with another piece of cloth, gracefully carrying unthinkably heavy weights on their heads with ease. Brick houses and small shops dot the flat, dry landscape and neatly organized mounds of dried manure border the road. The manure will fertilize maize and vegetable crops during the rainy season which starts in November.

We are in southern Malawi, driving from Blantyre to the Zomba region where loyal Save the Children sponsors like you help support child care centers, schools, and “reading camps”. We are a team of Save the Children staff from our home offices in Connecticut and Washington, D.C. working with our colleagues in Malawi to makes sure that the sponsorship programs you support are delivering the maximum benefits possible to girls and boys. We’re accompanied by our Malawian colleagues – two education experts, a writer, and a driver.

Three-year-old Elufe playing with colored blocks at a Save the Children supported ECD center in Malawi.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Bisceglie

When we arrive at the child care center staffed with volunteers and packed with children under age 5, we are greeted by curious mothers with babies in tow, tied to their backs, some of them holding another child by the hand. A group of giggling children from the primary school run up to us to see the car and the visitors inside. They share bright smiles and wave cautiously at the unfamiliar site. A large group of young children enthusiastically repeat after their teacher in Chichewa, the local language, under a thatched roof in a red brick structure with waist-high walls that let parents see in and children see out. Hundreds of bricks are rested in piles nearby to eventually expand the center. Two mothers stir a large pot of porridge and fill a bucket with water from the nearby well for hand-washing.

Four-year-old Peter playing with a toy truck. He attends a sponsorship supported Early Childhood Development program in Malawi. Photo Courtesy: Michael Bisceglie

We meet with the school leaders as well as the caregivers who staff the center – many of whom are parents of the children attending the program. They sit on straw mats and bricks; many of the women nurse and calmly tend to fussy babies as they speak with us. They explain that they are happy with the positive changes they see in their kids. Before – the children would hang around the villages with little to do. Now, they interact with each other and with their caregivers; they talk, they sing, they jump and clap. The parents also talk about the benefit of having time to do other things like prepare goods to sell at the market or tend to their crops while their young children are safely cared for by trained volunteers at the center.


Click here to find out about the rest of Kathryn's journey and learn how other Save the Children supported schools are doing in Malawi!

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

What Makes Sponsorship Special to You?

Karisten StrongKaristen Strong, Sponsorship Marketing Associate

Westport, CT

Wednesday, September 1, 2010  

 When you sponsor children through Save the Children, you have the unique chance to change lives and to build relationships with girls and boys in need. One New Jersey family has made sponsorship an integral part of their lives. Kim, Tom, and their daughter Felicity sponsor four children from Egypt, Mali, Nepal, and Haiti.  

The best thing about sponsorship is that the family is connected to the Felicity 2world around them. Kim noted that it allows them to support Save the Children’s programs that work to impact lives and build strong communities. She realizes it takes time to achieve sustainable changes and sponsorship allows her family to remain engaged through these community transformations.   

Felicity, 11, raised over $3,000 in February for Save the Children’s relief efforts in Haiti by selling cookies and she is currently raising funds for our relief efforts for children affected by the flooding in Pakistan through selling pins.  

Kim and Tom instilled their passion for sponsorship in their daughter at a young age. Felicity began writing to her family’s sponsored children when she was just 6. She was encouraged to write to their sponsored  girl in Mali named Korotoumou when she began learning French. Felicity now writes to her family’s sponsored children monthly. “I am very happy and excited when I get a letter,” Felicity says.

Felicity 1
“I’m interested to find out what they are doing, about their cultures and what has happened since I last heard from them—it’s wonderful!” 

In their letters, they share what they are learning in school, stories about their families and pets, and about their favorite activities. 

Felicity’s advice for letter writing—keep it simple! Felicity understands the importance of being involved in sponsorship. She says, “You have to start young and take the time to be part of the close relationship you can gain from giving to others.”   

What makes sponsorship special to you? We’d love to hear from you!

Tell Us What You Would Like To Know!

Jill stetsonMonday, August 2, 2010

Jill Stetson, Save the Children, quality manager/ supervisor

Westport, CT

Were you one of the hundreds of people who contacted Save the Children today? 

Did you get the answer you wanted?  I hope so, because you may have spoken with me!   

I work in Save the Children’s response center at our headquarters in Westport, Connecticut. 

Your questions about your sponsorship, or about Save the Children and our global programs, are very important. It’s my job, and that of my colleagues, to make sure we answer your questions and provide the information you need quickly!

We’re always busy in the response center. We answer your questions by phone, email and mail. We’re also responsible for making sure that your account with us is up-to-date and that you are happy with your decision to join Save the Children and help us create lasting change in children’s lives. 

I recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia, where I saw our programs in action. It was exciting to see children in school, learning, playing, laughing and smiling – just being kids! They were extremely smart and excited to be able to ask me questions about my life here in the U.S.

It was an unforgettable experience – and an experience that you as a sponsor can take advantage of, too. 

Just contact us at twebster@savechildren.org and we’ll be happy to send you information on visiting your sponsored child if you’re an Individual Child sponsor, or visiting the community you sponsor if you’re a Lifeline or Program sponsor.

SCHOOL_ETHIOPIA I encourage you to use this blog post as an open forum to let us know about your experiences with Save the Children. Whatever you have to say, whether it’s something we’ve done well or need to improve on, we want to hear about it! 

Our goal in the response center is to provide quality customer service. When we serve you well, we’re also taking another step in helping children not only survive, but thrive!

How to Write an E-mail They’ll Always Remember

Robin-Carina#3 Robin van Etten Associate Director, Sponsorship Marketing

Westport, CT

July 22, 2010

I read and delete dozens of emails every week.  Which ones do I save?  The ones that make me feel good.

Imagine the joy in a child’s life of receiving JUST ONE message like this – a message that says someone is thinking about them, too.Ahmed, a sponsored child, studies at his school in Egypt.

When you sponsor a child through Save the Children, you connect with a child in need. Now think how much it would mean to your sponsored child to get a personal message from you – their joy would be indescribable.

Sound impossible? It’s not! It happens every day. A sponsored girl or boy somewhere in the world has an email or letter from their sponsor read to them by a Save the Children staff member. Or that girl or boy is writing a reply, to be translated and forwarded by Save the Children to their sponsor. Are you that sponsor? You can be.

The simpler your message – about you, your family, your own children and what it’s like where you live – the better. And asking simple questions about your sponsored child’s day, their school or their favorite foods shows that you are interested in their life.

While you wait for a reply, know your e-mail messages, letters and photos you send become treasured possessions to your sponsored child.

Have I convinced you to try it?
Loudouide, a sponsored child in Haiti, in her community.

Here’s the easiest way to start: as a sponsor, sign up at www.savethechildren.org/myaccount. This is a direct link to your sponsored child’s Save the Children country office. The email you write to your child through our office will be printed, translated, and personally delivered by our staff.

Writing a letter and mailing it to your sponsored child in care of Save the Children’s country office is another way. If you don’t have the address, call 1-800-728-3843 to speak with a Save the Children staff or email twebster@savechildren.org.

What you say is not as important as how you say it. Each communication with your sponsored child shows her or him how much you care.

If you are not yet a Save the Children sponsor, click here to become one.