Save the Children Adds More Cryptocurrency Capability in Time for #BitcoinTuesday

Written by Ettore Rossetti

Save the Children has relaunched our cryptocurrency fundraising capability just in time for #BitcoinTuesday, which offers a cryptocurrency twist on #GivingTuesday, a day held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that encourages philanthropy.

As part of this initiative, we are now able to accept multiple cryptocurrencies in an automated way through its website (www.savethechildren.org/bitcoin) including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC) and the Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

Save the Children was the first global NGO to accept cryptocurrency. We have accepted Bitcoin donations since 2013, in response to Typhoon Haiyan that struck Southeast Asia and devastated the Philippines.

“Beyond cryptocurrency contributions, what if blockchain technology could be used to make supply chains more efficient, transactions more transparent and end world poverty through decentralized universal basic income as a form of unconditional cash vouchers? That would be a dream worth HODLing on to,”
stated Ettore Rossetti, Senior Director of Social & Digital Innovation of Save the Children.

Rossetti added, “Since our founding 100 years ago, Save the Children has reached more than 1 billion children. Perhaps the next Bitcoin billionaire can help us reach the next billion children.”

Save the Children is working with The Giving Block, leaders in equipping nonprofits with the tools and techniques to effectively fundraise with cryptocurrency.

By accepting cryptocurrencies, Save the Children is offering supporters with cryptocurrency portfolios the ability to support the organization in a tax efficient way on Giving Tuesday. The IRS classifies cryptocurrency donations as property, meaning they are not subject to capital gains tax and are tax deductible on the donor’s tax returns.

Discussing this year’s #BitcoinTuesday campaign, Alex Wilson, Co-Founder of The Giving Block said, “Giving Tuesday inspires millions around the world to support and give to the causes that matter to them. But, despite the enhanced tax benefits that crypto donations can offer donors, the day has failed to capture the attention of crypto donors in years past.”

His colleague, Co-Founder Pat Duffy followed up with, “Bitcoin Tuesday will introduce a largely traditional audience to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, driving crypto adoption. When nonprofits accept crypto donations, the world sees crypto as the force for good we know it to be.”

To donate to Save the Children visit www.savethechildren.org/bitcoin. To learn more, contact Ettore Rossetti, bitcoin@savechildren.org.

A Reading Club Mentor’s Story of Rediscovery

By: Kalenzi Uwear Prisca, Program Officer

It is a beautiful Saturday afternoon and a big mango tree casts a loving shade over a group of young children shielding them from the blaring Ugandan sun. The echoes of laughter and glee are pleasantly uncharacteristic of the routine learning environment that one would expect from a regular Ugandan school. Even more amazing is the elderly gentleman who laughs and plays along with the children. It is easy to tell that he is enjoying himself.

At 58 years, Mulindwa Yahaya has been helping children to learn and improve their reading skills for almost a year now. “I first came to the reading clubs when I brought my grandchildren would drop them and sit a distance away waiting to take them back home. Over time I drew closer and noticed that it was different and unique unlike any other classes I had ever witnessed” says Mulindwa.

Mulindwa, a reading club mentor

He tells me that as the number of children grew bigger the club needed more mentors to manage the growing numbers, thus began his journey with the club.

“I had seen the mentors play, dance with the children and tell stories. I thought I was too old for this but the energy is contagious” Mulindwa says adding that after all he was old and frail and not highly educated. The need for more mentors provided a chance for him to contribute something for his community and the wellbeing of the children. “The decision to become a mentor has almost rejuvenated me…jumping and dancing has given me a new lease on life. Although I teach the children, they are always teaching me something new. I am always looking forward to these classes because when I am here I feel young again.” Mulindwa reflects fondly.

The reading club is an intervention introduced by Save the Children to boost literacy at community level. It gives a chance to both school going and non- school going children to improve their literacy skills. The children use materials that are locally made and naturally occurring in their environment. This brings the concepts closer to home. There are currently 3 reading clubs and12 more being rolled out in the sponsorship program in Uganda under Basic Education with ECCD. The clubs are run by mentors like Mulindwa who offer two hours every week to teach children innovatively.

Mulinwa reading a story for Betty and Samuel during the reading club session

The mentors are trained and given skills to lead the clubs. All one needs to be a mentor is to be able to read and write, facilitate a class innovatively and have love for children. “I am glad I chose to be a mentor. I joined the club to help the children but in the end the children have given me so much more. They make me feel young again. The children who are in reading clubs have become more assertive and perform better at school. I am proud to be contributing to their success!

