Haway is Healthy

Pc field head

Penelope Crump, Web Editor

Westport, Connecticut

September 2, 2011 

Penny just returned to the United States after spending two weeks surveying Save the Children's food crisis relief programs in Ethiopia. 


Little Haway from drought-parched Ethiopia had something special to celebrate on her first birthday – being alive. Her village, in what had been the dairy capitol of Ethiopia, has been devastated by drought. For two years, the rains haven’t come. Massive herds of goats and cows have been decimated. Almost nothing grows and fertile pastures are turning into deserts. Village children had nothing to eat but bark from the dying shrubs.

The drought took a significant toll on Haway’s village, her mother fell ill and couldn’t nurse her and there was no longer any milk to drink since the livestock had perished.

Haway became dangerously malnourished and weighed only 12 pounds when she was brought to a Save the Children emergency nutrition program. She was skin and bones, extreme hunger and severe acute malnutrition consumed her tiny body.

Like almost all children in drought-affected regions of Ethiopia, Haway also suffered from infections due to a lack of clean drinking water in her village. Infections hasten dangerous dehydration and muscle-wasting, forcing malnourished children into a rapid downward spiral.

You have to treat babies like Haway very carefully as feeding them the wrong nutrients can be dangerous,” says Sisay Demeke, a Save the Children emergency nutrition coordinator. “First, we treated her illness and restored her body’s balance of water, sodium and essential minerals.”

Once Haway became stable enough to digest protein and fat, she began receiving a weight-gaining mixture of milk, vitamins, minerals, grain, sugar and oil. And then she began to thrive. She went from listless to vibrant in just a few days. Her sunken face became full, eventually plumping up to the chubby-cheeked baby you see today.

Haway became well enough to go home and begin the out-patient treatment program – consisting of high-nutrient, high-calorie foods and water purification supplies.

The village matriarch, also named Haway, was astounded by the baby girl’s recovery. She has since become a health volunteer for Save the Children and has been trained to keep an eagle eye on health problems in her small tribal village.

I am happy to give back by being a health volunteer. If there were no Save the Children, many of the babies in my village would have died,” she says.

“They [Save the Children] give a very good service. The guys are clever and wash their hands. The food they provide to kids is very good and the way they provide it is kind.”

With her entire village now involved with Save the Children’s health and nutrition programs, Haway and the other young children have the support and hope they need to make it until rains will come back.


Learn more about our response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Help Us Respond to the Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa. Please Donate Now.


Ibrahim’s Kindness

CAROLYN_MILES_HEAD_SHOT_062001 Carolyn Miles, President & CEO-elect

Dadaab, Kenya

August 15, 2011


As I meet with children and families here in the sprawling refugee camps of northeastern Kenya, I hear amazing and harrowing stories.

Yesterday we visited the original refugee camp called IFO – a part of the camps that has been here since 1992. We drove up a dusty red sandy road to a thick fence made from gnarled tree branches. Inside the fence was a family of 10, living simply in two tiny mud and stick structures with few possessions. But this was no ordinary family.

It was led by Ibrahim, a thoroughly generous and engaging man with much hardship in his life. He came from Somalia in 1991 during horrible fighting in his country.


He settled in the original camp with his wife and young son after a tough journey of hundreds of miles. Ibrahim later lost his wife and four of his children to disease. He remarried though and had 6 more  children. He and his wife also care for many more children in his area of the camp.

As we talk, his children come to sit on his lap, next to him on an old can or peek out from behind his back. You can tell how much they love him. He tells me, “God gives back to those who do something for others, especially children.”

But what makes Ibrahim such a special man is that he and his wife, despite being very poor, have taken in yet another two childrenA 13-year-old mother and her newborn baby girl who arrived two months ago from Somalia after their own grueling journey. Ibrahim and his wife agreed to be a foster family for the teen mom and baby as part of Save the Children’s child protection program.

Despite having so little, they share what they do have with others.

More to come tomorrow…


Learn more about our response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Help Us Respond to the Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa. Please Donate Now.

Fast-A-Thon for Save the Children

"Experiencing Vicarious Empathy"

Ettore Rossetti

Ettore Rossetti, Director, Internet Communications & Marketing

Westport, CT

August 8, 2011

I work for Save the Children in the Westport, CT office. The situation caused by the droughts in East Africa is dire for children especially. Though I serve the mission of children professionally, I thought to myself ‘what can

I do personally to help even more.’ So last month during the heat wave here in the U.S., I was voluntarily working through lunch and I started to feel a late afternoon hunger pain. So, I walked downstairs to the lunchroom at about 2:45 pm in the afternoon. The door was closed, so I missed a meal. I pulled a dollar out of my pocket and tried to buy a snack from the vending machine…but it only takes exact change and I did not have 90¢, so I skipped a snack. Feeling thirsty, I walked back upstairs to the nearest coffee station but the coffee ran out, so I settled for water. I settled for water.

That’s how easy it is in Westport, CT or Washington D.C. or in much of America to find food when we are hungry or water when we are thirsty: Walking a few yards inside an air-conditioned building. But these children in East Africa walk for miles under the desert sun to get to food or water.

Sofia carries Suada on her back Every week, six year-old Sofia, carries her two-year old sister, Suada, on her back for miles to a Save the Children feeding center in Kenya. I am a parent like many of you and even if you are not a parent, we were all children once.

Imagine a child having to endure this…imagine if Sofia was your child? It is unimaginable. And in that moment I realized that there is something I could do about it. I could voluntarily fast to feel empathy. We could all fast to feel empathy and then tell our friends about it. We can be sympathetic to the plight of those children but we cannot feel empathy unless we experience some of their pain. The hunger pain around the lunch hour is a very small glimpse of their pain. And so Save the Children’s Fast-A-Thon was born in that moment of inspiration.

Sofia feeding Suada some water in the desert Some of my colleagues in the field can experience empathy directly. But through the power of the Internet, we can all experience empathy vicariously. And it is this vicarious empathy that connects us all. As I was just about to close my laptop at about 3 a.m. last night, I received a chat message on Facebook from a woman in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia thanking me for all we were doing for her country.

Some people say that social networking demonstrates the theory of “six degrees of separation” — the idea that everyone is on average six steps away from any other person on Earth. I believe that these friend-to-friend networks do not separate us but rather connect us. Perhaps we should rename this theory to the “six degrees of connection." If we all ask 10 of our friends to donate $10 – the price of a meal – that’s $100. $100 can help us feed 1 child for 100 days, until the rains come back. That’s the power of social networking.

Thank you to all of you who are participating in Fast-A-Thon by fasting, friendraising or fundraising. But most importantly, I would like to recognize those children in East Africa who are fasting involuntarily.


 About Fast-A-Thon: Fast-A-Thon is a voluntary, 24-hour fasting marathon organized by Save the Children to show solidarity and to demonstrate empathy for the millions of children suffering from hunger and thirst in East Africa due to the food crisis.

About Save the Children: Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Audio Update from Ethiopia

Dhheadshot Dave Hartman, Save the Children, Internet Marketing and Communications Specialist

Westport, CT

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In this podcast Duncan Harvey, Save the Children’s Deputy Country Office Director in Ethiopia, Michael Klosson, Vice President for Policy and Humanitarian Response, and Charles MacCormack, President, describe the worsening situation for children affected by the epic drought in the Horn of Africa and what you can do to help children children survive until the rains come.

Live from the Field: East Africa Food Crisis by Save the Children


Learn more about our response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Help Us Respond to the Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa. Please Donate Now.