A Recipe for Readiness

 Sarah Thompson head shotSarah Thompson, Communications Manager

Save the Children, USA

November 26, 2013

Basting turkeys, mashing potatoes, tossing salads…. Hours and hours go into that one delectable Thanksgiving meal shared with family and friends. Yet, when it comes to protecting the people we cherish most, can we say we’ve taken the same time to prepare?

Luckily, the holiday season provides great opportunities to take on emergency planning.  Take some time while the family’s all together to make a family emergency plan. You’ll be thankful you did.

6 Reasons Why the Holidays Make Emergency Planning Easy

1)    Family Time: Finally, a holiday break from crazy work and school schedules.  What better time to talk over different emergency scenarios, contacts and meeting locations with your kids. It will help them understand what to do and feel safe. Having trouble squeezing it in? Talk during the car ride to Grandma’s or during meal preparation, while every family member is present.

2)    The Big Game: If you’re watching the big football game you’re already in game-plan mode. Build off that team spirit and make planning fun. Give each child a nickname and create codenames for different parts of your emergency plan.  Then write it down and post it where all family members can find it, just like a playbook.

3)    Greeting Cards: We send friends holiday cards filled with well wishes and photos showing just how much the little ones have sprouted.  While you’re at it, create or update an ID card for each child. Include medication and allergy information, a current photo and emergency contact numbers and emails. Then share the cards with teachers and child care providers.

4)    Visitors: Whether your family is traveling or inviting company to your home turf, the holidays are the perfect time to identify your out-of-town emergency contact. This person can serve as a satellite if an emergency shuts down local communications and help your family reunite.  Have kids practice calling out-of-town contacts to wish them a happy holiday.

5)    Holiday Shopping:  Whether you’re buying a turkey and all the fixings or trying to hunt down that perfect gift for your kid, chances are you’ll be doing some shopping. While you’re out, stock up on key emergency supplies, including water and food for each family member, flashlights, batteries and a radio. Don’t forget kid-friendly items like diapers, fruit snacks and child-strength medications.

6)    An Annual Reminder: The best part about the holidays is that they happen every year! If you start associating emergency preparedness with the season you’ll be reminded to update and practice your plan every year.  Make emergency preparedness a family tradition.

Planning for emergencies doesn’t have to be overwhelming or rushed.  A little planning now can go a long way in protecting your family if disaster ever strikes.    Save the Children’s family emergency checklist can help you every step of the way.

Tis the season to Get Ready, Get Safe!

For the Love of Children: Volunteer Community School Teacher in Lufwanyama

Agnes Zalila, Sponsorship Manager

 Agnes Zalila, Sponsorship Manager

Save the Children, Zambia

November 18, 2013

One would think that for you to teach others you must have been to a teachers college, received a certificate or a diploma and are employed by either the government or private sector. This is an ideal situation. But this is not so for many “teachers” in developing countries where thousands of children need education, yet do not have enough qualified, trained teachers.


Giliart at a teacher trainingThat’s why community members like Gilliart Soft Kanguye decided to volunteer their time and be the teachers these children need. They spend 5 days a week teaching, in most cases working with over 100 children of different grade levels to prepare them for a better future. They are not paid, but give their service for the love of children and their community.


Gilliart is one of the 50 community members who volunteered to help provide education to the thousands of children in Lufwanyama who do not have the privilege of being in a government school. He went up to grade 9 in school, but would also love to upgrade his own education.


With the coming of the Sponsorship program, these volunteer teachers have begun to see hope and a Joseph Mbelneg with some the children he teacheslasting change for the future of the children they teach as they receive simple training to equip them to better provide an education to the children. In the past six months, Save the Children trained 36 teachers from Lufwanyama in the use of “New Break through to Literacy” (NBTL) and equipped these teachers with materials. The program has also indentified 12 teachers who will be attending training sessions so they can upgrade their teaching skills. The Sponsorship program is also in the process of providing library and other reading materials for the children in the 20 schools to promote literacy.


The community school teachers appreciate the support for the schools and look forward to further training. Asked why they spend so much time working for the community, Gillart says, “for the love of the children and to give them a better future and opportunity than I had.”


“With the coming of the Save the Children, I know we will excel and provide a better education for the children,” he continues. “I have begun to hear about other people who want to join in becoming volunteers as we are being trained and improving on our status and the community now respects us even more.” 



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