2013 Annual Report: Leaving No Child Behind

Zeina*, aged 2, at her home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border (Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children)
Zeina*, aged 2, at her home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border (Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children)

It’s the most exciting document we publish all year. And this year, it’s more exciting than it has ever been. We are at a critical moment in history, a tipping point.

It’s a moment of opportunity, challenge, and responsibility for Save the Children.

Our goal is a world where no child dies from preventable causes and every child has the chance to fulfil their potential.

With your help, we are getting closer.

Together, we are saving children’s lives, protecting them from abuse or helping them to overcome trauma, enabling them to access an education that will give them the tools to fulfil their potential.

Our annual report is our chance to share with you what we have accomplished – and that’s your success story as well, because without our supporters – the people who give their time, money and expertise to our cause – we couldn’t accomplish anything.

Alisa*, aged 4, waits with her mother for a second operation to fix her skull after a piece of wood became lodged there during typhoon Haiyan (Dawn Trump/Save the Children)
Alisa*, aged 4, waits with her mother for a second operation to fix her skull after a piece of wood became lodged there during typhoon Haiyan (Dawn Trump/Save the Children)

Achieving more than ever

Last year, on the contrary, we achieved more than ever before in our 95-year history.

We reached 15.4 million children, including Zeina*, a two-year-old girl living in a small tent on the Syrian border, whose father Ahmad* was able to feed her thanks to our Cash for Work programme.

“I worked for you and used the money to buy food,” he told us.

Wherever they are…

In some of the poorest and hardest-to-reach parts of the world, children are growing up stronger and safer, free of malnutrition or disease, discovering the excitement and the satisfaction that learning can bring, and looking forward to more promising futures, because of our work.

… And whatever it takes

In zones of natural disaster or areas of conflict, from the Philippines to South Sudan, we are on the ground, protecting and sheltering children wherever we are needed, and whatever it takes.

When Merlin, the frontline health charity, joined Save the Children last July, our capability to do that became even greater.

As well as the food, water, blankets, hygiene kits and other life-saving supplies we distributed after typhoon Haiyan, in partnership with Merlin we were able to set up mobile health clinics to tend to injured children, vaccinate others and prevent the spread of waterborne diseases – and we were able to do this faster, which was crucial after such an enormous disaster.

In 2013, we responded to 88 emergencies in 43 countries overall, helping 3.4 million people – including 2.1 million children.

Mother Nyayalny walked for two hours with her sons Pagak, 3, and Duolduet, 6 months, to the Primary Health Care Unit supported by Save the Children in Upper Nile state, South Sudan, because Pagak has been suffering from a fever and diarrhoea. Nyaylny also had two older children but when they fell ill with diarrhoea there was no health clinic she could take them to. She said, “When my older children fell sick there was nothing I could do and both of them died.” With only half of the population of South Sudan having access to clean water and 80% having no access to toilets, diarrhoea is a serious problem that often proves deadly for children.  Photo: Colin Crowley/Save the Children
Mother Nyayalny walked for two hours with her two small sons to the Save the Children-supported Primary Health Care Unit in South Sudan, because 3-year-old Pagak has fever and diarrhoea. Her two older children died because there was then no health clinic she could take them to (Colin Crowley/Save the Children)

Heartening stories

There are so many other heartening stories in this annual report, from the individual to the general, from children like Bayitekus, in the remote Amhara region of Ethiopia, whose life was changed when we built a primary school in his village (he’s now at university, studying chemistry), to the newborn lives we will be able to save in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), thanks to the transformation of a mouthwash into an antiseptic for umbilical cords.

A heartfelt thank you

And none of this would have been possible without you.

Without you, we couldn’t have created the noise around the G8 Summit in June that helped push the Government to keep a 40-year promise to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on international aid.

As it was, 45,000 people came together in Hyde Park and our collectively raised voices helped ensure the money that will save 1.7 million children’s lives by 2020.

Changing the story in the UK

Without you, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have at home, either, with 24,300 children helped through our education programmes and through the basics we provided to some of the UK’s poorest families.

And we plan to do more, because in one of the world’s richest economies, no child’s chances should be blighted by circumstance. Being born poor shouldn’t be a life sentence anywhere, let alone amid the plenty we see around us every day.

So much change, so many advances: we aren’t there yet but we can be. This can be the generation to end children dying from preventable causes, and while we’re pleased with and proud of our annual report, that’s the most exciting news of all.

*Names changed to protect identities

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