Celebrating Our Shared Legacy of Change for Children: A Reflection by Carolyn Miles

On the eve of her departure from Save the Children, Carolyn Miles, who served as CEO from 2011 – 2019, shares a heartfelt message of gratitude and commitment to a shared future.

As we mark the end of our centennial year, it is with a very full heart that I also write my final message to you. After almost 22 years to the day since I first came to Save the Children, serving the last eight as CEO, I can absolutely say that that it has been an honor to serve this organization, our valued supporters and the millions upon millions of children we reach every year, here in the United States and all around the world. I could not be prouder of the lifelong change for children your support has helped achieve. 

Over the years, I have seen that everything we do together creates ripples of lasting change in children’s lives and communities – ultimately, transforming entire countries for good. Consider Ethiopia’s decline in child mortality by more than 50%, the progress for girls in Malawi from barely finishing third grade to now graduating by the tens of thousands, the community of health workers saving lives across Nepal, and here at home, the 9 in 10 struggling students in Kentucky whose significant strides in reading are setting them up for success in school and life. From our on-the-ground work addressing the unique challenges of vulnerable children to our advocacy efforts amplifying their voices with U.S. and global leaders, the world is better thanks to the support of champions for children like you. 

Together, we have helped achieve major change for children, but it hasn’t always been equal. With your help, Save the Children is committed to reaching the most vulnerable children of all – including girls and refugee children, as well as those living in poverty in rural America. Today, the children left furthest behind have the greatest opportunity to realize their rights to grow up healthy, educated and safe. That’s why we’ve committed to what we call our 2030 ambition for children. If we can help end the preventable deaths of children under age 5, ensure that every child gets a high-quality basic education starting as early as we can, and change the way the world thinks about violence against children, we will again have dramatically propelled the world forward.  

To envision what that world will look like for future generations of children is so inspiring to me! But to achieve these ambitious goals in an ever-changing world, we’ll have to embrace new and innovative ways to get the job done, new partners to support us and a continued commitment to growing our impact. Indeed, thinking bigger and bolder will need to be a hallmark of our upcoming years. And I am completely confident that our dedicated Save the Children team, including our exceptional new President and CEO, Janti Soeripto, will successfully drive our bigger, bolder agenda. I look forward to supporting this work in whatever ways I can.   

Finally, in this season of giving and reflection, thanks for giving me the best gift anyone could ever receive – the opportunity, together with you, to create change that lasts a lifetime for children in the U.S. and around the world. In commemoration of our 100 years of change for children and commitment to our ambitions for the next 100, I warmly welcome your support of Save the Children today. 

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season! 

Carolyn