A Letter to Save the Children

Author Portrait_Victoria Zegler, Multimedia Storyteller
Victoria Zegler

Multimedia Storyteller

Save the Children U.S.

June 19, 2017

“Thank you for helping refugees for us!” 7-year-old Miriam from New York wrote in her letter to Save the Children back in January. Miriam and her younger brother Simon, 6, both wrote letters to the organization thanking them for the work they do for refugees.

“I wanted to write to Save the Children because I am thankful for the people who help the refugees,” said Simon.

Simon and Miriam have two older brothers and a baby sister. The family was living in London at the time the Syria crisis began to pick up a lot of media attention, but has since moved back to the United States. After the more recent attention in the public eye on the Syria crisis grew even more, their mother Jo, felt compelled to do something.

Simon and Miriam wrote letters to Save the Children, thanking them for their work with refugee children.
Simon and Miriam wrote letters to Save the Children, thanking them for their work with refugee children.

Simon and Miriam first learned about refugees in 2015. Word got around their school about the viral photo of the 3-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan, who drowned as his family tried to flee from Kobani to Europe. The image shows the young boy, dead, washed up on the Turkish coast. This image began to raise questions in the family home.

“It’s important for me to know what’s going on in the world,” said Jo. “I really want to teach my children empathy so it’s important for me to talk to them about the privileges they have.”

“I really want to teach my children empathy so it’s important for me to talk to them about the privileges they have.” shared Jo, Simon and Miriam’s mother
“I really want to teach my children empathy so it’s important for me to talk to them about the privileges they have.” shared Jo, Simon and Miriam’s mother.

After writing their letters to Save the Children, the family received a letter back, introducing them to the kind of work Save the Children does for refugees.

“We got a letter from Save the Children and it had a picture from one of the girls at the refugee camp,” said Miriam.

The family hung this photo, along with the child’s drawing, on their refrigerator next to their family photos.

“I felt happy to know that all of them were happy and were having fun at the refugee camp,” said Miriam.

With Save the Children’s unique refugee child sponsorship model, a number of sponsors may be matched with the same child, who represents the many refugee children who will benefit from our sponsors’ generous donations, providing access to low-cost, high-impact programs that are the best chance for success for these children.

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

Witness Your Sponsorship Support in Action

Author Portrait_Victoria Zegler, Multimedia Storyteller
Victoria Zegler

Multimedia Storyteller

Save the Children U.S.

March 21, 2017

Leaving our Save the Children field office, it’s anywhere between a one to two-hour drive to the rural country side where sponsored children live, play and learn. The roads are dusty and narrow. Traveling along these remote roadways, you can feel every bump and dip in the dirt roads. Passing by children along the shoulder on bicycles and motorcycles, I can’t imagine what their journey is like.

As we drive down the lengthy highway, homes become father apart as the distance becomes greater.

Stepping into a classroom in Lufwanyama, Zambia.
Stepping into a classroom in Lufwanyama, Zambia.

As I get closer to the village, I notice the local community in action. Young children, teenagers, many of them, the mothers and fathers of the children we serve, having labored since dawn with nothing but their bare hands and tools made from the country’s natural resources. I admire their dedication, innovation and hard work. They have no one to rely on but themselves to get the job done.

As we approach the school grounds, children slowly peek their heads out of the newly built classrooms. The smile plastered across my face reflects theirs. I can’t wait to meet these incredible children and to show them pictures of their participation in our programs – solving math problems in notebooks and learning to read with new learning materials – all made possible by their sponsors.

And then it dawned on me – there aren’t many mirrors and smartphones here, so many of these children haven’t seen what they look like in months, maybe even years.

To me, it’s more than just taking their pictures, it’s about unlocking raw emotion.
To me, it’s more than just taking their pictures, it’s about unlocking raw emotion.

The children are eager and curious as they approach me, giggling. After taking their picture, I show the children and big, unfiltered laughter ensues.

To me, it’s more than just taking their pictures. It’s about unlocking the raw emotion deep down inside of them. Showing the happiness on their faces as the corners of their eyes begin to wrinkle. I admire their strength and resilience through the hardest of times. Their hope and hard work for better life. These children instill hope in me every day with their big ideas and willingness to learn. They give me faith in myself, my organization and – most importantly – in humanity.

The moment I see the smiling faces of those children, nothing else matters.

A memory that I will always remember: the excitement that broke out over stickers. The children flocked to me with their arms reaching out at the chance to collect a sticker. I watched the children place them on their hands, faces and their friends faces laughing all the while. This simple gift from generous sponsors made their day – and mine too.

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