Thank You from Tatiana, Age 12

Author Portrait_Tatiana, School Health and Nutrition Brigadier

Tatiana

School Health and Nutrition Brigadier

El Salvador

November 2, 2015

Today was the first meeting of the year for our School Health and Nutrition brigade at my school in El Salvador. I couldn’t attend because I was taking care of my youngest siblings, but my sister did and she told me they chose 3 new members for the brigade. They are all 5th grade students. That brought me really good memories of the day I was chosen by my classmates, because I was also in 5th grade. I’ve been a brigadier for 2 years now! Just as they did today, my classmates voted for me to be part of the school brigade, and I accepted because I’ve always liked to learn new things and to share the knowledge with other kids. 

Tatiana washing her hands

Tatiana washing her hands

I’m currently studying in 7th grade and I’m 12 years old. In all the time I’ve been part of the school brigade, I’ve learned how to teach my classmates to properly wash hands and to always keep our school clean. We also advise them to eat healthy food instead of junk food, so they can stay healthy.

As part of the school brigade, we have the opportunity to improve things in our school. For example, last year we had the idea of building a fence around the school perimeter to improve security. We presented the project to Save the Children and they said it was possible to do it. As a result of that, now we have the fence and only students can get in. We all feel safer now.

School fence built as a result of a brigade project in 2014

School fence built as a result of a brigade project in 2014

I like being a brigadier because I learn a lot of good things. My parents tell me this will help me in my future. When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer, so I can help other people. Now I’m also better in other things such as speaking in public with no fear. And I can teach my siblings to wash their hands before eating and after using the latrine.

Finally, I want to tell all sponsors that we’re very happy to know they support our community. I’m always excited when I receive letters from my sponsor, because she tells me about her life, about her puppy and that she is engaged. I think something that sponsors could share with us is how they decided to become a sponsor.

I know there are still more things to improve in my school, that’s why my sister and I will continue to be part of the School Health and Nutrition brigade, so we can make more projects and teach good things to all the children in our school.

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

Home-Based Preschools in Egypt

Author Portrait_Maha Sabry, Project Manager in Orphans Care Association, Abnoub

Maha Sabry

Project Manager in Orphans Care Association

Egypt

October 26, 2015

One of my priorities as a project manager with the sponsorship program of Save the Children in Egypt is children under the age of 6 years old. Children at that age used to be mostly ignored by their communities. For many people it was a vague stage of life, it was hard for them to understand what the child might need. Save the Children’s Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program aims at increasing the low percentage of enrollment in preschools, especially in remote areas in Egypt. 

During a visit to an ECCD class, Maha assesses the children's understanding of some words

During a visit to an ECCD class, Maha assesses the children's understanding of some words

When we started the collaboration with Save the Children, through implementing home-based preschools, people started to see the importance of that stage in children’s lives. The home-based preschools project was very successful in finding alternatives to respond to the lack of preschools in Abnoub. People became very well educated on the importance of the preschool stage, resulting in community members reaching out to Save the Children to help them provide more of these services.

Seeing children throughout my visits to the home-based preschools was very touching and inspiring. I was thrilled with the changes we made in those children’s lives, how successful the project was in building a better future for them, and how the children and communities became aware of many new things. Those children helped me realize the importance of what we do.

In one of my recent visits, I met a boy named Mahmoud, while he was playing with blocks and trying to build something. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied “I am trying to build the best thing in Egypt.” I stood there watching him and waited for him to finish as he built the pyramids. When I asked him why the pyramids, he said proudly “because the pyramids are one of our great marks that was built by our great grandfathers and I am trying to be like them.” I was very amazed to see how proud he was of our ancient history at such a young age, and how he had goals and was able to reach them, even on just this small scale.

Maha playing a game with preschool children

Maha playing a game with preschool children

Another memorable experience was with Mona, a girl I met in another recent visit to the field. Mona cares a lot about her personal hygiene. She was taking her time washing her hands when she saw me watching her. She explained to me that she has learned in preschool the importance of washing hands with soap, killing germs and using her own towel.

I have always loved being a part of the home-based preschools project, but seeing the changes with my own eyes has made me proud and even more willing to give my time and energy to this great cause. Thank you to all the sponsors who help make this possible.

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

Growing Relationships from Files

Author Portrait_Oscar Cahuana Ari, Sponsorship Program Files

Oscar Cahuana Ari

Sponsorship Program Files

Bolivia

October 19, 2015

In my work with Save the Children I have helped support various operational activities in sponsorship, especially related to handling our many files. The work I do is very interesting because it allows me to be an important connecting link between sponsors and their sponsored children. I am able to experience the emotion and feeling as sponsors and children share their stories and experiences with each other through the exchange of letters, emails and photographs. Imagining how I know a sponsored child feels when they receive a letter from his or her sponsor makes me remember how important the connection between these two people is. 

Oscar hard at work processing sponsor-child correspondence

Oscar hard at work processing sponsor-child correspondence

My work involves review and quality control of the correspondences between sponsors and children. Safeguarding the integrity and security of communications for children is a very important task in order to ensure the sponsorship experience is a pleasant and comfortable one for all involved. With every file I can see how each child's story begins and how the relationship with his or her sponsor grows over time, sometimes lasting many years.

To help myself and my colleagues, I developed a correspondence registration system called Correspondence LOG. This allows us to digitally register correspondence, search files, and work in a more precise and faster way than ever before. This is just one example of how we have been able to utilize new technology to face the different challenges we meet in sponsorship operations.

Another recent innovation of ours has been the use of a bar code reader during checks in the field. We implemented this useful tool in our visits to sponsored children and programs, making processes more accurate and efficient than in past years.

To serve as a link between sponsors and their sponsored children is a unique experience. That with the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills to improve our filing systems gives me great pride in being an important part of Save the Children’s team in Bolivia.

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