A Heart-Warming Welcome

By: Pham Tra My – Sponsorship Assistant, Save the Children in Vietnam

During the wake of tropical storm Nida that hit Lao Cai Province in August 2016, Phin Ngan Commune was among the most affected areas, causing massive destruction on personal and property damage. “1 of our 13 school sites was destroyed during the flash floods and landslide,” said Ms. Huyen, Principal of Phin Ngan Preschool.

The trip started at 7.30AM. Our original plan was to visit Tuan, Mr. Bruni’s sponsored child. However, like many other children in Lao Cai, Tuan spent the summer away from home as he joined his parents when they travelled to another place to seek extra income.

Together with Mr. Bruni and Ms. Pacione, our car went up the hillside gravel roads that led to the school site. Before our eyes lied vast rice terraces, small lakes, and a few houses that belonged to the local people. We were warmly welcomed by district officials and school staff, who were kind enough to spare an hour from their busy working day to meet Mr. Bruni and his companion in person.

Ms. Huyen then showed us around the school site. Our attention was drawn into the small toilets that were currently under construction. “So… how do the children [go when they need to]?”, asked Mr. Bruni. “They use potties,” Ms. Huyen answered. According to her, some parents were contributing labor work in the construction of the toilets and safety fences around the playground so everything would be ready by the time summer vacation ended.

The sponsors were later invited to join a Parent Club session, an activity initiated by Save the Children’s Early Literacy and Math at home (ELM) program, with the purpose of helping parents gain the skills to help their children learn at home. What we took from the session was that teaching children at home did not have to be complicated; parents can use very common items found around the house (like corn kernels, pebbles, or tree leaves) to familiarize kids with numbers and counting skills. Moreover, incorporating numbers and counting into daily chores helped children learn faster. For example, a mother would ask “Could you bring me 7 garlic cloves to prepare dinner?”

Parent Club session

To welcome the sponsors, school staff and parents had prepared some games, which included tug-of-war and sack jumping. Though hesitated at first, Mr. Bruni decided to hold one end of the rope, exclaiming “I haven’t played this game in 25 years!” with a big smile.

Tug of war game

Despite the children shyness and language barrier, Ms. Pacione quickly acquainted herself with the little kids that followed their parents to the Club session that day. Some of the children were wearing traditional Dao attire. And there stood out one little boy in green, the uniform color of police officers, for his dream was to become one when he grew up

Ali’s Teaching Journey with Save the Children

By: Ali Armin, A teacher at Save the Children sponsorship-supported school

Everything new in life is uncertain, just like when Save the Children arrived at this school. We didn’t even know how to pronounce it; it was completely unknown to us.

We thought that it was just another program, one more NGO. Nevertheless, when I visited other schools around I saw new water filters, books and libraries refurbished, all that by Save the Children, after seeing that I was definitely excited to hear more about this organization.

Teacher Ali at his desk

The enthusiasm in which the project was presented to us made me get more interested in searching for more information about SC Sponsorship. Through social media, I found that this project was huge and it has a high social impact.

As time went through, I got familiar with Save the Children. I will never forget one day when SC staff arrived at my classroom, and they were looking for a student because a sponsor has sent her a letter and a big gift.

I was so moved when I saw the girl face because I know how these actions impact a child with limited possibilities to access to clothes and play toys. I couldn’t believe that a person could support and send an encouraging message to keep studying for a child who did not know. Being part of this moment was touching, so I decided to write a thank-you letter to her sponsor because I’ve learned that in life people have to be grateful.

Teacher Ali grading Olivia’s homework

Gradually, I became more interested in this project, when SC Staff started to work with us, the teachers. They have trained us and provided literacy boost materials in order to enhance our teaching practices for our students. These strategies are innovative for us, and we are very happy with everything that SC has provided to the school.

It’s great to know that Save the Children also has political incidence, children’s voices must be heard. I saw a few months ago, that SC staff came to interview children in relation to the past political elections, and I was glad to hear how a 4th-grade student gave his opinion about political candidates and the problems in our country.

As part of my role as a teacher, I witnessed the “Early childhood agreement” in my state, with political candidates of the community. Many guests to this event didn’t know what Save the Children does, and through my experience, I explain them with excitement about the actions that SC have done at my school and the community,

Teacher Ali in his classroom

I believe and I defend this program, I helped that more and more people know about what SC does because I have seen the great impact you have on children. I am grateful to every person who makes possible Save the Children exists, and overall is privileged to be part of this program, we are going we are doing great changes together for the children.